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Go-To-Market Strategies: Singin' the Research Blues

Good data is necessary to look at markets to enter, segments to target, partners and channels to work with, and to understand your competitive situation. Good data can be so hard to find. It's so easy to get the other kind. If you feel like singin' the blues whenever you try to find reliable business information, you're not alone.

A lot of other marketers are singing the same tune.

Solid information is critical, the basis for making any marketing plan or decision. Yet, finding that information is easier said than done. While the Internet does serve as a bountiful source of business statistics and information, it is both a blessing and a curse for business research. There is so much information, yet it can be inaccurate and difficult to locate without spending a lot of time with fruitless searching. It may require thousands of dollars to purchase one report.

Although there may be no quick and easy source for accurate business information, here are a few places to look for helpful data. Remember, data is only useful, though, when integrated with customer research, company strengths and weaknesses and strategy work, to assure the data is used to help you make the right business decisions.

Donít Forget the Personal Touch

Unlike much Internet information, libraries are not only catalogued and organized, they offer the most user-friendly sources of business information available: librarians. These wizards of information provide the personal touch by expertly guiding us through the ever-increasing maze of available knowledge. Infinitely patient people, librarians spend most of their time gently guiding those of us who search for business information but don't know where to find it. Whether your questions concern defining prospect lists in a special database or finding specific country growth information, the staff of a good business library is trained to help.

U.S. PATENT &TRADEMARK OFFICE

Completely devoted to patent information, including search engines for a variety of categories.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Congressionally designated library for US Government documents and also has UN, European Union, US Government, World Bank, IMF, WTO. Well organized and maintained site with a variety of hyperlinks to useful information including Census Bureau data, Securities Exchange Commission (EDGAR) filings and U.S. Industrial Outlook statistics.

U.S. CENSUS BUREAU

Economic census data including industrial products overview, annual survey of manufacturers and other good industry information

WALL STREET JOURNAL

Stock market and economic information.

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Excellent site with a series of hyperlinks useful for general international marketing research including statistical data from 202 countries around the world including history, economy and political conditions.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Links to a wide variety of federal departments including US Census Data, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Economic Development Administration, and many more.

We hope you use the research tools presented here with confidence, but always remember, it is up to you to process this data and convert it into good, profitable business decisions.

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