We interview Damian Brooks, Application Specific Research Specialist at Elec-Rep.
1. ASR is consistently one of the best ways of gathering and using market intelligence. How does this help you support your Principals?
A – ASR is an ever changing quarterly activity, so I see this as added support to our principals. Our principals are encouraged to supply us with a particular product and an application in which they would see this product fitting into well. ASR for me, gives our principals added value to what we already do. Our extensive experience and market knowledge helps us identify potential new customers, thus increasing our principals client portfolio.
2. ASR can be done through desk research, phone calls, emails and social media. What do you find works most effectively?
A – I wouldn’t say that any of these work more effectively than another. You need a good mix of all these to make ASR successful. In my experience, there is a natural structure to ASR. For example, it would be extremely unlikely that you would get the chance to send an e-mail to the most appropriate contact, without undertaking desk research, making a telephone call, and using social media if required.
3. Without ASR would it be possible to support Principals?
A – Yes, it is our job to promote our principals products and we would therefore still be able to do this without ASR. However, ASR is a very focused activity that just might un-earth that gem of a client, that we might not have discovered without it!
4. What trends are you seeing as you speak and connect with your networks and distribution channels?
A – In my opinion, I am finding more and more companies these days have a “no names” policy and automated telephone systems. The days of the company telephone being answered and being put through almost without question, seem to be gone unfortunately! This means we need to be clever in our approach. The general trends come with the natural pressure that we all experience in life – parts are needed quickly, they need to be less expensive than they were and there is always another company out there that will promise better pricing. However, I would always advise caution when simply choosing a product that is “cheaper”.
5. ASR could be something a manufacturer does themselves. How does a specialist organisation do it better and where would a company like Elec-Rep add value in this process?
A – Yes, I suppose they could, but our database has over 25 years worth of company and contact information. This database is regularly updated and added to. We have extensive experience and knowledge. We are always learning and we share good and bad experiences. I suppose I would liken it to one of my personal experiences . . . years ago, a friend of mine said that she would cut my hair for me. I agreed, and afterwards deeply regretted this decision. The next day, I had to go to the hairdressers to get it cut properly. The obvious message here – leave it to the experts!!
6. What advice would you give to a young Damian Brooks, starting out in this role?
Be patient! Expect the un-expected. Give people as much help as you possibly can and above all, expect to receive many more no’s than you get yes’s!!
For more information and to discuss your application specific research needs please contact Kevin White.