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Market Development

Competitive Benchmarking
Ad & Promotion Research

The definition of “customer intimacy” is knowing customers on a scale of one-to-one. Today, the ante has been raised and now we need solid statistical information and personal contact rather than a “gut feel.” Also, customers should be closer to manufacturers - helping with key business decisions.


Lost Order Report Analysis

For years sales staff were required to submit lost order reports. It appears this practice has been lost in the daily practice of business. However, good lost order information needs to be collected and analyzed statistically for patterns and trends before markets begin to deteriorate. This is the Statistical Process Control (SPC) of the marketer. Decision Technology can contact lost customers, obtain lost order information and create accurate “lost order models.”


Customer Needs Analysis & Surveys

The Customer Needs Analysis is the heart of the “Customer-Driven” market research process. Here, we discover, through research, the customer’s wants and needs. The essence of marketing is simply this: “The customer First, Last and Always.”

Joe McPherson, Director of Innovation, SRI International said:

“What’s usually missing is going to the field and asking dumb questions, and smelling and feeling and getting in bed with the problem so that you understand the other side of it.”


Customer Surveys

A Manufacturing Research Survey is created to explore customer attitudes, preferences and needs. The survey is physically presented to the customer in one of several forms depending on survey goals and sample criteria.

  1. Blind mailed survey (paper, diskette or Internet).

  2. Questionnaires administered by the field sales staff.

  3. Telephone surveys.

  4. In-Person interviews.


Survey Samples

Selection of the survey sample group (customer database) is critical. It must reflect sample sizes in concert with the market segments selected in the Market Segmentation studies. Names are obtained from several sources including client mailing lists and field sales contacts.


Survey Content

Survey questions can be directed toward several areas - machine process and application, perceptions and image and satisfaction. Typically, questions cover these areas:

  1. Customer business profiles (who is the customer?)

  2. Machine application & processes

  3. Machine feature preferences

  4. Machine/service value-ratings

  5. Competitive benchmarking

  6. Customer satisfaction.


Survey Analysis

The survey results are logged into a computer database and programmed for strategy modeling. For example, data can be printed based on customers with 100 or more employees who own competitive machines. This allows understanding needs in “niche” sub-markets.

Each question is charted and graphed for easy interpretation.


Buyer Profiles

The survey process yields valuable information about buyer purchase decisions. Buyer profiles are a “personality profile” of buying habits. Using this information, sales staff can quickly identify high and low potential buyers. Sales calls can be maximized and sales training can be more effective.  

Price-Performance & Positioning Analysis

The “Price-Performance Matrix” is a tool that measures a product’s image of quality or value, relative to its price. In industrial markets, this is a measure of how well a product delivers on its benefits based on its price. It is used for several other marketing functions:

  1. Product positioning - where products fit in the market (price & value).

  2. Pricing decisions - relative price levels.

  3. Competitive analysis - where are we in comparison to key competitors?

  4. Customer buying habits - how do customers perceive our value?

  5. Opportunity - examining markets for opportunity.

Customers make purchase decisions based on their perceptions of value. The primary task of the marketing function (including sales) is to increase the customer’s perceived value of the product. This tool will assist in this task.



Decision Technology, Inc.
1665 Fawn's Ridge Dr.
Ada, MI  49301, USA
Phone: 1+ (616) 676-4650
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