Target Market

Who saves for college? What are the salient characteristics of South Carolinians including but not limited to the population of children approaching college age, higher education participation rates and income levels?

  Data-Planet (Sage)
Provides access to a wide variety of economic, social, and political indicators including data sets from the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the OECD, Eurostat, the United Nations, the world's stock exchanges, and Zillow. Offers customized graphing and mapping.

  SRDS Claritas (Kantar Media) Trial ends 3/4/18
Claritas Segmentation and Market Solutions is a data tool for understanding consumers based on Nielsen analytics. For access to Claritas Segmentation and Market Solutionsfollow these instructions

  MRI University Internet Reporter

  Survey of Consumer Finances
The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is a triennial survey of the balance sheet, pension, income, and other demographic characteristics of U.S. families. The survey also gathers information on the use of financial institutions. The links to the surveys provide summary results, codebooks and other documentation, and the publicly available data.

  American FactFinder
American FactFinder is a website used to distribute data collected by the United States Census Bureau.
It provides data for recent survey years for a range of geographies, including by Census tract, Zip Code Tabulation Area, Metropolitan Statistical Area, county, and state. American FactFinder is being replaced by, and as of July 1, 2019, all new data are being released to that platform. American FactFinder will be taken offline on March 31, 2020.

  Mintel Reports  Limitations on Use
Offers product and industry market research reports covering U.S. and international marketplaces. Each report combines data and analysis of the competitive landscape, supply chain, market-share size and trends, and consumer profiles.
[Details] Academic  Limitations on Use
Provides marketing reports for many industries and demographic reports on a variety of age groups. Documents are formatted as Adobe Acrobat or PowerPoint files.

Competitor Analysis

A competitor analysis for this project may involve not only identifying 529 plans but broadly understanding the debate and policies around college savings and finance.

An Introduction to 529 Plans (from the Securities & Exchange Commission)

Qualified Tuition Program (from the Internal Revenue Service)

Office of the South Carolina Treasurer College Savings Plans

An Analysis of Section 529 College Savings and Prepaid Tuition Plans

Financing the Dream:  Securing College Affordability For the Middle Class

  Morningstar Investment Research Center
Contains information on more than 30,000 stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. Provides independent analysis, industry information, stock charts, portfolio building tools, and web-based educational tutorials.

  Accounting & Tax Periodicals (ProQuest)

  Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
Provides access to a wide range of academic business journals and trade magazines. Topics include management, marketing, finance, economics, and management information systems. Full text access may be embargoed for up to three years. Coverage goes back to 1965.

  Education Full Text (EBSCO)
Indexes and abstracts journal articles, monographs, and yearbooks in the field of education. Provides full text access to selected education journals from 1994 to the present. Indexing goes back to 1983.

  Chronicle of Higher Education
Provides online access to current issues and archives back to 1989. Includes daily news, advice columns, current job listings, and discussion forums. The Chronicle is the leading weekly newspaper in higher education.

  ERIC (ProQuest)
Indexes and abstracts education journals, curriculum and teaching guides, conference papers, dissertations and theses, books, and Department of Education (ED) research reports. References for ED research reports often have links to the full text. Coverage goes back to 1966. The Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

  Education Administration Abstracts (EBSCO)
Indexes and abstracts journals in the fields of educational administration. Topics include educational leadership, educational management, and educational research. Coverage goes back to 1966.

SWOT Analysis

Start off by looking at a company report or profile SWOT analysis in Datamonitor or ReferenceUSA and dig deeper by searching business news in ABI/Inform and Business Source Premer.  Check out the guide to Company SWOT Analysis

  MarketLine Company Profiles (EBSCO)
Offers detailed reports on U.S. and foreign companies in a wide range of industries. These reports provide a description of the business, company history, key personnel, products, services, and competitors. MarketLine Industry Reports are available from the D&B Global Business Browser database.

Provides company reports and directory information for U.S. private and public companies. Also includes consumer marketing and directory information for U.S. individuals.

Plan the Advertising/Promotional Budget

SRDS Media Solutions Suite of directories for media planners within traditonal channels.

Ad$Summary  Reference work with historical ad spending by brand.

e-Marketer  Database bringing together statistics and reports on digital marketing.

Advertising Red Book Traditional directory of advertising agencies

MRI+ Advertising rates for consumer magazines only.


To craft effective advertising copy it may be helpful to consult writing manuals:

Gabay's Copywriters Compendium

Adweek Copywriting Handbook

Do some primary research to findout what messages resonante with your target market.

Handbook of Online Marketing Research

Handbook for Focus Group Research

Survey Research Methods

How to Conduct Surveys a Step by Step Guide

Focus Groups a Practical Guide for Applied Research

Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods

Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods

Get educated about marketing and advertising techniques that have worked for consumer finance and retail investment companies.

  Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns

  ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)
Provides access to scholarly journals, dissertations, working papers, key business and economics periodicals, and country- and industry-focused reports.