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BUS 101: Rostollan

Finding Market Fit

Market analysis can be very challenging. Not all the information you need is going to be publicly available, which is precisely why you also need to conduct primary research for your projects. Sometimes you'll have to extrapolate information from different sources to get the information you need. Market research reports created by for-profit companies are usually much too expensive for a student to afford and impossible for a library to obtain. You will need to get creative!

One of the hardest parts of creating a new product or service is determining who will use it. You might think single young adults would be interested but what if you should actually be looking at teenagers or young families? Or what if your product is missing a key feature, which means that no one will want it? In this video, Alan Chiu of XSeed Capital discusses how to make sure your product fits your market.

Additional Information on Personas!

Freely Available Marketing Resources

Open Online Marketing Resources

The following online resources are freely available and require no registration, login or fee to access. Most of them come from Federal government agencies.

American FactFinder (AFF) is Census.gov's primary vehicle for disseminating Census data. It allows searching and browsing for all kinds of information on geographic areas from the smallest units (blocks) to the largest (the nation). AFF contains information from the most recent and second-most-recent decennial Censuses, plus recent data from the American Community Survey, the Economic Census, and several other surveys.

State Master: Database of facts about states. When viewing results, look at the bottom of the page to find the source. You may need to visit the source to view the most up-to-date information.

Two data services from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can help you discover how consumers are interacting with the marketplace. These are industry and not product specific, and regional/demographic breakdowns are often very general.

Government Marketing Resources

Economic Statistics

Economic Census Data

The Economic Census is the U.S. Government's official five-year measure of American business and the economy. It is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and response is required by law. Trade associations, chambers of commerce, and businesses rely on this information for economic development, business decisions, and strategic planning.

The Economic Census page (https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/economic-census.html) has links to and information about Census data. Full statistical tables from the Economic Census can be found in American FactFinder.

Consumers & Markets

General business databases such as ABI/Inform, Business Source Premier, and Lexis Nexis Academic are good sources for articles that provide demographic trends, consumer research, etc. 

Research & Consulting Thought Leaders