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I-CORE Research Guide

SWOT Analysis

Tips for the deliverable:

  • For the I-CORE Project the Strengths and Weaknesses should be company based, but the Opportunity and Threats should be based on your project. 
  • If you add points to your opportunity & threats that were not in your environmental scan be sure to update your environmental scan which you add as an appendix to Deliverable 1!

Target Market Analysis - Statistical Research

This box is organized into three sections:

  1. Industry Research
  2. Local Geographic Research
  3. Help I can only find national data and I but my target is just Indiana (...or Carmel...or the midwest)

Section 1: Industry Research

You need to:

  • Research the industry of your product/service
  • If you are marketing B2B, your customer's industry

Identify the NAICS Codes of the industries you are researching!

Industry codes are numbers used to describe a company's line of business. Many business databases including the US Economic Census are searchable by NAICS codes. The current standard for industry codes is the 6-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code.

NAICS Code Lookup

Researching Niche/Emerging Industries

If you are researching an emerging industry or a very specialized industry it may be more difficult to locate industry overviews and other industry analysis. Some strategies you can consider using to find information:

Look for articles in popular and trade journals (magazines and newspapers) that discuss this industry

  • Consider what other industries are related to your industry. Are there industries that have a similar target market or supply chain?
  • Consider researching the industries of your suppliers and your customers (if your customer is a business).
  • Use frameworks such as Porter's Five Forces or PEST Analysis to guide you in researching your industry.

Industry Research Resources

Section 2. How to find demographic information (business/consumers) for local geography?

Section 3. Help I can only find national data and I need data for Indiana...(or Carmel...or the midwest)

When you can only find national data for your market size but you want to narrow it down to a smaller geographic area, you may need to back into this information often by making an assumption that the proportion of the market that Indiana (or whatever market you are considering) provides will be similar to the proportion that that market contributes to another economic indicator such as GDP,  new residential construction starts, business establishments, etc.

Example: You are trying to determine the market size for Indiana but only have national market size numbers for your industry. You decide GDP would be a good economic indicator to use. If you use GDP you need to locate the total US GDP and Indiana GDP. Calculate % that Indiana contributes to national GDP and multiple by the national industry market size your found to estimate the Indiana market size.

Don't always use GDP. When discussing your analysis for your forecast in the second deliverable you may need to explain your assumption. Source for economic indicators: 

US Bureau of Economic Analysis

Target Market Research - Persona

This section is divided into the following sections:

  1. How do I research a persona?
  2. Using Simmons for B2B & B2C research 
  3. Resources for B2B Research
  4. Resources for B2C Research

Section 1: How do I research a persona?

The persona represents the person you are going to be selling to. When selling to businesses you are still needing to sell to an individual and it's important to understand what they care about in their position at their company as well as appealing to who they are as a person. This means also researching their likely habits, values, psychographic profile, media usage and trends.

Review the presentation below. It is based on a B2B customer, but if you are researching for B2C just focus on the B2C content.



Detailed description of Prezi Presentation.

The first place to start is to review the industry information you have found about your product/service and if your customer is a business, your customer's industry. Don't forget that trade journals are good sources for industry information. To find trade journal articles go to Find Articles & News.

Section 2: Using Simmons for B2B & B2C Research

Simmons Insights allows you to find information that can help you develop a demographic profile of your customer. It can be used for both B2B and B2C buyers. Below the database link is a detailed tutorial on how to interact with the Simmons Insights database while creating a B2B demographic profile, followed by links to shorter videos on other topics.

Section 3: Sources for B2B Market Research

Section 4: Sources for B2C Market Research

Perceptual Map

Use your persona research to determine the salient attributes for the proposed product or service from their perspective. You will then need to map how other products meet those needs in a perceptual map, as well as where your product/service aims to be. 

B2C competitive products:

  • Search via an internet search engine such as Google or Bing
  • Consider what distribution channels consumers might use to purchase the product to locate offerings.
  • Use consumer market research databases
  • Read product and customer reviews!

B2B competitive products:

  • Search via an internet search engine such as Google or Bing
  • Search supplier databases listed on the Operations and Production research page of this guide.
  • Use industry and B2B market research databases
  • Read product and customer reviews!