Research and data are the lifeblood of great marketing.
When you conduct marketing research, you can go two ways. You can either gather primary research data, which is new information specifically collected for your immediate research needs. Or, you can use secondary marketing research sources, or data that’s collected by others.
The information you need may already be waiting for you.
While new and tailored to your needs, primary research can be costly and time-consuming. Moreover, you may be collecting data that is very similar or even identical to existing sources, making your efforts redundant. So it’s usually best to start with secondary marketing research sources.
Advantages of secondary marketing research:
- Far less expensive than primary data. Other companies do the work, and it’s usually either free or very affordable.
- Fast and easy to obtain. Often, you can find the data you need with a single click.
- Useful to design primary data research. You can use secondary marketing research to compliment your existing data, or build your marketing strategies.
Secondary data is quite valuable, as you can use it to find facts, to build models, and for database marketing. Your own company may keep internal records for sales, expenses, and customers which may be useful. To identify market trends, patterns and changes, tap into the many sources already available.
A few useful sites to gather information for all kinds of topics, demographics, and markets are the following:
US Census Bureau
The US Census Bureau is the principal agency of the US Federal Statistical System, which produces all kinds of data about our society and economy. With over 5,500 employees, you have a huge staff that gathers information and the ability to keep it current. Learn about the fastest growing counties or research income and poverty levels. Curious about US retail e-commerce sales as a percent of total quarterly retail sales for the last decade? A nicely compiled PDF will give you a compelling report.
Managed and hosted by the US General Services Administration, data.gov is developed publicly on GitHub, an open source project where you can contribute. You can find data sets, clearly marked with available file formats, as well as news and articles. Data sources are available in csv, html, xml, pdf, or zip format, depending on the kind of information produced. The site also allows you to narrow down its thousands of databases by state, county, or zip code.
Euromonitor offers over 115 million standardized statistics from around the world for topics such as consumer goods, healthcare, and travel services. Whether you want to research an industry, consumers, or other economic topics, Euromonitor’s intuitive interface offers plenty of valuable insights. Follow trends that impact business and make your strategic decision-making easier with readily-available data.
If you want to be successful in the marketplace, conducting research is vital.
These are just a few of the many sites to find valuable information to conduct marketing and business research. Once you’ve got this readily-available information, you can leverage it to make your business more successful.