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A Marketing Demographics Project Outline

This is just one example as to how you might conduct a research project to gather social/economic/demographic statistics for a marketing assignment. Many of the sources that you try will not have the data that you need, or else the data will be presented in a way different than how you are thinking that the data should be arranged. Since "research" never is as fast or as easy as one hopes, be sure to allow yourself enough time to try many different sources, and to examine the resources and evaluate the information found within those resources. And remember that you can always ask your Instructors or the Library staff for help.

Research Steps Outline

1. Thoroughly understand the product or service that you intend to market.

2. Select a geographic area where you will focus your marketing efforts, and for which you need to find socio-economic statistics (e.g., a state, county, city or town, Chicago neighborhood/community area, congressional or state legislative district, educational or judicial district, etc.).

3. Review the Marketing Statistics Research Guide to see what is on it, and explore some of the links to various sources.

4. If you are unfamiliar with the research process, look at some of the research handbooks and manuals listed in the "Reference" section of the Marketing Statistics Research Guide (e.g., Understanding the Census {General Collection HA 37 .U 55 L 38 1996}, or Handbook of Online Marketing Research {General Collection HD 5415.5 .G 776 2001} ).

5. Search the newspaper and journal databases for news and information about the product, service, and geographic area. There may be new information about how well a product or service is doing, or some trend or feature about the geographic target area that might affect your marketing plan.

6. Check some of the broader sources for general or other data that might provide a foundation for understanding the market or area, and maybe compare it to any more recent information that you might find (e.g., American Women: Who They Are and How They Live {Reference HC 110 .C6 A 438}, or Household Spending: Who Spends How Much on What {Reference HC 110 .C 6 H 6}).

7. Using the Marketing Statistics Research Guide, find the geographic level that you want to do research in, and choose some resources to consult. Be sure to find out how recent the data is, as you don't want to base your marketing plan on old and now-inaccurate data. All of this will require some working with the sources to find the information.

8. Once you get the statistics for your area, you can analyze them to see what potential portions of the population might be interested in your product or service, and then you can construct your marketing plan accordingly.

Many of the sources that you try will not have the data that you need, or else the data will be presented in a way different than how you are thinking that the data should be arranged. But you never know until you look! Since "research" is never as fast or as easy as one hopes, be sure to allow yourself enough time to try many different sources, and to examine the resources and evaluate the information found within those resources. And remember that you can always ask your Instructors or the Library staff for help.

Return to the Marketing Statistics Research Guide.

Reference Desk: 630-942-3364

Dan Blewett, Reference Librarian
Phone: (630) 942-2279 FAX: (630) 858-8757
Office: SRC 3035
blewett@cdnet.cod.edu

 

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