Channel Intelligence Market Research

changes in channel intelligence

SIS International Research has used Channel Intelligence Market Research for over 35 years. During the past 20 years, we have used the following traditional methods:

  • Desk research to identify the channel partners, distributors, OEMS, etc.

  • Attending trade shows and conferences to identify key senior executives

  • Purchasing lists for CEO, CMO, Senior R&D, and operating executives

  • Use of referral telephone calls

New Methods of Channel Intelligence Market Research

During the past 5-7 years, social media and mobility are more effective methods to reach these respondents. Moreover, at least 40-50% of this population are millennials who are only reachable through mobility e.g. their cell or mobile phones. Secondly, their time is very precious to this younger generation and it is difficult to conduct an interview over 15 – 20 minutes maximum. Mobility and technology have also impacted traditional channels in transportation, manufacturing, and other business sectors. Team leaders and employers rely on fast, accurate data for their channels, to ensure their business stays on top.

Having a firm Channel Intelligence Research plan helps businesses understand their customers and how to successfully design merchandising and promotions. They can better prioritize management and marketing knowing the facts and habits of their respondents. Suppliers also benefit from a strategy to understand what shoppers seek how their customers behave compared to competitors.

SIS Approach to Channel Intelligence

Supply Chain Consulting

Why is Channel Intelligence Research so important?

If you are a manufacturer and sell products either B2B or B2C through distributors, OEMs, sales agents, you are removed from the ultimate customer. This “arms-length” distance from the customer can cause you to “miss the market” and ignore customer needs and “pain points.” Research throughout the channel is important to deliver the following market intelligence:

  • Distributors’ perception of your products vis-a-vis other products
  • Distributors’ promotion and positioning of your products in the various channels
  • Retailers’ positioning and promotion of your products
  • Distributors’ and retailers’ perception of competitive prices

Research throughout your channel pipeline will uncover the strengths and weaknesses of your projects and also deliver valuable competitive intelligence. Given our experience with B2B and B2C channels, we recommend the following research methods for channel intelligence:

Qualitative Research: This offers the most valuable channel intelligence as it delivers “the voice of the customer” and the pain points in the channel

Research Methods:

  • Telephone interviews: Delivers robust channel intelligence, however, the cost is moderate to high to reach the appropriate respondents
  • Face-to-face interviews: Delivers the most robust channel intelligence, but the cost is high to schedule and conduct these interviews
  • Desk Research: Deliver the channel landscape as a first step
  • Quantitative Research: online surveys offer a larger sample size at a reduced cost, however, most of the intelligence cannot be delivered through this method

To maximize your channel intelligence, we recommend a combination of these 3 methods. Here you can achieve the channel landscape, the “voice of your channel members” and quantification of the results for a full picture of your channel landscape. For further information on channel intelligence research methods contact: [email protected].