At different stages of a construction project different members of the construction team have an influence on specification. Once you have gained a specification it is important to work hard to avoid it being switched. So how much do you know about the competition? Is there product superior? How does it compare on cost? What is the market perception of your competitors’ brand? In this blog we explore three research approaches that can be employed to help you get a better understanding of the competition.
Research your construction sector and identify key specification opportunities
Completing some desk research is a good way to start. This can help you to get a better understanding of the market sector you are operating in. In the first instance it can give you an idea of market size and the value of sales you are competing for.
This research can also extend to cover your key competitors, giving you a detailed picture of the market you are operating in, answering questions such as: Does your competitor have comprehensive sales and design support? Have they a manufacturing facility in the UK? What are their lead times for delivery? How do their construction product credentials stack up against yours? And importantly what is their market share?
This will give you a true picture of what you are dealing with, where the opportunities are and how you can take advantage of them.
Find out how you are perceived by key construction decision makers
How does the specifier perceive you? Are you well thought of by Architects but Contractors prefer your competitor? Conducting a perception study will give you a feel on how your brand is being received by the market place. Can specifiers clearly differentiate you from the competition? Do they think you offer value for money? Or do they see you as a premium product and would prefer to opt for your competitor?
Focus Groups are another way of providing extra anecdotal evidence to learn from. Here you can provide product examples and ask the focus group members to discuss how they feel about them.
Learning how your product is perceived allows you to correct any misunderstandings through an informed marcomms strategy. This together with your understanding of the market also allows you to create a brand strategy according to the market requirement.
Conduct a mystery shopper survey
By contacting your competitors with an enquiry it is possible to benchmark the technical service they provide, the level of expertise and the distribution coverage. Taking this a stage further and contacting distributors will tell you what products they recommend and their pricing. Mystery Shopper research allows you get a better understanding of what is happening at point of sale and the customer experience.
Benchmark yourself against your competitors
A quick and simple process is to conduct a Net Promoter Score survey. This scoring system can be used to benchmark you against your competitors. Conducting this on a regular basis allows you to track progress and make amendments to your strategy where necessary.
NPS is a quick and simple process that can be conducted as frequently as required. It is best practice to conduct NPS prior to a big marketing drive and following campaign completion. That way you can gauge the effect of your campaign.
Conducting regular research allows you to maintain an up to date picture of the construction market sector you operate in. Having an understanding of how you are perceived by key construction decision makers, in particular against your competitors, allows you to put in place a strategy to differentiate your organisation and make the most of the opportunities available. Conducting regular benchmarking research allows you to track progress and re-check your strategy, identifying if you are on target to achieve KPIs and gain market share over your competitor.