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 to 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:

    1. Telephone interviews: Delivers robust channel intelligence, however, the cost is moderate to high to reach the appropriate respondents

    2. 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 a quantification of the results for a full picture of your channel landscape. For further information on channel intelligence research methods contact: [email protected].