From Commodities to Valued Services:
Helping Customers to Appreciate Competitive Intelligence &
Market Research as Professional Services
I recently received an email from a prospective client planning to conduct on research on competitors and requesting “some additional information on the services you offer and an approximate cost of your services.”
After following up on this prospective client, I found that they were still formulating what they wanted to achieve with the research. I also sensed a danger that they looked at competitive intelligence and market research as a commodity and not a professional service, and where there is little differentiation between vendors and pricing is an important factor in the selection of the vendor.
I help clients to understand CI and market research as customized and professional services by presenting them with a Project Description Form. It is a fairly simple form which gives the client an opportunity to put on paper their description of the intended project. It helps them to describe, among other things:
- Purpose of the project;
- How the research findings will be used;
- When the project will take place;
- What deliverables (primary and secondary) are expected from the project;
I find that by using a project description form similar to the one mentioned above, helps clients to develop a better understanding of what they want the research project to achieve and to better understand that competitive intelligence or market research is a service to be valued and respected.