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Market Research

This guide will assist you in finding the sources you need to conduct Market Research.

Marketing Basics

Market Research is the first step in creating a Marketing Plan. It will identify customers based on a combination of consumer behavior and economic trends. Understanding your customer base from the beginning will help to solidify your business idea. Gathering demographic information before you launch your business will help you to make sound business decision. Demographic information can include age, income, and geographic location just to name a few, and can aid in understanding where your customers are located and where to place a brick and mortar if you chose to do that.

Ask the following questions:

  • Who will buy my product or service and why will they buy it?
  • Where will they buy my product or service? 
  • What do I need to charge for my product or service to make a profit?
  • Who is my competition and how am I positioned with my product or service?

Reading articles about business trends will also help to guide you as you begin structuring your business. Following trends in  your industry will help you to make business decisions based on what is happening now and what is predicted to happen in the future. Having this information enables you to do what is best for your business.

A competitive analysis gives you an idea of what others are doing with similar businesses and how their businesses are doing. 

Gathering this information before you start your business will assist you in writing a business plan, creating a market plan, and finding optimal conditions for starting your business.

PPLD has several databases and links to other resources to help you find the information you need to conduct your research. 

Market Research consists of two types of information: Primary and Secondary.

Primary research is conducted by going directly to the source, your potential customer. Gathering information from the people you wish to sell your services and products to will produce valuable information for your marketing strategy. You can gather information by conducting surveys or focus groups, or other strategies.

Focus Groups are groups of people you have gathered to question about your product or service. Questions can include if they would buy your product or service, why or why not? How much would you be wiling to pay? Where would you shop for this? The goal is to gather as much information as you can to get the information you need to make informed marketing decisions.

Other ways to gather this information are with telephone interviews, mail surveys, email interviews, and social media interviews.

Secondary research is important in gathering information from statistics, industry reports, studies, and other information from data gathering organizations, such as government agencies, trade associations, and chambers of commerce.

If you are trying to market a product or service, or find out more information on your target market, the tools that you need are very different from researching your industry. Once you have identified your market, you can gather information on your potential customers. An understanding of your potential customers will help direct your marketing to the market segment most likely to buy your product or service.

Some questions to ask:

  • Who will want my product or service?
  • What are the characteristics of my target market?
  • What are their spending habits and what are they willing to spend?
  • What is the spending potential for my business? 

 

Consumer Research

Consumer research is conducted to help you understand the motivation and purchase behaviors of the people who you want to buy your product or service. Using this information can aid in you making the best decisions for your business. An in-depth understanding about your customer's interests and spending habits will help you to succeed.  

PPLD Resources

Video Tutorials for DemographicsNow:

Other Resources

The CS Chamber provides demographics for the city of Colorado Springs in an easy to use format.

 

Industry Information

Before you start your business, it is important to understand the trends emerging, or waning, in your industry. Research your industry through articles and resources provided below. Think about how technology, environmental impact, social impact, and other factors are driving your industry and  how your business will fit in overall. If you see declining trends in an industry, think about your product and service and whether it will be sustainable in that market. 

Resources

PPLD Databases require a library card that starts with four (4) and your pin number.

PPLD Databases:

Other Resources

The EDGAR database provides free public access to corporate information, allowing you to research a public company’s financial information and operations by reviewing the filings the company makes with the SEC.  You can also research information provided by mutual funds (including money market funds), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and variable annuities.

Edgar - SEC

Finding Competitors

Finding your competition important part of your marketing research. You can analyze their strengths and weaknesses, review financials as a benchmark, look at how they are pricing their product/service, their marketing strategies, and more.

Part of your strategy could be to visit one of your competitors and look at how they operate, their strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities for growth. Based on that information, you can begin building a marketing plan that evaluates the competition and how your product or service will shine in that industry. 

PPLD Resources

Video Tutorials for DemographicsNow:

Other Resources

 

Using EDGAR to Research Investments

The EDGAR database provides free public access to corporate information, allowing you to research a public company’s financial information and operations by reviewing the filings the company makes with the SEC.  You can also research information provided by mutual funds (including money market funds), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and variable annuities.

Edgar - SEC

PPLD Databases - required library card that starts with a 4 and pin number.