A leading process controls manufacturer recently acquired a diverse, multi-product instrumentation company. The acquired company’s portfolio included a product based on a technology that competed against one of the Client’s existing product lines. The Client was trying to determine how best to position these two overlapping product lines. They were considering whether to integrate the two product lines into a single offering or to retain separate product lines and marketing efforts. The decision depended on key market parameters, such as the size of the available market for each product, current and future customer preferences, and growth projections by industry and geographic region. Because the Client lacked critical market information and insights to make the right decision on how to combine the product offerings, it hired RSR Marketing Solutions to fill in the gaps.
- Quantify and segment the market to determine the potential for each technology by industry and geographic region.
- Understand customer needs and purchasing preferences to develop a segmented understanding of the market. Identify barriers and switching costs for each measurement technology.
- Recommend how best to integrate the product lines and position them to grow in the market.
RSR Approach and Methodology
In order to assist the Client in making an informed, unbiased and confident decision, RSR approached the situation as follows:
- Quantify and evaluate how the markets are currently being served. RSR conducted in-depth interviews with key marketing managers from approximately 15 instrument suppliers across five technologies. In addition, we gathered qualitative information regarding the market structure (e.g. who supplies what to whom) and gained an overview of the technical requirements in each segment.
- Demand side analysis. We interviewed the key engineering, operations, and purchasing contacts for customers across five market segments to determine the preferred technology and suppliers. We also identified switching barriers, current and potential sources of customer dissatisfaction, and projected future product/service needs.
- Provide recommendations on how best to integrate the products and grow the business. RSR’s recommendations were based on a thorough analysis of customer feedback in each market segment. This feedback included specific comments from key executives at the worldwide industry leaders regarding their future needs and preferences. Based on these interviews, we assessed the opportunities, risks, and barriers to pursuing specific markets and integrating the product lines and/ or changing brand names.
Research Findings and Business Results
- RSR recommended combining the brands and engaging in a unified sales and marketing approach. We found that many leading customers were trying to reduce their supplier base and work with measurement solutions providers who had broader product offerings.
- We also found that customers had limited and/or outdated knowledge of the available technologies. Thus, with a coherent marketing approach, the Client was able to convert customers that were struggling with their existing brands.
- RSR suggested new product development efforts to penetrate a large and growing segment that was currently underserved by the client. In our recommendations, we also uncovered significant dissatisfaction with competitors regarding product availability, technical support, specific product features, and overall supplier responsiveness.
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