Read these 10 Market Research & Analysis Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Business Research tips and hundreds of other topics.
If it's important enough to you to consider paying thousands of dollars for a market research report, you want to make sure you're getting the most actual business analysis for your money. That's why it makes sense to consider paying for a specialist in business analysis from a reputable company, rather than a top-down, data-driven general view. These analysts make their living covering a specific industry or industry segment, so it's in their best interest to develop solid new information on a regular basis and to be right a lot more often than wrong.
Market research reports aren't cheap. Some come as low as $100, but detailed ones with professional business analysis can cost more than $1,000 and sometimes up to $5,000. Most market research report providers will sell single reports online through a shopping cart system. Some market research providers will also offer monthly or yearly memberships with unlimited downloads. These memberships can also cost thousands yearly, but can be worth it if you plan on buying more than a few reports.
A market research report can help you indentify trends in a specific industry, or give you detailed information on a company's financial or credit data. Downloading market research reports from business solutions providers like Manta also give analyst information on specific industries and an in-depth look at the current market structure, and future industry trends.
Blogs, web forums and bulletin boards covering certain businesses or industries can be part of developing an overall market research plan. These unofficial sources can often be filled with interesting information tidbits and web links to articles of interest. But none of these are a complete solution for industry and market research, which demands more sophisticated business analysis. Use them for idea generation and building an overall knowledge base.
Return on Investment (ROI) is the holy grail of market research. After all, if you're considering spending what could be a significant chunk of cash on industry trend and analysis from a commercial provider, you are going to want to know if it's worth the investment. But there's really no way to tell without making the investment and then measuring the success of your campaign, as opposed to previous campaigns that did not use commercially purchased market research. Obviously, there are lots of businesses out there willing to pay for market research, or the commercial market research providers wouldn't be successful. So it's safe to assume there's some inherent value. But the exact ROI for your business is the unknown factor until you measure it yourself.
Market research software can be very useful in the right hands. But the critical part of finding the right market research software is to obtain software that fits with your business practices and rules, rather than software that makes you change your business practices to work with the software. If you have the IT and market research knowledge, or the money to purchase it, consider building your own market research software from open-source or other flexible tools. It might be a big investment up front, but a customized, extensible market research software tool that can do specific industry trends and analysis could really pay off for your business in the long run.
To find a market research provider for a specific business or industry, you can Google the term "market research" and your own business or industry name. For example, if you want information on personal electronics, Google "market research personal electronics." You'll find two distinct types of industry and market research available. There are specialists who offer industry trends and analysis based on their own professional knowledge and research of specific business segments. Also, you'll find larger general business information providers that offer profiles of specific businesses and industries based on their own analysis of information stored in their giant databases. Either can work. It depends on your needs and how much you are willing to pay.
To get more specific industry and market research, or for more detailed company profiles, download a report from a business solutions provider like Manta. The more comprehensive report will provide you with a detailed explanation of the company, and an analysis of the industry.
The big names in market research reporting depend largely on the industry. You can do one-stop shopping across multiple industries at a reseller site like marketresearch.com or manta.com, which allow users to download specific reports, or a giant business information provider like Hoover's. But if you're looking for specific industry and market research, there are usually well-known analysts covering that specific industry. For example, in the high tech/Internet field, there's Forrester and Jupiter. Hospitals/Medical have Cooper and medpanel.com. If don't already know about them, you can probably find the specialists in your industry or business segment by asking around or doing some basic research.
In theory, you can do your own market research reports and your own industry trends and analysis. But it helps to have some accounting training and a lot of time on your hands. That's why it makes sense to consider purchasing market research information from a specialist in your industry or business. It's much quicker, and allows you to spend your time doing what you should be doing -- using this information to help your business and profits grow.
What can you expect to see in a commercial market research report? It depends on the provider and the industry or business being profiled. But most market research reports will include some or all of the following: * An executive summary and data on value, volume and segmentation. * Industry trends and analysis of the industry's prospects, competitive landscape and leading companies. * A five-year market demand forecast of the industry. * Key macroeconomic and demographic data affecting the market.
Industry trends and analysis reports are downloadable from business solutions providers like Manta. The reports show everything from company profiles to company filings and credit scores, and also provide a timeline market forecast of the industry.
Need help with market research and business analysis for your company? Consider getting some help from an online market research specialist in your particular industry or business segment. If you can find a market research specialist to successfully help you with industry trends and analysis, it can make obtaining solid information much easier. Instead of spending time tracking down market demand forecasts, you can concentrate on plugging the industry and market research you receive into your own business plan.
To stay ahead of your competitors you have to know what lies ahead, and having detailed market demand forecasts related to your industry can help. A market demand forecast report from Manta will help you analyze your company's position in the marketplace and devise a business strategy for success.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|