A little like Big Brother

Strategic market research is extremely important for expanding business at Symrise. Heike Werner is a market research expert and researches data and information on country markets and competitors.

What is strategic market research? Its main task is to continuously mon­itor the relevant market and its changes. This subarea is also known as market intelligence. And I create competitive analyses from the in­formation collected. This subarea is known as competitive intelligence. What information is collected for these two sub-disciplines? In market intelligence, for example, information on market size and market growth is collected. However, this is not only a divi­sional analysis, i.e., a consideration of the sub-markets for Flavor, Nutrition and Scent & Care, but also a regional analysis. In com­petitive intelligence, information is collected and evaluated that provides detailed information about the activities of our com­petitors. Where can this information be found? This varies. In market analysis, we evaluate various reports on the relevant submarkets and calculate the overall market. For macro­economic data, we use the free services of, for example, the Inter­national Monetary Fund and the World Bank or the statistical year­books from individual countries. In competitor analysis, we first use in­formation from the publications of our competitors, such as quarterly and annual reports. But we also use a number of press databases.

What information and data is needed by whom and for what purpose? This also varies. In fact, strategic market research provides re­search services for all departments and regions at Symrise. Are there also individual requests for research? Yes, this actually happens every day. These can be inquiries about cus­tomers, product groups, but also indi­vidual products, raw materials, and industry and consumer trends. Very exciting. How time-consuming is the research, compilation and analysis of the data? It can take anywhere from a few minutes to several months. An inquiry about a product or a raw material can sometimes be an­swered in a very short amount of time. A complete market analy­sis with all segments, sub-segments and a country selection of at least 80 countries takes several weeks or even months, including the preparation of the corresponding presentations and detailed information.

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You can find the complete interview in the SymPortal in January.

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