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Sources of market research information

Significant amount of market intelligence can be built through inexpensive secondary market research. Free databases/sources can be used to identify competitor companies, branded positioning(s), customer types and needs and market size.

Secondary market research can be used to provide information about:

  • Total market size
  • Major competitors by category
  • Target buyer profile information
  • Issues that impact or will impact on the market
  • Trends that will change/shape the market going forward.

Secondary market research can also be used to provide important marketing environment information on an ongoing basis covering:

  • Political and regulatory developments
  • Economic and fiscal developments
  • Social and cultural developments
  • Technological developments, innovation and adoption
  • Competitor activity.

Common online and people sources of external information on local and overseas markets include:

  • Trade associations/industry groupings, such as the world Chamber Network ( and the Japanese Institute for International Trade (
  • Editorial staff of trade publications
  • Industry publications and databases – Business Alert – US (, Business ASEAN ( Latin American
  • Economy and Business ( and Enterprise Europe (
  • Government agencies and information databases, such as like Enterprise Ireland ( and the International Trade Centre (
  • Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, sourcebook of American and Canadian manufacturers
  • ACNielsen (tracks retail sales movement to consumers)
  • Lexis/Nexis company and industry reports
  • FISonline and S&P industry survey’s have industry and product category reports
  •, a database/archive/search engine site to research companies, industries and business publications
  • monitors companies for free
  • to source newspaper/magazine articles and references to your search topic.
  •, a collection of publications from more than 350 leading research firms
  • For small private company/competitor information, the Dow Jones Million Dollar Database can yield some basic info and an SIC Industry Code. This in turn can be used to identify other companies in the industry
  • for industry trade/expos. Also
  • Industry commentators and experts
  • Industry suppliers and current domestic customers
  • Former/retired staff of a leading company
  • Industry analysts. for information about manufacturing agents in the US

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