Services: Liberty Labs calibrates antennas and other equipment used by laboratories involved with electromagnetic compatibility, electromagnetic interference or radio frequency testing.
Project Description: After a few customers asked if Liberty Labs could calibrate electrostatic discharge (ESD) guns, company president Michael Howard realized he wanted to explore the feasibility of providing ESD gun calibrations as a new service.
“We needed hard data on the size of the market opportunity before investing in new test instruments,” Howard said. “Richard Martin’s company is the only research firm I’ve met that really understands our business – electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing – so we turned to him.”
Lead generation efforts focused on low-hanging fruit – Liberty Labs’ existing customer base, because “we felt like those were sales we could close on right away,” Howard says.
Interviews were conducted with EMC test lab managers from 130 companies, including GE Medical, Eastman-Kodak, Lucent Technologies, Hewlett Packard, Browne & Sharpe, 3M, Chrysler, Storage Tek, Marquette Electronics and Underwriters Labs.
Research discovered that 80% of the customer base owned ESD guns, and a high percentage of them expressed strong interest in switching to Liberty Labs for their calibration work.
Results: “The research showed us the potential market just within our existing customer base, and we were able to extrapolate the data to draw some inferences about the overall market opportunity outside of our existing customers,” Howard says.
In addition, the study determined market share for ESD gun brands (KeyTek, Schaffner, Haefely-Trench, Compliance Design) and recommended optimum pricing and service delivery times for Liberty Labs to capitalize on the marketplace’s interest.
“Not only did the market research provide us with everything we needed to go after that new calibration segment,” Howard says, “It also built a strong business case that demonstrated the opportunity to our banker, so we could get the necessary financing for the technology investments we needed to make.”
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