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Competitive Effectiveness: Vanguard Spring 2014

Category Analysis

Read industry or market research reports to become grounded in the business issues and economic environment faced by amusement and theme parks.  Learn about the catagory trends

Update the catagory analysis by searching general business news databases for the subjects, phases and keywords:  financial services, financial advice, retirement planning, mutual funds, financial planners, investment advisors.

Here are a few rankings to get you started...

 Category Analysis: Investment Management

  IBIS World

  Investment Company Institute (ICI)

  Mintel Reports

  NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's, Capital IQ)

  Security Industry and Financial Markets Association

  Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA)


 General Business News Databases

  Business Source Premier (EBSCO)

  ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)

  Business Regional News (Ebscohost)

  Philadelphia Business Journal (American City Business Journals)

  Lexis Nexis Academic

Competitor Analysis

The first step in the competitor analysis is to choose relevant competitors.  The industry reports and news you've accessed in the catagory analysis should provide insight into firms competing in your defined market.  You can also use company screeners but they tend to focus only on publically 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 will be helpful.  Don't neglect looking over 10K's or annual reports for public companies. 

Just as you updated industry reports by searching general busines news, do so for the competitor analysis.

Competitor Analysis: OTC Pharmaceuticals

  Global New Products Database (Mintel)

  MarketLine Company Profiles

  Mergent Online


Customer Analysis

Once you have defined your target market the following tools may be used to gather demographic, geographic and behavioral information about it.

Social research organizations (for example PewResearch.com) and other marketers often publish facts and observations about target markets.  Before you use these sources, check out their reputation, quality and credibility.  For help with this task or suggestions on reliable sources contact linda.hauck@villanova.edu

Market research reports usually discuss the target demographics often have reports on marketing to particular demographic or lifestyle groups.

 Customer Analysis



  Mintel Reports

  Social Explorer


  ESRI Business Analyst Online

Marketing Plan

Crafting an 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


  Business Source Premier (EBSCO)

  ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)

  Catalog at Falvey

  Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Strategies

  Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns

  Direct Marketing Association Statistical Fact Book

Brand Analysis

Much of the qualitative assessment of the brand will come from searching the trade news sources.

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. 

Market research reports usually provide data on brand share.

Social Bakers Get analytics on facebook, YouTube & Twitter presence by brand

Alexa Get web analytics

Quantcast Get web analytics

SimilarWeb Get web analytics

Ad$Summary Find out how much brands spend by media

MarketShare Reporter  Short cut to market share reported in various publications

Business Ranking Annual Short cut to business rankings reported in various publications

Trend Tips

This is a list of few sources that can be used to identify trends relevant to personal investing advice.

Federal Reserve Consumer Credit G19

Federal Reserve St. Louis Personal Saving Rate

MetLife Mature Market Institute

Gallup Polls (search retire or retirement)

Trendwatching.org (search for retirement or investing or financial)

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

Related Guides

Citing Business Sources Using APA


MRI+ Search Tips

ESRI Business Analyst Online


Last Modified: Friday, January 9th, 2015