Market research is information that helps you decide if you have a viable product or service (whether new or existing) and how you can sell it. It includes any and all information about companies and their products - including product reviews, launch plans, campaign strategies, company rankings, market size and share - that can identify new opportunities and influence existing plans. This is not just about what competitors and markets are doing. It is also about understanding markets and predicting how they will evolve and change.
Usually, market analysis includes extensive chart comparisons, analyst recommendations, income estimates, equity return calculations, risk profiles and an overall assessment as well as continuous monitoring and appraisal of ongoing developments. Market research is critical to funding decisions made by venture capitalists and other potential investors. The Internet is an excellent platform for doing market research, and many companies use it to research and develop market reports. Market research is about developing marketing strategies, anticipating changes and monitoring markets, identifying new sources of competitive advantage, helping sales staffs win new business and prioritizing research and development spending.
Market research is quite lucrative and most reputable research companies charge enormous prices for their work. You can assume that nothing in this field is even close to free. However, research companies often release their best, most interesting reports or portions thereof to the press to generate publicity. As a result, many of the most valuable market research reports are summarized in trade publications and general business publications online, and you can read these news articles in lieu of paying for the actual high-priced reports.
The U.S. federal government also has terrific free resources for marketing information. If you are looking for marketing statistics or demographic information about a city or community, the best starting point is the U.S. Census Bureau website. It is searchable by city, state, Zip Code, or industry. For outside the U.S., the U.S. Census also has a terrific site linking you to statistics in hundreds of other countries.
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) handles most of the key economic indicators for the U.S. Government. BLS focuses on labor, employment and those types of statistics, while BEA takes a more global, market-oriented perspective. Both sites have mountains of good information. Another valuable repository of federal data is STAT-USA. STAT-USA's statistics, based on the U.S. Census, cover most economic sectors, all the way down to the regional and community level. This data is critical to market research because it gives you demographic profiles of specific communities.
One good search strategy to find statistics is to list search terms in a string. If you are looking for energy statistics, you should try and string together words like energy, facts, and association or if that does not work, use words like statistics, FAQ, and numbers. In considering marketing information sources, ask yourself: who would care passionately about this information? Those with an interest or stake in the information you seek will be more likely to have the data.
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Note: This article was sent to us by: Kyle Sawyer at 09062010
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