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The UK Industrial Lighting Market

The 21st century customer journeys ….

are incredibly complicated and rarely, if ever, direct. Moreover, b2b customer journeys continue to evolve with b2c influences becoming more important. Increasingly, b2b buyers are behaving and expecting to be treated more like their b2c counterparts.

So, the new way of working means decision makers drop into, (and out of) your brand ecosystem in unique and unexpected ways. As a result, it’s vital to demonstrate a clear understanding of their needs from the first contact.

The UK Commercial Lighting Sector..

Consequently, to develop the most effective marketing communications we need to understand the buyers’ needs, wants, and objectives. Within the UK commercial lighting sector, we have looked at the responsibility of each decision maker (RACI – Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed). We have also delved deeper into the needs of each decision maker, and formalised the factors that will influence each buying decision along the way.

Furthermore, these differ for private and public sector projects. Both areas have different requirements with the perceived value of form, function and fit differing between the two.

Buying Factors..

Private ownership means the requirement for specific projects varies more readily.  Initial investment is always a factor but, for architectural installations in particular, the aesthetic of the luminaire can be a key feature.  For more industrial applications it might include light distribution, lifetime value, construction materials or sustainability.

In contrast, public sector lighting projects are primarily concerned with function and fit. We’re looking for low-cost units that will meet the required standards and provide lifetime energy savings. Purchasing for large projects is completed through a tender process whilst smaller projects (<£100,000) can often be awarded based on supplier relationships alone.


The Decision-Making Unit (DMU) can be made up of several people. Adopting an RACI approach – Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed – can provide a simple way to determine the decision makers and their level of influence.


  • The people or stakeholders who do the work.
  • They complete the task or objective or make the decision.
  • Several people can be jointly responsible.


  • The person or stakeholder who is the “owner” of the work.
  • He or she must sign off or approve when the task, objective or decision is complete.
  • This person must make sure that responsibilities are assigned in the matrix for all related activities.
  • Success requires that there is only one person accountable, which means that “the buck stops here.” In reality, not always possible.


  • Those people or stakeholders who need to give input before the work can be done and signed-off on.
  • These people are “in the loop” and active participants. Key to this is “where the line is drawn” – who is involved and who is not.


  • Those people or stakeholders who need to be kept “in the picture.”
  • They need updates on progress or decisions, but they do not need to be formally consulted, nor do they contribute directly to the task or decision.

Decision Making Unit – Responsible, Accountable, Consult, Inform

  Lighting Designer Electrical Consultant Specifier Facilities Manager
Product Selection R A   C
Recommendation   A R  
Purchase C A I  
Installation C R I C
Lifetime Value   R   C
MRO   I   R


Of course, this is a generalisation. Different businesses, and individuals will operate differently but there is still value in taking steps towards building b2b personas.


The DMU Player Personas:

The Lighting Designer


“I’m a Lighting Designer, so I’m primarily interested in visualising the ‘scenario’. Photometry data that works with e.g. CalcuLuX is my primary concern. Image galleries and case studies can help me picture the end result

Firstly, I’m a visual thinker, social, action orientated and fast-paced. I have a sense of urgency. So I’m looking for ease of use, but I will be loyal, once I trust the product. I want to make this happen”

I’m looking for photometry data, but I want to download it. So, show me a gallery of what I can expect and the proof of your own expertise with case studies.

The Electrical Consultant

‘I’m an Electrical Consultant. I’m mainly interested in detailed specifications which I can include in my technical submissions. Detailed case studies really help me build confidence that you and your products can deliver.

I’m practical, down to earth, logical, and methodical. I love to plan, and I love the detail. But I’m risk averse even though I still love the cool stuff. But, my real focus is how can I mitigate project risk?

So I really want to see technical specifications and case studies and I want to be able to download product details and be able to compare products.”

I may get in touch for part numbers, specification data, and to understand availability or to query technical capability.”

The Specifier

I’m a Specifier, I’m looking to compare products easily. Specifically, I’m looking for products that match or beat the performance & legal requirements for the scenario. 90% of the time, my main focus will be price.

I’m a logical, methodical, information-seeker. I am the gate-keeper – and my focus is “Can we get this cheaper?”

I want to be able to compare products, download product details and view technical specifications quickly and easily. If I get in touch, it will be to request pricing”

Facilities Manager

I’m a Facilities Manage so lighting is just one thing I have to look after. It’s not my speciality. Case studies help me identify products that could work for me, but I’ll need some help too. Price is a factor, but I have other considerations like MRO (maintenance, repair, operations) costs, service, and support too.

So, I’m practical, logical, capable and methodical – but I will actively seek help. My main driver is how can we get this done?

You can help me with free lighting design, a product overview and technical specifications. I may call to discuss the project, request additional support or to reaffirm decisions. I’m looking to identify the right products, to discuss price & availability, and review MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Operation) costs.

The Municipal Lighting Market..

In the municipal street lighting market, there are three primary decision makers but there will also frequently be publicly accountable bodies, regulators or consumer panels.

The Council/Client

I’m a client and funding is my main concern, especially for large capital expenditure. So I’m looking for ways to support my business case so I can secure funding. Style is less of a concern – I’m more concerned with meeting the legal requirements.


“I’m a contractor and I work on government funded projects. Low purchase costs and fast installation help me stay competitive and win bids. I’m looking for a supplier that can deliver on time & on quality. Where problems occur, I want a fast replacement, not a fix.”

Consultant / Designer

“I’m a consultant.  Clients employ me for peace of mind and I’m looking to deliver the best solution for their needs.  I see myself as an expert in my field and part of a specialist team.  I need detailed technical information so I can support Use Cases and prove payback projections.”

Highways England

“Road safety is our main concern, and we’re risk averse. Every second on site puts the team and road users at risk so if there’s a way to reduce the risk, I’m listening.

Every buying decision is reliant on a combination of factors from the physical specification to the perceived value of the luminaires. So, we want to know how soon the work can be completed. What are the physical properties of the luminaire? How good is the unit at delivering lighting that meets the required scenario?

How much is the Lifetime Value? What are the overall costs of committing to a business, it’s products and ongoing MRO (including power consumption)?

How much is the initial investment?

What about the comparison of products for sustainability? The materials used, their upgradability and the eco-credentials of the units.

How well can you address this market? Have you considered all the players? Does your prospecting recognise the various influencers and decision-makers?

How well are you tracking the development of their perceptions? …and are you tailoring communications accordingly?


Let’s talk and really understand your sector, your strategy and your prospects

If you want to make waves in your own sector, then please get in touch. Eight thousand projects in twelve years means we’re experts when it comes to B2B marketing. Our main aim is to provide creative, intuitive and innovative marketing solutions for your business, which is why our services include lead generation, website development, content creation and much, much more.

To find out more, contact us today. You can find us at our Northampton Head Office at The East Wing, Burlington House, Wellingborough Road, Northampton NN1 4EU, call us on 01604 239 837 or email us at

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