Case study - A laboratory


The context

Our client is a commercial research laboratory that provides independent and impartial scientific research capabilities. Their research, using earth observation satellites, has created a unique way to measure and monitor physical processes within our oceans and seas in real time, and to build hindcast and forecast models to offer new ways to protect the environment. Our client wanted to test the commercial appetite for marine data products using the results of this research.

There are many sources for marine data products, both public and private. Our client’s data products complemented marine data products offered by other suppliers by adding additional value and enabling users to achieve far more. There are well-established channels to market for marine data and there are many data integrators who act as value-added resellers who develop solutions for specific markets.

Many of our client’s potential customers were small businesses so the costs of selling direct could limit the commercial viability of the product.

It was therefore important for our client to better understand existing channels and to develop a market entry strategy that would incentivise value-added resellers to add our client’s data products into their services to reach a wider audience faster and cheaper than they could do it themselves through a direct sales model.

Client objectives

Size and scope the market opportunities for the new range of unique marine data products, identify any potential competitors and refine their product propositions.

The market intelligence problem

The challenge was to identify potential customers for a new type of data product, establish its benefits and potential value to those customers, and identify any competitive threats or barriers to market entry.

There were no existing sources of market intelligence. Current alternative solutions had to be identified, and their strengths and weaknesses assessed to understand what would be required for the new data products to displace them.

The Marketvista Dataset and Research

The Marketvista Dataset and Research was delivered to the Laboratory Manager and the Marketing Manager. The dataset was delivered via our Marketvista Portal to enable them to continue using and analysing the data long after its delivery. An executive report, a market sizing model and a detailed benefits map were also provided to support the continued development of the product line.

The intelligence we delivered:

  • Established and validated the strongest benefits to each customer group
  • Identified and prioritised global markets, profiled selected competitors and identified channels to market for our client’s marine data product
  • Identified prospects within the priority markets for our client that met their target revenue criteria
  • Profiled 5 potential value-added resellers that would enable our client to enter the market quickly
  • Identified market entry risks specific to their product

Overcoming the market intelligence problem

Detailed primary research

We conducted deep desk research into the potential applications for the marine data product to determine potential markets, customers, competitors and product substitutes and evidence of potential demand.

This was validated through primary research, with outbound qualitative interviews conducted with the main channels to market for complementary marine data products and targeted research among the largest end-user groups.

Analysis and modelling

This enabled us to deliver the following to our client:

  • A model to estimate potential revenue streams using a range of input variables and sensitivities derived from the Marketvista Datasets and Research
  • Evidence of existing price points and pricing models for the three main end-use groups (recreational, commercial and enterprise)
  • A detailed benefits map linked to end-use application that could be used to develop product marketing material

Foundation Dataset

A foundation of data was extracted from the extensive knowledge base on the marine and maritime sectors.  Built from thousands of sources giving intelligence on:

  • Organisations identified as offering similar or complementary products or services categorised by sector, proposition and channel to market
  • Details of the products and services offered by competitor organisations and the market sector they target, including pricing information
  • Details on other research laboratories or institutes that offer a commercial service, their location and range of services offered

Simplified benefits diagram

Additional value

The research identified a range of innovative applications for the new marine data product and sized and scoped the market opportunities for each of them. For those that presented enough opportunity the product propositions were refined to more effectively compete with the alternative solutions in the markets.

The results went further, effectively delivering an up and running marketing and sales plan for the new data products

Designed and produced marketing material

As the research progressed, we developed and produce proposition marketing material to test the key messages and features.

Defined and tested the buying process and marketing collateral

We identified the target customers, the typical key stakeholders in the buying process and the steps they thought would be needed for them to buy the product (the customer journey).  This included a clear and concise product brochure, an online graphical demonstrator, samples of the data and a final demonstration of our client’s data products through a proto-type portal.  These were all developed in conjunction with the client, tested and then refined through the research.

Delivered new sales leads

We supplied details of the target customers that we had identified in the research for loading into the client's CRM system.

Some of the organisations that we approached through the primary research expressed an interest in the data products and asked to be contacted by the client to discuss buying the product.


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