MKTG 762 Strategic Marketing Management: Market & Industry Research


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Spring 2024

Introduction to Secondary Data Sources

Information has value. Monetary value. Strategic value.

Knowing about your company, product, industry and customers will help justify strategic choices.

Some information is quantitative like the revenues for a company. This is a dollar figure which can be measured. In the United States, publicly traded companies report this number and anyone can find out the revenues.

Other information is qualitative like why are consumers attracted to a product in one market but not another. Knowing this is not easy. Some companies sell information to help understand why consumers behave in different ways. This information is extremely expensive due to the labor and expertise required to gather it.

RIT Libraries subscribes to some information products to help students practice searching for and working with premium information. Below are some of the products that can help with finding premium marketing information to help inform your decisions and recommendations.

Your Research Strategy in Few Steps

You can start your research in any order that works for you. Over the years I have found this order works well.

  • By starting with the industry overview you get to see the big picture of how the industry is doing, a SWOT, the outlook and the landscape,  
  • Next move to the market research. This give you a narrow view of the product or service in relation to the consumers. Unfortunately not every product or service gets the same level of coverage. Seeing what reports are available before you choose your product or service will help you rule in or out that there is a relatively current report that has almost all the info you need in one place. Sometimes you don't get to choose what product or service you are examining. There might still be ancillary reports of target demographics or similar products that can help you.
  • Searching the news is the next step to try and fill in what has happened since the industry overview and market research were published. News articles will not fill in everything the industry and market research reports had but they will catch up possible on company/competitor news, trends, regulations, economy changes and other events that might effect your product/service.
  • Look at deeper consumer information to see if you can uncover local demographic trends, lifestyle information, population figures. Ideally you might find data that cross-tabulates a product/service with a demographic in a region. This isn't always available but very helpful for a marketer when it is.
  • Finally check to see if any company information is available.

Industry Information

The broader industry view can help you with your external analysis.

Consumer Market Research

The consumer market research level is closer to who is buying products, their demographics and other attributes.

Mintel sells consumer market research reports. Businesses can buy individual reports or subscribe to the platform and choose to buy access to different modules. RIT subscribes to the US section of consumer reports only. To better understand the monetary value of these reports take a look below to see how much an individual report costs from Mintel if you had to pay for it! Students at RIT have access to Mintel reports for class projects using the library links below. Keep in mind most library databases are only for class use and cannot be used for other purposes or shared with individuals outside of RIT.

Next take a look in Passport. Look at the Dashboards, the Industry Reports and the Lifestyle Reports. Not every consumer industry is covered. Our subscription to Passport includes reports covering most countries. It is a great tool to compare markets in countries. Not every country is covered for every consumer industry. Look at the Passport help videos linked below. You must be signed into Passport to view their help info. The link will prompt you to sign in using your RIT credentials.


Searching across newspapers and more can help you find reviews, business news, press releases. News also helps fills the gaps between when an industry or market report was published and now though it is dependent upon news outlets being interested in covering products.


Deeper Consumer Information

Consumer Segments help a marketer understand who your current and potential customers are. Claritas sells access to large datasets that assist with the analysis of consumer demographics, economics, psychographics.

What each Claritas report type measures

  Behaviors Demographics Geography Segments
Behaviors Profile Ranking Index no report Market Potential Target Segment Measure Profile Worksheet
Demographics no report no report Consumer Concentration no report
Geography Market Potential Consumer Concentration no report Target Concentration Segment Distribution
Segments Target Segment Measure Profile Worksheet no report Target Concentration Segment Distribution no report

Where to find each report type

  • Consumer Concentration: Reports → Standard Reports → Demographic Reports → Consumer Concentration
  • Market Potential: Reports → Segmentation Reports → Lifestyler Reports → Market Potential
  • Profile Ranking Index: Reports → Segmentation Reports → Profiler Reports → Profile Ranking Index
  • Profile Worksheet: Reports → Segmentation Reports → Profiler Reports → Profile Worksheet
  • Segment Distribution: Reports → Segmentation Reports → Market Overview Reports → Segment Distribution
  • Target Concentration: Reports → Segmentation Reports → Locator Reports → Target Concentration
  • Target Segment Measure: Reports → Segmentation Reports → Lifestyler Reports → Target Segment Measure

Author: Lara Nicosia


Look at Claritas Help for Walkthoughs to retrieve reports and for many Segmentation Reports Interpretations and Calculations.


Company Information

When your research is related to an actual company visit your company website to learn everything about the company and the product that the company puts out into the world. Look for press or news releases. Look to see if there is an Investors or Shareholders section. This will be an indicator that the company is public which is an indicator that more info will be released into the world.

If the company is publicly traded in the US there will be an annual report and/or 10-k. When looking at strategy look for the Letter at the beginning. Executives usually lay out some strategy here though they re unlikely to use that word. This is likely to be overall company strategy and not limited to specific parts of the company.

Start to build a vocabulary of words and phrases that represent the product. There is no agreed to language across products. Is it mixed drinks or cocktails? That depends on who is writing the text.

Try an advanced Google site search to mine to see if words or phrases show up. Example for the word marketing. When using Google add site: to the front of a url to them be able to search for word or "phrases".

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