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Competitive Effectiveness Spring 2017 Vanguard

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.

For this project you may need to search mutual funds, investment advisors, brokerage or 529 investment managers or college savings vehicles.

Saving for College and Section 529 Plans

College Savings Plans Network

529 Distribution Analysis 2015

College Savings Foundation

Inside 529: the Ascensus College Savings Plan Report

An Analysis of Section 529 College Savings and Prepaid Plans

 

  IBIS World

  D&B Global Business Browser (formerly Onesource/Avention)

  NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's, Capital IQ)

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 should 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.

 

Morninstar 2014 529 Ratings

  Morningstar Investment Research Center
To find 529 funds, use the Funds Screen and search by fund name keywords 529 or college.Articles & Videos tab has a collection on 529s. Portfolio tab, has college calculator and ratings.

  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.

  Saving for College 529 rankings

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 parents, grandparents and children saving for college.

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.

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

  MRI University Internet Reporter
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

  ESRI Business Analyst Online
Business, consumer and marketplace geographic analysis tool.  Access courtesy of the Department of Geography & the Environment.  For username & password contact linda.hauck@villanova.edu.  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.

  American FactFinder
Census data on demography and income

  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.

  ERIC (EBSCO)
The ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to educational-related literature. It indexes both journal articles and reports from government and private agencies.

  PsycINFO (ProQuest)
Indexes journals, dissertations and some books in the fields of personality psychology, social psychology, educational psychology and more.
Practice advanced search features with the interactive PsycINFO Tutorial.

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$pender
Ad$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 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
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.

lhauck Linda Hauck
Business Librarian
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Falvey Library, Room 222
610-519-8744


Appointment with Linda

Related Guides

Citing Business Sources Using APA

Advertising

ESRI Business Analyst Online

Business Sources:  How to Evaluate Them

MRI University Internet Reporter


 


Last Modified: 2017-08-31 17:10:49