Accurate and timely information is essential to good decision making and strategy development. TekMark provides traditional quantitative, qualitative and customized focused market research to support new business development, new product development, market development, commercial due diligence for buy side M&A research, competitive analysis, strategy development and other client specific programs.
Unlike off-the-shelf market research reports, our customized research provides information that gets very granular and specific to your business, markets, applications, products and technology. As an example, there are many market research reports on the “Global Laser Industry”. Although these certainly have value, in many cases they do not provide information that can be applied to a company’s specific product. Our research for this client zeroed in on applications and market opportunities specific to a 532 nm green diode laser that operates in a specific power range.
Our research combines strategic elements that facilitate investment decision and long range planning while in-depth, “nuts & bolts” data uncovers new product development and/or new sales opportunities that can be immediately put into action for near term results.
Our qualitative research and test marketing services obtain sensitive and critical market information by engaging industry leaders and decision makers in in-depth, un-biased and “blind” discussions. Although you or one of your colleagues may be able to conduct this type of research, an experienced outside firm such as TekMark conducting research in a “blind” fashion enhances our ability to effectively capture non-biased, critical and sensitive information that is typically not in the public domain and can only be uncovered by talking to many industry decision makers.
Our quantitative, qualitative and customized research services support a variety of efforts including:
Macro Market Dynamics/Quantitative Research
Traditional business dynamics including market size, market share, forecast, etc. but specific to your technology, products, applications and markets. As an example, the global market for quality control systems may be $780 million but the opportunity specific to leading edge, finish/flatness measurement systems within a specific segment of the electronics industry is 132 potential systems based on the number of advanced production lines operating at leading edge suppliers.
Voice of the Customer (VOC) / Qualitative Research
ekMark provides extensive qualitative research services to obtain critical and sensitive market information typically not available in the public domain. The accuracy and value of market information is directly related to the quality and number of customers, potential customers, and other external and internal stakeholders from which you acquire information.
Our qualitative research is conducted by degree’d engineers who have a technical background enabling them to converse with engineers, scientists and other technical decision makers. Our methods primarily involves non-directive, exploratory and open-ended techniques to engage contacts in comfortable, in-depth conversations. These techniques, when complemented by some direct, pre-planned questions spiced within the conversation have proven to produce the most thorough and unbiased information.
We can conduct one-on-one interviews, in person or via phone; develop and administer market, new product, customer satisfaction and other surveys; and facilitate focus groups and brainstorm sessions. These methods also provide critical market facing information required to substantiate VOC data within a Six Sigma environment.
Competitive Intelligence – obtaining typical elements of a SWOT analysis; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. Benchmarking technologies to incorporated best practices and consider novel performance capabilities across varying applications and markets in support of new product development efforts.
Product Performance Requirements
Product Performance Requirements – focused research to determine performance requirements, product positioning and market opportunity for new technology and new product development. This is often done in support of the “fuzzy front end”, product definition research required within a formal, Stage-Gate new product development planning process. See our services for New Product Development.
Total Cost of Ownership (CoO)
Your success in marketing technical products to technical decision-makers significantly depends on those ever popular three words – your “total value proposition”. Product positioning and strategy based on superior value, or performance vs. cost benefit, over the total life of your product or service commonly uses a tool referred to as the total Cost of Ownership (CoO). Total CoO considers not only the initial price of your product or service but also includes performance advantages, ease of installation, product reliability, service required, ease of maintenance, etc.
TekMark can develop a total CoO marketing strategy for you based on various evaluation tools such as performance vs. cost matrices, mean-time-to-repair (MTTR), mean-time-between-planned maintenance (MTBPM), mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) among others. This strategy can be extremely effective in differentiating you from your competition, while at the same time, diffusing the lowest-price purchase scenario and improving your margin.
Qualified Lead Generation
Qualified Lead Generation – proven programs and processes that quickly; characterizes markets; identifies market leaders and decision makers; conducts pro-active business development and test marketing campaigns; and follows up with interested prospects to confirm, qualify and prioritize leads for your team to close. These programs can generate new opportunities within ~ 2 months.
Customer Buy Decision
Despite what many people believe (mostly inexperienced sales people), technical decision-makers rarely make purchase decisions solely on the lowest price. Many other actual, perceived and intangible attributes influence their evaluation and decision making process. This process establishes their “Customer Buy Decision”. The more you know about this evaluation process the better you can determine what your customers want vs. what they need (there is a key difference) and subsequently better design and position your products, services and marketing strategies to the specific needs of your target markets. See our Customer Buy Decision Article.
Industry Structure Analysis
Industry Structure – elements of Porters’ five forces analysis including; threat of new entrants to a market; bargaining power of suppliers; bargaining power of customers; threat of substitute products/technologies; and degree of competitive rivalry.
Determine how products reach the end user; how typical representative and distributor arrangements are structured; what are industry norms for commissions, re-seller pricing, OEM discounts, etc. to uncover opportunities and the best approach to enter a new market or expand visibility in an existing market. See our Channel Management & RepFinder services.
SBIR Proposal Support
SBIR Proposal Support – Letters of Support (LOS), Voice of the Customer (VOC) along with application, market and competitive research to support the commercialization sections of proposals. See our SBIR Support services.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Due diligence efforts for buy side and sell side. See our services for Mergers & Acquisitions.
Customer Satisfaction Survey
Customer Satisfaction Survey – information and feedback on; existing customers’ satisfaction on your products; why they purchased your or another firms products; their total interaction with your organization; a competitors’ products or a competing technology, etc.
Focus Groups & Brainstorm Sessions
Focus Groups & Brainstorm Sessions – in person, group research conducted with; customers and prospect customers (many times conducted at an industry conference); employees; direct and distributor/rep sales team (many times conducted during sales meetings) to generate thought and feedback on new product ideas, customer satisfaction, market dynamics, etc.
Application Notes & Success Stories
Application notes are an excellent sales & marketing tool that can be used to educate existing and prospective customers on the successful use of your product(s) and at the same time convey proven performance and reliability. The greater use of application notes will establish you as a leader in your industry that others look to for references and advice.
Qualitative Market Research
“TekMark’s medical device market experience and technical application knowledge enabled them to converse with our target customers’ engineers and scientists in a highly effective manner to obtain valuable information including performance requirements, annual volume potential and target pricing.Their ability to quickly identify, characterize and confirm new market opportunities in optically based, medical device market segments will enable us to leverage our existing business to many new growth opportunities.”
Competitive Research & Analysis
“TekMark Growth Partners recently completed an in-depth, competitive analysis of magnetic switch technologies for Hermetic Switch, Inc.The analysis identifies and compares data of many performance criteria for both electro-mechanical (Reed & MEMs) and solid-state magnetic switch products (Hall & GMR)”