Category Analysis

Bring yourself up to speed by starting with a market or industry report.  These secondary research tools define catagories (sometimes not precisely as you would wish), estimate market size and growth potential, describe the competitive forces impacting the industry and identify key players. 

Don't forget to take advantage of the links to trade news and associations to learn about the most recent developments.

Relevant categories for this project might include packaged foods, fresh foods, snacks, convenience foods or sandwiches.  Relevant channel categories might include convenience stores, foodservice, vending or food markets.  What other categories might apply?

Search the recommended databases by keywords and drilling down through categories.

  Mintel Reports  Limitations on Use

  MarketResearch.com Academic  Limitations on Use

  Passport (Euromonitor International)  Limitations on Use

  IBISWorld
Provides access to U.S. and global industry market research reports.

Update Catagory Analysis

Once you have decided on a product and have relevant industry reports, you will need to get current information by searching trade & business news and by scoping out the trade assocaitons.  Market research reports often name important trade associations.  If you don't know the names of relevant trade associations, search the Encyclopedia of Associatons:  National


Here are a few that might have some relevant data and perspectives:

SNAC International

Food Marketing Institute

QSR Web

Convenience Store News

Competitor Analysis

The first step in the competitor analysis is to choose relevant competitors.  The industry reports and news you've accessed in the category analysis should provide insight into firms competing in your defined market. 

You can also use company screeners but they tend to focus only on publicly traded companies and may not offer the granularity you need about products and services as they typically focus on financial firm attributes. 

Once you have identified potential competitors reading company profiles and reports (see this of databases below) will be helpful.  Don't neglect looking over 10K's or annual reports for public companies. Passport Euromonitor has company profiles by business segment or category. 

Just as you updated industry reports with news, do so for the competitor analysis.

 Competitor Analysis Campbell

  Passport (Euromonitor International)  Limitations on Use

  Global New Products Database (Mintel)  Limitations on Use

  MarketLine Company Profiles (EBSCO)

  Mergent Online

  Morningstar Investment Research Center

  NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's, Capital IQ)

  OneSource

Brand Analysis

Much of the qualitative assessment of the brand will come from searching the trade news sources.  Of course the brand's web site social media presence and advertising are rich sources for inferring brand positioning.

You may also want to look at how the brands stack  up against each other in terms of advertising spending, consumer surveys and web metrics. 

Social Bakers Get analytics on facebook, YouTube & Twitter presence by brand

Alexa Get web analytics

AppAnnie Get app analytics

Quantcast Get web analytics

SimilarWeb Get web analytics

Ad$Summary Find out how much brands spend by media

MarketShare Reporter  Short cut to market share reported in various publications

Business Ranking Annual Short cut to business rankings reported in various publications

Interbrand Best Global Brands

America's Greatest Brands

Ads of the World

AdForum

Customer Analysis

Market research reports are rich sources for understanding consumer behavior around product categories.  Mintel and Marketresearch.com are particularly useful for understanding target customers such as foodies or mothers or gen x'ers.

MRI+ National Consumer Survey is not strong on psychographic data but it does provide reliable demographic and media consumption attributes for consumers. 

Scholarly research (discoverable through ABI Inform, Business Source Premier & PsycInfo)  on "consumer behavior" "consumer attitudes" purchasing or "decision making" may not always be timely but it is typically reliable. 

If you use market research found on the free web, do due diligence to make sure the research is high quality.  You can use some well recognized social science research organizations such as Pew as a model.

ESRI (contact linda.hauck@villanova.edu for access) offers demographic data and a proprietary market segmentation scheme called Tapestry.

 Customer Analysis Campbell

  ESRI Business Analyst Online

  Pew Research Center

  PsycINFO (ProQuest)

  eMarketer

Marketing Plan

Crafting an integrated marketing plan is primarily a creative project.  Nontheless, expect to be able to defend your marketing recommendations by referring to studies and cases evaluating similar techniques.  You can find "how to", practitioner advice and rigerous reseach on marketing topics in books and articles discoverable in the following databases

 Marketing Plan

Ad$pender (Kantar Media)
Creates custom reports on advertising expenditures across twelve media channels including TV, cable, magazines, newspapers, radio, outdoor and internet display on the level of industries, categories, brands, products and advertisers going back to 2007.

Advertising Age Datacenter (AdAge)
Features news, reports and statistics about the advertising industry. For off campus access follow these instructions.

Catalog at Falvey
Keyword and subject searches in the Library's catalog are good starting points when first exploring a topic. Search results can be narrowed with facets such as topic, era, language or region. Facets are located on the right hand side of the results screen.

Encyclopedia of Global Brands
Model articles that provide comprehensive brand analyses covering brand origin, elements, identity, strategy, equity & outlook.

Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns

WARC
Offers information on global advertising and marketing trends including case studies, articles, reports, opinion pieces, and expenditure data. (Previous title: World Advertising Research Center)

eMarketer
Offers data and reports related to digital marketing. Topics include advertising spending, digital marketing, social media, media usage, e-commerce, e-mail marketing, and device usage. Coverage is global.