Part I: Introduction
This section provides an overview about the company and [proposed] product or service. If you are researching an existing company, you can search for it in the databases below. If you are creating your own company, try to research other companies that have a similar business or product to your new company. You may not find an exact match.
Part II: Environmental Scanning and SWOT Analysis
For this part, students will conduct research on internal and external environment of the business. For external environment, you may refer to Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, and Technological and Natural Environment (PESTN) factors that will affect or impact your market entry. For internal environment, these are the company itself, suppliers, customers and other marketing intermediaries. Students need to identify the major ones that will have impact to their proposed product/service. For external environment, researching the industry that the company is part of is very helpful.
News sources for company, industry, product, business environment:
Part III: Market Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
These are useful points to cover this section:
a) What are the major segmentation variables and which ones will you be using to segment your market? Refer to demographic, psychographic, behavior graphic and geographic segmentation discussion covered in class.
b) Describe how you will determine your target market. Will you have more than one? If so, who are they?
c) Describe your differentiation and positioning strategies. Who are your major competitors? How are you going to be different from these competitors?
d) What is your competitive advantage? Why would your target market buy your product or service?
This web site groups consumers into general categories, with brief descriptions and demographic information. Use the Zip Code Look-Up to get information about consumers in a particular area in both descriptions and graphs. There are three categories of information for consumers; PRIZM, P$YCLE, which describes the financial status of consumers, and ConneXions, which describes the level of technology use and connectivity of consumers. Use Segment Explorer to view descriptions of all of the consumer segments on the web site. Use the links on the left side of the screen to search for consumer groups by age, income, and other categories.
OTHER GOOD SOURCES:
Consumer Expenditure Survey: Bureau of Labor Statistics: US Labor Department
Statistics and reports on consumer expenditures, unemployment rates, and much more.
Experian Marketing Forward Blog: Freely available data, infographics, and reports on consumer behavior and trends.
Pew Research Center
A non-partisan research group that collects and presents data, opinions, and reports on American attitudes, activities, and trends.
Time Use Survey: Bureau of Labor Statistics: US Labor Department
Data on how American consumers use their time.
United Nations Demographic and Social Statistics
Includes information on demographics of countries, income and consumption, and more. Use the pull down menu for Demographic and Social Statistics. Then in each section, click on the Statistics link.
US Census Bureau International Data Base (IDB)
Statistical tables of demographic, and socio-economic data for 227 countries and areas of the world. Select data by country and year, then choose topics by using the pull down menu that says, Select Report.
Citing Your Sources
Whenever you do research, you will need to cite the information sources that you use. Most business scholars use APA style. Here are some tools that can help you with this task:
There are several ways to obtain assistance with your research. Read on!
The School of Management has a library liaison named Penny Scott, and you can contact her for help.
Her contact information is: email: firstname.lastname@example.org * phone: 415-422-5389
It is best to call or email ahead, or make an appointment, to make sure she is available!
If Penny is not available, or any time you need help, you can always get help, just Ask a Librarian!