Market Research provides valuable insight into customer needs to inform ITW Construction's business strategy

ITW Construction Products, a division of the global organisation ITW Inc, is a leading manufacturer of fixing, fastening and drilling systems for wood, steel and concrete applications. It offers the construction industry a wide range of products aimed at professional users, such as electricians, carpenters and dry liners. Worldwide, the Construction Products division generates an annual revenue of around $2bn through leading brands such as Paslode gas nailing and stapling systems and SPIT concrete and steel direct fixing and anchoring systems.

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Project background

At the start of 2017, ITW Construction decided to undertake a segmentation study of their existing residential and commercial carpentry customers the UK market. The study aimed to measure their market share and determine how much customers spend on fastening tools and consumables (nails and fuel cells that accompany the tools).

In order to get the depth of insight required, they chose to undertake phone based research and made contact with a number of agencies, including TTMC Research, a division of The Telemarketing Company, to assess their offer and ability to meet the brief.

Having reviewed a number of agencies and shortlisted two, in February 2017, TTMC Research was identified as the best fit for the requirement following a visit to the agency's premises, and meetings with key personnel.

Project execution

The initial scope of the segmentation study was:

  • Approximate 1,000 contact records supplied by ITW (including both mobiles and landlines).

  • Interviews with 200 ‘first fix’ tradesmen currently working in the UK - tradesmen such as carpenters or dry liners who complete rough woodwork such as flooring, wood framing and roofing.

  • Interviews via telephone survey with a pre designed questionnaire, approximately five minutes in length.

  • Raw data output to be supplied back to ITW in specified format.

Following careful discussion around the proposed approach, a team of agents was selected based on their style and relevance of previous experience. A thorough briefing was undertaken to provide an understanding of ITW Construction’s business and its values; calling as ITW Construction, callers needed to represent the brand in a professional and consistent manner. In addition, the agents were given an overview of the products, as well as insight into the sector and the sector-specific terminology, that they might encounter. They were also provided with a number of contacts to which queries could be escalated.

The initial phase of calling was completed by the end of February and in early March, discussions were underway to scope a further phase of research using output from the market share study to identify 5 or 6 key customer segments. These segments would provide a foundation for a more in-depth questionnaire involving approximately 45 questions, approximately 25 minutes in length.

As a company partner of the Market Research Society, TTMC Research has a thorough quality assurance process and all calls were subject to extensive call monitoring and rigorous quality checks. A minimum of 5% of all completed interviews were reviewed and monitored in accordance with the IQCS (Interviewer Quality Control Scheme), an independent organisation that ensures and maintains high standards of data collection within the Market Research Industry.

Results

As the engagement evolved, the key to success was the flexibility of TTMC Research in accommodating changing requirements. During the set up phase, a number of changes were made to the questionnaire and to the introduction of the call, a particularly important component of a research call. As the campaign progressed, regular reviews and client feedback enabled the agency to continuously adapt their approach to maximise results.  Strong communication and solid reporting ensured that the client’s needs and end goals were the central focus with a collaborative approach, bespoke reporting and proactive management driving results.

The second wave of calling was completed in July 2017. Overall, the two campaigns produced 321 results, and delivered a rich database of intelligence about the client’s target audience. Results from the research have enabled ITW to meaningfully paint an accurate picture of their customers and their needs. The information gathered has been invaluable and provided ITW with clear insight to inform their business strategy.

Due to the success of the UK project, discussions are now taking place to extend the work overseas to give ITW more insight into their market share in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and to dig deeper into customer needs to hone their future strategies.

“We were really impressed with how approachable, flexible and efficient TTMC were. They worked with us very closely to understand our business requirements for two campaigns, and both times we have been really pleased with the end results”.

Market Insight Team, ITW Construction