Category Analysis

Bring yourself up to speed by starting with a market or industry report.  These secondary research tools define categories (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.

For this project you may need to search mutual funds, open ended investment funds, investment advisors, securities brokerage, retail savings & investment or portfolio management.



  NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's Capital IQ)

  D&B Hoovers

  Morningstar Investment Research Center

Trade Associations

Investment Company Institute

Securities Industry and Financial Market Association

Investment Advisor Association

Customer Analysis

Market research reports are rich sources for understanding consumer behavior around product categories.  Mintel and are particularly useful for understanding target customers such as Millennials also sometimes called Generation Y or Gen Y

MRI University Reporter Conducts a national consumer survey that provides reliable demographic and media consumption attributes for consumers of a wide range of consumer products and services.

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 for access) offers demographic data and a proprietary market segmentation scheme called Tapestry.

You may find some very interesting results by googling.  Be discriminating about using reports that don't source data presented.  Whenever appropriate seek out underlying source data.  See Business Sources:  How to Evaluate Them

  Mintel Insights & Analytics  Limitations on Use
Market research reports on Millennials and investors Academic  Limitations on Use
Find Packaged Facts reports on Millennials, underbanked consumers.

  Pew Research Center
This social science research organization does reliable, high quality studies on generational attitudes and behaviors.

  ESRI Business Analyst Online  Tutorial  Access Instructions
Provides geographic analysis tools. Includes demographic, consumer spending, and business data.
Access courtesy of the Department of Geography & the Environment.

  MRI University Internet Reporter

  Data-Planet (Sage)
Find statistics from the Census and American Community Surveys or such other data as personal savings rates from the Federal Reserve.

  ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)
Search for studies about Millennials and saving or investing behaviors and attitudes

  Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
Search for studies about Millennials attitudes and behavior related to saving and investing.

Vetted Studies on Millennials

The Millennial:  Now Streaming:  The Millennials Jouney from Saving to Retirement

Sustainable Investing:  The Millennial Investor

Getting to Know Gen-X and Millennial Investors

Think You Know the Next Gen Investor?

Marketing Plan

Crafting an integrated marketing plan is primarily a creative project.  Nonetheless, 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 rigorous research on marketing topics in books and articles discoverable in the following databases

A database of research and case studies devoted to marketing

Collection of data and reports on all thinks emarketing.

  Falvey Library Catalog (Books & Media)
Find practice book on marketing techniques

  Advertising Age

  ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)
Best bet for research and news on business topics

  Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
Top pick for business research and news

Competitor Analysis

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 provides 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.  Don't neglect looking over 10K's or annual reports for public companies.  Note that reports and data on private companies my be sparse, so you may need to place greater reliance on news and analysis of their web sites.  Company profiles for private label competitors will focus on the firms primary business.

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

Of course much of your competitor analysis will rest on your teams assessment of competitor offerings via their web and social media presence.

Assets Under Managment (AUM) is a benchmark commonly used to compare investment managment and mutual fund companies.  This file sourced from Morningstar offers the trend in AUM for families of funds from 2014-2016.

  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.

  MarketLine Company Profiles (EBSCO)
Search by name to find 15-20 page company profiles

  D&B Hoovers
Search by name to find company overviews with links to news, SWOT analysis, and strategic initiatives