In addition to conducting bespoke market research for the built environment we have published a range of reports on subjects of importance to building product marketers including communications channels, decision makers and influencers, CPD requirements and product selection. Our popular Personas provide a handy consolidation of this information. See the dedicated section on our Knowledge Hub which contains articles and reports to help you.

Our construction research expertise includes:

  • Industry Reports
  • Omnibus Surveys
  • Customer Satisfaction Measurements
  • Customer Perceptions
  • Brand Recognition and Loyalty
  • Personas and Customer Profiling
  • Market Feedback and Evaluation
  • Pre-launch Feasibility Research for Construction Products
  • Mystery Shopper
  • Focus Groups

Why conduct construction research?

The construction industry is responsible for 9% of UK GDP and has a complex Decision Making Unit (DMU), hence representing a marketing challenge, and as the government encourages initiatives such as sustainability and BIM the dynamics are set to change.
For the construction sales and marketing professional this poses challenges:

  • Which are the best methods for communicating with Architects and Engineers?
  • Will Architects and Engineers specify my products and if so, how?
  • What is the influence of BIM on product specification?
  • How great is the impact of sustainability on product specification?
  • How do my building products rate against my competitors?
  • What do my customers truly think?

Our sales and marketing tools available to help you:

Market Research

Measuring perception gives an indication of what specifiers like about your construction organisation, what they do not like and, of equal importance, their areas of ignorance. The construction market’s perception of a company has an impact on its performance and shareholder value. It will also impact on what people are prepared to pay for its construction products and services. These perceptions are based on how the company performs and its communication with the construction market.

Omnibus Survey

Our omnibus surveys contact key decision maker groups in construction such as Building Services Engineers, Architects, Housebuilders or Facilities Managers over a pre-set time frame. An ‘omnibus subscriber’ can ask just one question and responses to that question remain confidential to that subscriber. You receive analysis of the response to your question/s and a listing of the replies, although respondents remain anonymous. This method allows for market information for a number of clients to be collected during the same interview, providing a low-cost solution to researching construction markets.

Customer Satisfaction Measurements

Every building product manufacturer needs to understand the drivers for construction product selection. Customer satisfaction surveys give insight into how to improve your business process and allows you to track trends in construction needs. This puts you in a strong position to retain valued construction customers and gain repeat sales. The best way to find out if your customers are happy is to ask them by conducting regular construction market research.

Customer Perceptions

Struggling with tight deadlines? Explore our knowledge hub for downloadable reports. Easily pay online, or opt for invoicing. We identify knowledge gaps through client conversations and, if there’s demand, research and publish reports. Our updated reports are valuable tools for marketing managers. Have a topic in mind? Share it with us for consideration!

Brand Recognition and Loyalty

Competitive Advantage has developed a Brand Strength Analysis process for construction markets. This process uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) concept and can be applied to either measure construction specifiers’ loyalty to a brand or to measure trade loyalty to brand when purchasing a product. By repeating regular brand strength analysis you can track performance, comparing it against communication initiatives, and gauge changes in attitude to your construction brand.

Personas and Customer Profiling

Although each construction sector will have some similar requirements they will also have unique needs. Profiling your construction customer base is an important part of managing customer relationships. Knowing your customer, their business and what is important to them in each construction sector allows you to tailor your construction marketing & communications strategy and manage the construction product sales process more effectively.

Market Feedback and Evaluation

Market feedback and evaluation is vital for informing your construction business strategy. Regular evaluation of the construction market provides you with a complete understanding of your marketplace and the construction sectors you operate in; giving insight into the key drivers, what the opportunities and challenges are and how things are evolving. Regular construction market evaluation also demonstrates how you are placed against your competitors, comparing strengths and weaknesses, including price. This market knowledge is vital for informing your specification strategy.

Pre-launch Feasibility Research for Construction Products

Research has an important part to play when developing building products. Construction market research is the foundation stone of any construction product launch. Researching construction markets helps avoid unnecessary risk and expense. And you can use survey findings to base product, price, place and promotional decisions on. Using real construction market intelligence is essential prior to launching a new construction product.


Competitive Advantage has developed a Perception Benchmarking process for construction markets. This process uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) concept to measure construction specifiers’ perceptions of important attributes of your construction product. These might be key performance criteria of your product, technical support available from your organisation, or criteria representing value for money.

By repeating regular perception analysis you can evaluate the return on investment from your marketing activity and track this against your competitors.

Mystery Shopper​

Conducting a mystery shopper survey will provide you with detailed insight into the way your construction products are sold. The mystery shopper can determine price levels in the construction market. It can provide practical examples your construction sales and marketing team can learn from and also arm them with information they can use in their negotiations with distributors or internal departments.

Focus Groups

In the construction sector, focus groups offer valuable insights for researching new products, assessing literature, and undergoing re-branding. These groups, facilitated in a less structured manner than traditional interviews, provide an ideal environment for testing opinions and discussing ideas with construction decision-makers. The relaxed setting encourages open discussions, allowing diverse opinions to emerge, while also providing a platform to address issues that might not arise in a structured interview format.

At Competitive Advantage we work through a check-list to determine the quota and size of sample. We balance this against the practical aspects to propose a sample size which is both representative, practical and affordable. We will then use Barbour ABI, an expert provider of construction market insights and intelligence, to identify respondents currently involved in relevant projects.

Competitive Advantage follow’s the procedures set out by the Information Commissioner’s Office to meet the General Data Protection Regulation and will delete from our records all contact data provided by you, 6 weeks after project completion. We conduct market research to meet the relevant requirements of international market research standard ISO 20252:2006. This defines processes which ensure best practice in the conducting and reporting of market research.

We also work with associate research companies in a number of other countries (who are also construction research specialists). This gives us the capability to conduct international projects.

And if your research identifies a training requirement, or a need for strategy development we have the expertise to work with you on this. 

The benefits of working with us on construction market research

Competitive Advantage has been conducting construction market research since 2000. Our commercial experience of the construction industry means that as well as reporting market research findings, we interpret these effectively and make sound business recommendations.

We use a range of research methods, recommending the best option or combination to suit your project’s requirements, including focus groups, in-depth interviews, telephone interviews and online surveys.

Our in-house research team are experienced at interviewing construction industry decision makers: architects, engineers, project managers, estimators, large & small contractors, sub-contractors, distributors, wholesalers and merchants. We conduct independent validation of 5% of telephone interviews in line with the Interviewer Quality Control Scheme to ensure the accuracy of recorded responses.