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.
Investment Company Institute (ICI)
NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's Capital IQ)
First Research Industry Profiles (ABI/Inform Collection - ProQuest)
Update industry reports by browsing and searching trade journals and association web sites. These sources discuss latest trends, news about regulatory developments and hot topics.
General business article databases such as ABI Inform and Business Source Premier bring together relevant articles from a wide range of trade journals.ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)
Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
The first step in the competitor analysis is to choose relevant competitors. The industry reports, news you've gathered in the category analysis and the case itself should provide insight into firms competing in your defined market.
Once you have identified potential competitors reading company profiles and reports (see the list of databases below) will be helpful.
Of course your'll scour your competitors web sites, but don't neglect looking over 10K's or annual reports for public companies.
Note that reports and data on private companies may be sparse, so you may need to rely on news and an analysis of their web sites.
Just as you updated industry reports with news, do so for the competitor analysis.
D&B Global Business Browser
Morningstar Investment Research Center
MarketLine Company Profiles (EBSCO)
Market research reports are rich sources for understanding consumer behavior around product categories. Mintel and Marketresearch.com are particularly useful for understanding target customers be they parents or millennials or affluent consumers.
Surveys of consumer sentiment or attitudes or behaviors conducted by third parties may inform you customer analysis.
Customer analysis begins with estimating the number and possibly location of potential customers. Look to demographic data from the Census or other statistical sources.
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 is typically reliable.
You may find some very interesting results by googling. Be discriminating about using reports that don't source data presented. See Business Sources: How to Evaluate ThemAmerican FactFinder
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.
ESRI Business Analyst Online
For username & password contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for an email from ArcGIS Notification to confirm the invitation (check your junk folder). Account administration may take up to 3 days.
Access courtesy of the Department of Geography & the Environment.
MarketResearch.com Academic Limitations on Use
Limitations on Use:
Licensed for academic uses only. May not be used for commercial uses.
Mintel Reports Limitations on Use
Limitations on Use:
Authorized users (on and off campus) limited to current Villanova students, faculty and staff.
An interactive PsycINFO Tutorial allows students to learn and practice advanced search techniques.
Simmons OneView Limitations on Use
Simmons instructions includes tips and videos on how to search this database.
Limitations on Use:
Services shall NOT be used for commercial purposes, consulting, or outside research projects
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 databasesAd$pender (Kantar Media)
Falvey Book Search