Market Research - Where to Find the Market Information You Need

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According to the American Marketing Association, market research is conducted to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Essentially, this information helps you to identify your target customer, assess your competition, and decide on a marketing plan.

Market Research Overview

Many resources are available for you to learn how to conduct market research. The following three web sites give a good overview of the basics of market research:

Knowing what to look for and how to find the information you need are two very different things. The staff of The Business Link are very willing to work with you to identify the market research information you need and to locate information that will assist you.

However, to assist you in your market research activity we have created a list of some the key market research resources that we are aware of. Most of the print resources listed below are available at The Business Link resource centre. Some of these items may also be available at Alberta libraries. If you have any questions about the resources listed below, please call 780-422-7780 or 1-800-272-9675, or send us an e-mail.

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Market Research Resources

General Market Research and Survey Techniques

Business Research: An Informal Guide / Rick C. Farr.
Handbook of Online Marketing Research: Knowing Your Customer Using the Net / Joshua Grossnickle and Oliver Raskin.
How to Conduct Your Own Survey / Priscilla Salant and Don A. Dillman.
Market Research Made Easy (3rd ed.) / Don Doman, Dell Dennison, Margaret Doman. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
Market Mapping / Sunny Baker and Kim Baker.
Marketing Research: Methods and Canadian Practice / Chuck Chakrapani. (More advanced, technical)
Marketing Research Essentials (5th ed.) / Carl McDaniel, Rodger Gates
Practical Marketing Research / Jeffrey L. Pope.Qualitative Marketing Research: A Cultural Approach / Johanna Moisander, Anu Valtonen
The Survey Research Handbook: Guidelines and Strategies for Conducting a Survey / Pamela L. Alreck, Robert B. Settle. (More advanced, technical)

Information Sources for Market Research

Demographic Information

Canadian Demographics / Financial Post Datagroup.
Market Research Handbook / Statistics Canada.
Market Share Reporter / Gale Research.
Profile of Census Divisions and Subdivisions in Alberta / Statistics Canada.
Profile of Census Tracts in... [Calgary, Edmonton] / Statistics Canada.
Statistical Profile of Canadian Communities / Statistics Canada. CEPS.statcan.ca/english/profil/PlaceSearchForm1.cfm

 

Business / Industry Performance

Small Business Profiles (also known as Performance Plus) / Statistics Canada www.sme.ic.gc.ca
Surveys of small business performance in Canada, by province or region.
Financial Performance Indicators / Statistics Canada
Statistics on Canadian business performance based on tax returns of corporations.
Canadian Small Business Financial Performance Survey / Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Market Share Reporter / Gale Research.
Primarily U.S. information but some Canadian content.
RMA Annual Statement Studies / Robert Morris Assoc.
Performance statistics for American industries.

General Sources

Canadian Almanac & Directory / Micromedia.
Researching a Small Business 2002: A Guide to Finding Free and Low-Cost Business Data (rev. ed.) / John White (excellent information source, well-indexed)
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping / Paco Underhill

The following are key resources for small business information:

GDSourcing
This is a web site of a research company, it provides extensive links to Canadian information from a variety of industries.

Statistics Canada
The Statistics Canada web site offers a wide variety of information on the nation, industries and trends. Most of the information is only available for a fee but there are occasional "gems" of free information.

Industry Canada
Industry Canada's web site is a massive site including industry information, management information, information on other countries and markets. A vital source for your market research.

Small Business Sourcebook / Gale Research.
This publication details information sources for various small businesses. The information includes key books, databases, associations etc. Most of the content is American but it does include some Canadian content.

Company Information

Canadian Company Capabilities / Industry Canada
Business.com
Competitive Intelligence Guide
Selectory / Dun & Bradstreet.

Manufacturers/Suppliers

Canadian

Canadian Company Capabilities / Industry Canada
Scott's Selectory (database) / Southam.
Canadian Trade Index / Canadian Manufacturers Association.
Directory of Canadian Manufacturers / Dun & Bradstreet.
Fraser's Canadian Trade Directory / Maclean Hunter.
National Directory of Service Companies / Dun & Bradstreet.
Scott's Distribution Directory / Southam.

United States

Thomas Register (print, Internet) http://www.thomasregister.com

International

Kompass.com
Commercial database but some information available for free.

Magazine and Newspaper Information Sources for Market Research

Magazines and newspapers can be a valuable source of current information on trends, opportunities, statistics and new products. There are often specific magazines published pertaining to specific industries (e.g. apparel, restaurant, etc.)

Consult a magazine directory publication such as Standard Periodical Index, Business Organizations, Agencies and Publications Directory (Gale Research), to find magazines or articles on a particular subject.

There are a number of commercial databases available which index business publications. These may be available at university, college or major public libraries:

Business & Company Resource Centre (database of information on American and global companies, industry news, research reports, marketing data, acquisitions and mergers, exports, new technologies and products, and business trends)

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (database of Canadian business and newspaper articles)

Ebsco Source Premier (database of business articles, primarily American but some Canadian and international content)

RDS Business Reference Suite (database of international articles and reports: "Business & Industry" for information on companies, industries, markets and products; "Business & Management Practices" for management and IT; "TableBase" has statistical tables on markets, sales and industry trends.)

Business Magazines

Canadian Business
Entrepreneur
Globe and Mail
Inc.
Profit
Report on Business

Association Newsletters and Web Pages

Various associations and organizations produce newsletters and web pages. These can contain very specific and specialized information. They can be useful sources of information regarding news, developments, new products and suppliers in a field industry. For example in Canada the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association and the Retail Council of Canada have web sites with statistics on their industries and on major trends. The National Directory of Newsletters and Reporting Services (Gale Research) lists many association and industry publications. Membership in industry-related associations can also yield valuable information and services.

Trade Publications/Directories

Trade publications often contain information on new products and competitors. They may also be a good source of information about industry developments, issues, forecasts and market surveys. Trade, professional or business associations (e.g. local Chamber of Commerce) can be another good source for market information. These associations may have market research available pertaining to their industry. These reports can sometimes be purchased. In some cases, this material will be sold only to members.

Canadian Advertising Rates and Data lists magazines and trade publications in Canada.
Directory of Associations in Canada can help identify industry associations and interest groups.

Information about Other Countries and Markets

There are a variety of print materials and Internet sites which provide current and detailed information on other countries, trade data, and tips for doing business in other countries. Some of the best sources for country information include:

Exporting: Market Research/Canada Business

American Community Network

Business Researcher's Interest

Countrywatch.com

International Business Resources on the WWW

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (See "Countries Online")

STAT-USA
Primarily international information. Most information available for a fee.

Statistical Abstract of the United States

U. S. State Dept. - ERC

World Factbook. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

The preceding sources for market research information are among those available at The Business Link. Along with these items, which are available for your use at no cost, we provide a dedicated staff who are knowledgeable in business information and available to provide guidance in doing market research.