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Basic Marketing Research For Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur and Venture Capital Club Workshop Prof. Fred Feinberg UMBS. Assume you will NOT be performing lots of PRIMARY Research: Time-consuming (surveys: making it up, pre-testing, analyzing, etc.) Costly (performed by third party)

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Basic Marketing Research

For Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur and Venture Capital Club Workshop

Prof. Fred Feinberg


Assume you will NOT be performing lots of

PRIMARY Research:

Time-consuming (surveys: making it up, pre-testing,

analyzing, etc.)

Costly (performed by third party)

Good Place to Start: Secondary and External Data

But first… a few things from primary data

Things you’d want to know about your customers:

Demographic (Personal circumstances): age, gender, income, ethnicity, religion, etc.

Psychographic (Lifestyle): social class, personality

Geographic (Location): where, climate

Behavioristic: Product / Shopping behaviors

Attitudes / Opinions about or towards a product

Awareness / Knowledge: about a product, features, availability, price, manufacturer, possible uses, competitive products













Things you’d want to know about your customers:

Purchase Intention – very difficult

People are ‘optimistic’ and don’t consider situational factors

Purchase / Usage Behavior:

Who in the household is using it / purchasing it?

How / Where / When / In what situation are they using it?

How often / How much do they use it?

What other complimentary / substitute products do they use?

ALL come from ‘primary’ data… usually

Types of Secondary Data

Internal (already collected):

Sales Invoice / Register Receipt: customer name, location,

product or service sold, volume and dollar amount of

transaction, customer’s industry or distribution channel

Salesperson’s call reports

Individual Customer Records: historical (“longitudinal”)

Financial records

Warranty Cards / Consumer Complaints

Advantages: Cheap, reliable, already collected

Disadvantage: Too company-specific

Types of Secondary Data

External / Published:[Check at Kresge!]

Directories: Guide to Industrial Statistics, ...

Periodicals and Newsletters: Ad Week, Marketing News, ...

On-Line Databases: ABI/INFORM, Adtrack, Choices3

Statistical Sources: Stat. Abstract of the United States, ...

Indexes: Business Periodicals Index, JMR Lit. Review, ...

Financial Records: financial statements, quarterly reports ...

Advantages: widely available, inexpensive, complete / accurate

Disadvantages: overwhelming

not always applicable to specific situation / time

wrong “level of aggregation”

External / Commercial:

Geodemographic Data

Based on Census ( City Block, Block groups, Census tracts, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

Consumer typologies, consumption by area

Diary Panel Data: household level; longitudinal; self-recorded

Store Audit Data: store level, records consumer sales, retailer

purchase and inventory, prices, dealer promotional support

Scanner Data: records all marketing mix variables at purchase

can be keyed into consumer characteristics and media exposure


Low-Cost Web-based Resources

Monthly print magazine

Provides vast marketing research resources

Article Archive: 1,000 case history and technique articles

Interactive researcher forum

HUGE directory of custom research providers

Internet Trends & Statistics

American Marketing Association

Provides industry and investment research

350 independent research firms


MarketingVirtualLibrary – Huge Archive of Marketing Data

Market Research:

Basics of Marketing Research: General Info, Research Design

Company, Industry & Competitive Info:

Annual Reports, Competitive Intelligence, Corporate History, Company Rankings, Lists

Finding Companies & Information: Business Directories, Help Finding Information

US Government & Social Science Data: Gov't Reports, Demographic Data, Population Stats

Expert Sources: Find Experts, Ask Experts, Event Speakers

Internet Marketing Research: Domain Name Search/Info, Reports & Summaries,

Web Metrics & Stats, Other Reports & Stats

Market Research Firms: Find MR Firms, Leading MR Firm Sites

Market Research Reports: Sources for Research Reports

Online Searching: Databases, Search Help, Top Search Tools

Nielsen (commercial)

National People Meter Service: audience estimates for

ALL national program sources

Broadcast networks

Cable networks

Spanish language networks

National syndicators

Local ratings estimates: 210 television markets

Television stations

Regional cable networks

IRI: Information Resources, Inc. (commercial)

Consumer packaged goods (CPG)

“Consumer Insight” and “Market Intelligence”

Robust data analytic techniques

Web delivery technology

Majority of CPG Fortune 500

InfoScan store tracking: Industry standard scanner data usage

Marketing support / Mix

Sales / Share / Distribution / Pricing / Promotion

Hundreds of product categories

55,000 household consumer panel

Government Sources

Absolute Best: U. S. Census

Summary Files for ALL States and by County 

People: 2002 Data Profiles

e.g.: Income, Housing, Demographics

Business Economic Census: Survey of Business Owners

Statistical Abstract

Federal Statistics

Government Sources


Bureau of the Census (

Bureau of Justice Statistics (www.ojp.usdoj.govbjs)

Bureau of Labor Statistics (

Bureau of Transportation Statistics (

National Agricultural Statistics Service (www.usda.govnass)

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (

National Center for Health Statistics (www.cdc.govnchs)

Government Sources


Bureau of Industry and Security:

Manufacturing Technology Division:

Product Innovation Division:

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology

Transfer (STTR) Division:

U.S. Commercial Service: www.export.govcomm_svc

Assistance with exporting goods and services to worldwide markets

Listing of global trade events

International market research

WHY are we doing this? What do we use it for?

What will you be wanting to predict?

Market Size (not so hard)

Market Share (very hard)

Sales Forecasts / Demand (short- and long-term)

Consumer Segments, Possible Niches (primary research)

Main Competitors (fairly easy)

Cost Structures (internal accounting)

Distribution Possibilities (fairly easy, though detailed)

Supportable Price Levels (some primary research)