This month we spoke to Laura Pardoe, Product Manager at AMA Research. Laura has been with AMA Research for just over a year, and plays a massive role in the research and creation of the most in-depth reporting across the entire construction industry. Laura gives some great tips on how to decide upon what type of AMA reporting may be best to give your business the deepest insight into construction research that will set you apart from your competitors.
Hi Laura, can you give us a quick overview of who you are and your role at AMA Research?
I’m the Product Manager for AMA Research and have been in this role for just over year. I look after all of the output for AMA, so whether that is the bespoke research that we do or the off-the-shelf reports. I manage the Research team of analysts, researchers, interviewers, writers and editors for AMA who produce our library of market reports and conduct bespoke research work for clients. We are a small-ish, but perfectly formed team at AMA!
We have a deep understanding of the variances between different products, sectors and markets across the construction industry to give us the knowledge that feeds into our reporting.
After being established in 1989, AMA Research has been a part of the Barbour ABI family for around 4 years now. What are the main benefits for AMA as a business, and for its customers, being part of the Barbour ABI family?
AMA Research and Barbour ABI are natural partners, working with the same businesses but in different ways, so together we provide an end-to-end solution. AMA is here to provide strategic support in sizing and understanding markets, forecasting growth opportunities, and the competitive situation.
Once the strategy is clear, Barbour can provide tactical leads that enable plans to be put into action. This often means there will be different people from within the same business talking to either AMA or to Barbour, but we can help join things together to ensure marketing/forecasting plans create sales delivery.
For AMA Research, the benefits of being part of Barbour ABI include the direct access we have to planning and project data to feed into our market analyses, as well as the ability to work with Barbour ABI customers. Some individuals have a role that straddles both companies, such as Tom Hall, our Chief Economist. This means we have a shared, consistent perspective on activity across the different construction sectors which in turn helps present a clear picture of the markets in both long-term strategic and short-term tactical points of view for customers to plan their activity.
How is the AMA Research product offering evolving, and what further changes do you envision in the coming future?
As we’ve been actively researching so many market areas for so many years, there’s a vast amount of data and information in the AMA Research systems, and it keeps growing. So, our challenge is to make this available in the most accessible form possible.
We’ve been doing a lot of work over the past year or so to understand how our customers want to receive and use information and are now building the tools to provide multi-layered market insights. This means whether you want to dip in to get a quick view on comparative market sizes, or key players; or whether you want a forecast view of future markets along with understanding what’s driving and influencing change; or if you need deep analysis of a specific part of the market, we’ll be able to get you to the information you need quickly and simply.
There are certain sectors that grow and change faster than others. Rather than sticking to a rigid schedule of updating all of our reports at the same interval, we’re investigating which reports perhaps need to be updated more frequently to match the fast-paced rate of change in these sectors, and therefore giving a more valuable product to those customers who require quicker updates on these sectors.
Can you discuss AMA’s bespoke research and what a customer can expect to receive if they enter the bespoke research process?
Our team of in house researchers are experts at delving into interesting corners of the construction market – we’re well practiced at the techniques for extrapolating hard-to-find data, analysing across sectors and talking to people in varied roles across the industry to understand the real situation. We love helping our clients problem solve and find the data that can inform and ground strategies, help make business cases, or rule possibilities in or out. We approach questions with interest and curiosity and are as keen to test and find the answers as our clients are.
My recommendation to clients would be to involve the bespoke team at AMA Research as soon as possible in your thinking. We can help guide and shape what’s possible in a research programme, to ensure we get the most important outputs as quickly and efficiently as possible. The more we’re able to put time into planning a well-structured piece of research, the more reliable the results will be. Having done this many times, in many different markets, we have the tool kit ready to assemble a bespoke research programme, and importantly, an extensive contact list of representatives across construction sectors and roles that we’re able to engage in surveys or interviews.
Typical research pieces that we carry out include market appraisals – to assess the size of a specific market, or its growth potential; competitive studies identifying key and new market players and their strategies and relative shares; brand positioning to understand market perceptions; tracking studies to build a view over time of how people think on specific issues; and strategic market analysis to hep weigh up potential or priorities.
The first step, if you’re interested in working with us, is to contact our Commissioned Research Manager, Michelle Turner. She’ll chat through your ideas, or review your brief – depending on how far down the line your thinking is so far – and then we can start shaping up the approach we’d take (what blend of desk research, analysis, telephone or online surveys, interviews or focus groups). We’d then be able to give you a ball park estimate on timings and costs and start pulling a team together to work on your project. We’re often working with clients over a period of two to three months from start to finish, but some projects are quicker, and some are ongoing pieces that we return to quarterly or annually. It’s the way to have insight expertise on your team, just when you need them.
Interested in Commissioned Research for your business?
Check out the AMA Research website for full details on how you can have a discussion with the team and get a free, no-obligation proposal detailing methodology, costs and estimated time frames.