The role of the industrial researcher in maximising opportunities for consumer goods manufacturers

Date of publication: October 1, 1981


Talk to the majority of industrial and consumer researchers and the only things they are likely to agree they have in common are a shared belief in the application of market research to aid the more profitable operation of the company, and a similar function; namely the provision, analysis, and interpretation of relevant information for market, product, and planning purposes. The two disciplines would appear to have little in common apart from these two aspects. The industrial researcher's task appears much more simple. He deals with businesses or institutions where decision and buying procedures are more rational, and hence easier to understand. There are far fewer potential buyers for any particular product or service, so the sampling procedures required to evaluate their requirements are less complex. Often potential users are highly concentrated geographically, and the segmentation criteria are much simpler; business activity, size of firm, turnover level. It is not my task here today to argue the case for the consumer researcher. By the end of this session I hope I will have convinced you that the industrial researcher not only has a major contribution to make, and that in many cases he is far better equipped to do so than his consumer counter-part, in certain decision areas in which consumer-orientated companies will become involved.

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