Who asks the questions

Here, industrial marketing research differs from consumer research in that it is more likely that the researcher will be a member of the organization's own staff. This is particularly so when the interviews are depth interviews with expert respondents, as in an exploratory market survey. In this case, the company researcher may wish to carry out these interviews personally as a briefing background to acquire greater insight into the market being studied.

Some industrial organizations use sales personnel to carry out research interviews, but there are dangers in doing this. The first is that sales personnel are rarely sufficiently objective to make good researchers. The second is that although the use of sales personnel makes the research appear very cheap, once the opportunity cost of lost selling time has been costed into the procedure, the specialist industrial marketing research interviewers appear to be a more economical and effective means of gathering the required information.

Some research organizations specialize in industrial marketing research, and these carry teams of industrial interviewers who are generally more qualified than consumer research interviewers and better able to obtain co-operation from industrial respondents. For certain technical enquiries it may be necessary for interviewers to have particular specialist background qualifications, and these personnel are often available from specialist industrial research organizations. When this is not the case, a more comprehensive briefing should be given to interviewers than would be usual in consumer research surveys.


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