This research guide is to support ECON 325 students in their market research/industry trends research assignment.
After reading the guide, students can submit their questions to the librarian via email before scheduling a research meeting.
When you're doing market research, you're looking for answers to questions so that you can use data to tell a coherent, compelling story about whatever it is you're researching. You might answer questions like:
Primary information: research you compile yourself or hire someone to gather for you.
Secondary information: This type of research is already compiled and organized for you. Examples of secondary information include reports and studies by analysts, government agencies, trade associations or other businesses within your industry. (source)
Remember that you are telling a story about your industry in your market research report. Use data & information as evidence to support your story.
"Our market research project is most valuable when it delivers a coherent story."
"There is only one thing that is going to make a set of research recommendations listened to, adhered to and returned to, and that is a convincing story well told."
For more, check out this industry article "The Key Ingredients of World-Class Market Research Presentations: It’s All About Storytelling"
Market research is different than a regular research paper. It's more flexible and expansive, and you can (and should!) use more types of sources than just scholarly articles. Here's some of the types of sources commonly used for market research:
The first thing you need to do is understand the bigger picture of your industry.
Industry reports provide you with the foundation of your story. Details of your story will come next, and help you answer the deeper "why" and "how."
Every good market research story has characters who experience the problem and are looking for a solution. Who is the target customer for the product/service? Who experiences the industry trend?
If businesses are the target customer, search for information about the companies.
If individual consumers are the target customer, search for information about the motivations, lifestyles, spending habits, etc., of these people.
Except for government data, reports and data can be incredibly expensive. Use a combination of sources to find information for your market research story. Library subscriptions provide access to high-quality reports and credible data at no cost to you.
READ DESCRIPTIONS TO PICK THE RIGHT SOURCE.
Some sources do one thing really well, and some sources do several things. Pay attention to the description to choose the right source! They're listed in no particular order.