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 mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), financial planning, annuities or financial services or Fintech (short for financial technology).
Search the recommended databases by keywords and drilling down through categories.
Don't forget to use the Bloomberg Terminals in the Finance Lab and Falvey Library
U.S. and global industry market research reports.
Authorized users (on and off campus) limited to current Villanova students, faculty and staff. Mintel's published market research has been helping leading businesses achieve their goals for over 30 years. As a globally recognised market analyst, Mintel produces hundreds of reports into European, UK-specific and US consumer markets every year. Each report that Mintel publishes provides a unique overview of a market's dynamics and prospects, giving you the knowledge to devise informed and profitable marketing strategy. DO NOT USE IE6
Gartner Group Intraweb
Gartner is a leading information technology research provider. Gartner offers market statistics and forecasts for hardware, software, communications, IT services and semiconductors. Additionally there are reports and case studies by IT topic and by industry. Subscription courtesy of Villanova UNIT. Authorized users (on and off campus) limited to current Villanova students, faculty and staff.
NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's, Capital IQ)
Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage is a comprehensive, professional source of proprietary analysis on industry trends, corporate activities, and investments. For non-business students, the service includes a Financial Education section with tools for understanding personal finance.
Provides marketing reports for many industries and demographic reports on a variety of age groups. Documents are formatted as Adobe Acrobat or PowerPoint files. Licensed for academic uses only. May not be used for commercial uses.
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 may want to focus on the competitors identified in the Vanguard case including Fidelity, Schwab and Blackrock.
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.
Just as you updated industry reports with news, do so for the competitor analysis.
MarketLine Company Profiles
Recently rebranded from Datamonitor to MarketLine company reports cover both U.S. and foreign companies in a wide range of industries. Typically reports are 15-20 pages and provide a description of the business, company history, key personnel, products and services and competitors. Datamonitor industry reports are available from ReferenceUSA and OneSource
D&B Global Business Browser (formerly Onesource/Avention)
Offers public and private company profiles and screener, industry market research reports from Marketline, Freedonia, Euromonitor and RMA updated with recent news, executive profiles and analyst reports.
Morningstar Investment Research Center
Best known for performance and financial data on mutual funds, Morningstar Investment Research Center is also a great source for company data and analyst reports.
Provides 15 years of detailed financial statements for international and U.S. companies. Enables customized viewing and output to retrieve company reports and financials into software applications such as Word, Excel or Adobe, and enables accurate cross-border searches using a variety of financial and text variables. Also provides access industry and country profiles. LIMITED TO 4 SIMULTANEOUS USERS.
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.
AlexaRankViz Web site visits in context.
AppAnnie Register for download counts, reviews, ranks, ratings on apps
Social Bakers Get Facebook and Twitter statistics
Quantcast Web site traffic reports
Similar Web Web site and mobile app traffic
AdForum See creative content for advertising across multiple media
Ads of the World See creative content for advertising across multiple media
America's Greatest Brands Profiles of iconic brands
Interbrand Best brand reports
ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)
The most comprehensive ABI/INFORM™ database, this comprises ABI/INFORM Global, ABI/INFORM Trade and Industry, and ABI/INFORM Dateline. The database features thousands of full-text journals, dissertations, working papers, key business and economics periodicals, country-and industry-focused reports.
Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
Business Source Premier is a full-text, scholarly and trade article database covering a wide range of topics including management, marketing, accounting, finance, economics, international business, operations management and management information systems.
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 millennials.
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 email@example.com for access) offers demographic data and a proprietary market segmentation scheme called Tapestry.
Here are some relevant surveys:
Bankrate Moneypulse Survey
TD Ameritrade Millennials and Money Research
AICPA & Ad Council Survey
PWC Millennials and Financial Literacy
Pew Research Center
"The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does so by conducting public opinion polling and social science research; by reporting news and analyzing news coverage; and by holding forums and briefings. It does not take positions on policy issues."
MRI University Internet Reporter
ESRI Business Analyst Online
MRI University Internet Reporter is a platform for the results of a national consumer survey useful for gaining insights into target markets and their media usage. Only currently enrolled faculty, students and staff may use this resource for academic research and teaching. Commercial use of this data is not permitted.
Registration with a Villanova email address is required. Follow these registration instructions
Business, consumer and marketplace geographic analysis tool. Access courtesy of the Department of Geography & the Environment. For username & password contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for an email from ArcGIS Notification to confirm the invitation (check your junk folder as it may land there). Account administration may take up to 3 days.
Ad$pender is a tool for generating reports on advertising expenditures across twelve media 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
News, reports and statistics about the advertising industry. For off campus access follow these instructions.Catalog at FalveyKeyword
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
. 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 CampaignsWARC
Case studies, news and data on global marketing and advertising.e-Marketer
e-Marketer is an international aggregator of data and reports on digital marketing from over 4000 sources. Access reports, data and news about media usage, social media, mobile, digital advertising, e-commerce, e-mail marketing, and search across a wide range of industries.