Conducting regular research into construction markets gives insight into the specifier’s decision making process and the influences on product specification. In this blog we review the do’s and don’ts when conducting research, to help you use research effectively to inform your decisions and ultimately contribute to the growth of your company.
1 – You have not selected a representative sample
Using a representative sample is necessary to avoid the cost of surveying the whole of your target audience or target population. This must be large enough to avoid any bias in the results and be representative of your different customer groups. Otherwise your results may be misleading. There are a number of online sample size calculators which assist with this task; or your chosen research consultancy will be able to guide you on this matter. Then define a quota which reflects your customer mix.
2 – You are conducting the research using in-house resource
Using an external consultancy to complete research enables an un-biased approach in the questioning. If you are using your own staff then questions may be biased and respondents feel less inclined to divulge the truth. Equally members of staff may interpret the findings with a bias towards the company or their interests, giving an inaccurate picture.
3 – You are unsure how to analyse the results to give meaning and understanding to the research
If completing analysis of research results in-house then you may lack the benefit of a broader industry view or experience. Using a professional consultancy can save you time in terms of manpower and their experience at analysing findings means a more accurate result. A good consultancy (that understands the construction sector) will also be able to provide key learning points from the research to inform your business strategy.
4 – Your research consultancy is not construction savvy
If you are using a consultancy then one element to consider is do they understand the construction sector? Construction has a complex Decision Making Unit (DMU), hence a sales and marketing challenge, and as the government encourages initiatives such as sustainability and BIM the dynamics are set to change. So having the skills to talk the customer’s language is a key advantage.
5 – You have failed to act on the results of the research
It may seem obvious but an important element of research is to interpret the results and incorporate them into your business strategy. Extracting a list of learning outcomes from the data is a good start; these in turn can generate recommendations to business process and product offerings.
Competitive Advantage has been conducting construction market research since 2000. Our commercial experience of the construction industry means that as well as reporting market research findings, we are able to interpret these effectively and make sound business recommendations. And with our network of contacts, we can probably suggest an organisation to help you implement these.
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To discuss your research requirements with us please contact us, a member of the Competitive Advantage research team will be happy to assist.