value Proposition

The value propositon is a statement of the unique benefits the business will offer it's customers.  Primary research about the customers needs or problems and the offerings of alternative or competing offerings in the market will lead to mastery of the value proposition.

  • For help with primary customer research visit the Villanova Consumer Insights Lab
  • Consult books such as Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez for advice on how to understand your potential customers.  
  • Search for ebooks that cover how to conduct consumer surveys, focus groups, interviews and observational, ethnographic studies.
  • To learn about alternative or competing offers in the the marketplace, google as your potential customers might.  Then use business news databases, industry reports and company profiles to check out the competiton.
  ABI/INFORM Collection (ProQuest)
Provides access to scholarly journals, dissertations, working papers, key business and economics periodicals, and country- and industry-focused reports.

  Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
Provides access to a wide range of academic business journals and trade magazines. Topics include management, marketing, finance, economics, and management information systems. Full text access may be embargoed for up to three years. Coverage goes back to 1965.

  Factiva (Dow Jones)
Provides access to international, national and local news sources. Many different news media such as newspapers, magazines, wires, blogs and transcripts are aggregated in English and foreign languages. The content is current and archival. Industry, company and market profiles are also provided.

  Nexis Uni  Limitations on Use
Formerly known as LexisNexis Academic. Provides full text access to national and international newspaper and magazine articles and news transcripts, business, company, and industry information in the U.S. and abroad, and legal documents, including U.S. Federal and State court cases, and law reviews. Coverage varies.

  Books & Media

customer relationships

Articulating the customer relationship involves knowing how the business will serve and communicate with different customer segments.  The forms that customer relationships take are mediated by customer preferences and cost considerations.

One research approach is to search both the scholarly and business news.  For example, there is a robust academic  literature devoted to understanding the use of self check outs, user reviews and chatbots to name a few.  Use the databases listed below to discover the research.

  Scopus (Elsevier)
Provides citations and abstracts to peer-reviewed journals, books, and conference proceedings in all major disciplines. Provides information on citing and cited references for each article.

  Google Scholar
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Scholar search tips

  Web of Science (Clarivate)  Tutorial
Provides access to the Social Sciences Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded, Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Conference Proceeding Citation Index, Book Citation Index, Emerging Sources Citation Index, Current Chemical Reactions, and Index Chemicus. Search for scholarly articles in any discipline, or for articles that cite a known author or work. Coverage varies.

customer Segment

The customer segments are the different types of people or organizations that need your product or service.  They can be grouped by common attributes based on levels of profitability, how they are reached, why they need your product/ service,  or demographic and psychographic characteristics to name a few.  

Consumer Oriented

Products or services oriented to individuals will find consumer surveys and demographic data useful for customer segmentation.

  Catalyst MRI Simmons
Provides access to the results of a National Consumer Study (most recent studies embargoed) encompassing demographics, lifestyle statements, and consumer behaviors. Supports the creation of custom cross tabulations or quick reports.

  Mintel Insights & Analytics  Limitations on Use
Offers product and industry market research reports covering U.S. and international marketplaces. Each report combines data and analysis of the competitive landscape, supply chain, market-share size and trends, and consumer profiles. Analytics advance search monitors new product activity in consumer packaged goods markets worldwide.

  Statista Global Consumer Survey Guide
Offers step by step instructions for querying the Global Consumer Survey.

  Roper Center for Public Opinion Research (iPOLL)  Tutorial  Access Instructions
Offers public opinion poll data from surveys conducted in the U.S. and other countries by many major polling organizations. Includes the full text of questions and responses. Items with a green plus icon have crosstab breakdowns; those with an X have microdata available for download; while those with a green and blue star icon allow you to perform custom crosstab analysis online. Covers 1935 to the present, updated daily.
Data from the Census Bureau from 2010 through most recent releases, including the American Community Survey, the Decennial Census, and several other surveys conducted by the bureau.

  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.

business to Business

When the intended end customer is another business, gathering intelligence on individual potential customers/decision makers and trends in the marketplace will be needed.  Company directories & profiles, industry and market research reports and data gleaned from trade publications and trade associations will be needed.  

The most efficient databases for finding large publically traded firms are different from the ones you might use to find technology startups or mom and pops.  Likewise industry and market research databases can be specialized by sector.

See this lists of company and industry report databases or contact me for more specific recommendations.


  Industry & Market Research Reports

  Company Profiles

customer Channels

Often channels refer to how a product/service is distributed or where it is sold.  In the BMC, channels refer more broadly to how customers are reached.  So channels encompass how a business raises awareness, the media customers like to use to learn about the product/service, and what distribution channels will offer the product/service.

consumer Oriented

Marketing and advertising databases provide data and insights into how consumers respond to different communication approaches.  Market research databases provide data on existing channels used to deliver consumer oriented goods.


  Euromonitor (Passport)

Offers information on global advertising and marketing trends including case studies, articles, reports, opinion pieces, and expenditure data. Formerly known as World Advertising Research Center.

  Catalyst MRI Simmons
Provides access to the results of a National Consumer Study (most recent studies embargoed) encompassing demographics, lifestyle statements, and consumer behaviors. Supports the creation of custom cross tabulations or quick reports.

  Advertising Insights (Kantar Media)
Find out what media similar or competing products and services use to reach their customers.

business to Business

Practice oriented books or case studies on marketing and distribution may provide insights.  Trade association membership lists, trade shows or industry reports on wholesaleing for the relevant section may be useful.

To find trade or professional assocations google the keywords that describe the category and limit to site:org.  Industry reports (IBISWorld and NetAdvantage) often list relevant trade associations too.   The website Trade Show News Network lists top trade shows, but the search function found by scrolling on the right pane is poor.


Explore the B2B Industry reports. Provides KPI and analysis of trends in emarketing across many other industries as well.

If the business might use a wholesaler as a distribution channel, explore the reports on wholesale trade in the US (NAICS Sector 42)

  Falvey Library Catalog (Books & Media)
Search for books in our collection on marketing or any of the many possible distribution channels related to the relevant product or service.

Find marketing cases or best practices articles.

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