Information sources for marketers

What sources of information are readily available to marketers that will allow them to make well-informed, strategically sound decisions? How does a marketer go about finding them?Strategy felt the best way to answer these questions would be to simulate the way...

What sources of information are readily available to marketers that will allow them to make well-informed, strategically sound decisions? How does a marketer go about finding them?

Strategy felt the best way to answer these questions would be to simulate the way these information sources might be used in real life.

So we created a case study (see the client, left) and invited a number of marketing information companies to tell us what sources of information would be relevant to the case study’s objectives and, secondly, how a marketer could go about getting them.

Twelve companies accepted our challenge.

Their responses start on this page with ComQuest Research Group and Compusearch and continue on pages 31-36.

the client, known as Home Store, is a u.s.-owned chain of do-it-yourself home improvement stores based in Philadelphia.

It is an established name in the industry in the u.s. and has, in the past year, opened a store in Mississauga, Ont., a suburb of Toronto.

That experience has been successful, and now the company is planning to open a second store in Canada.

The assignment

The company knows nothing about the Canadian market outside of Toronto and wants to know whether it should pursue the idea of opening another store.

The category and the competition

One of the main reasons the company has done well in Toronto is because so many homeowners are turning towards home improvement, partly due to interest, and partly as a result of the recession.

The interest aspect refers to a growing phenomenon among baby boomers in which they want to do things themselves, particularly activities related to the home. They want to be able to do their own gardening, home maintenance and, increasingly, home improvement.

Home Store is an open warehouse-style store. It will steal some market share from corner hardware stores, but its major competitors are the home improvement retailers, such as Lansing Build-All, Beaver Lumber and Cashway.

Sales patterns

Home Store’s experience in the u.s. shows no unusual sales fluctuations by region. Sales fairly evenly reflect population patterns. Seasonally, there is only one period of decline and that is during December and January. Sales are traditionally strongest during spring and fall. But these variances are not extreme.

Target group

Principal shoppers are men and women aged 25-54. Five years ago in the u.s., men accounted for 90% of sales.

Today, the percentage is down to 75% male, and the pattern seems to be moving towards more female purchase.

Home Store sees great potential among double-income families who are preparing to upgrade their homes and/or want to save money by doing their own maintenance.

Media background

Last year, the company spent $3 million in support of its Toronto stores with a multimedia campaign using television, radio, newspapers and direct mail.

The challenge

The company now wants to expand in Canada, but does not know which major market it should try next. The company management is new to Canada, so knows little about the marketing services community.

The Canadian president has received your name from Strategy magazine as a possible source to help in his research.

Home Store wants to do a quick analysis, involving demographic, psychographic and consumer behavior patterns, as well as a look at the competitive environment, vis-a-vis the home improvement retail market.

The briefing

The Canadian management team is now casting about in the marketplace for some expert marketing information advice. You are one of a number of research suppliers they have approached.

They are not approaching you for specific information, yet. At this stage, they simply want to know what kind of information is readily available to them that would be relevant to their product and their questions.