Category Archives: Market Research

Direct marketing lists for market and industry sector information

When it comes to researching a market or industry sector the major national and international players are generally well covered by the established market research publishers. If you are looking at a highly specialised sector, are interested in smaller companies or just want to know who is doing what in a town or county then direct marketing lists can be the cheaper and better option. The source I often use is a UK based service called ( They have been around for a while but continue to update their services and ensure that the databases they offer are regularly checked and cleaned.

MarketingFile’s lists are divided into business and consumer marketing and further segmented by communication channel: postal, email, fax or telemarketing lists. You can drill down further and specify key job roles, industry sectors, geographic areas and company size. For consumer lists you can segment by criteria such as geographic areas, household finances, interests, investments, cars driven and charities supported.

For each list there is information on coverage, pricing and selection criteria.

MarketigFile Selection Criteria

You have to register to search the lists but registration is free of charge. The search screen makes it easy to select and combine multiple criteria and the number of results (counts), which is sometimes all one needs to know, is free.

MarketingFile Search

The full data is charged on a per record basis and you can also opt to have only those records that include named contacts. If you are on a limited budget or want to test a sample of the data you can request a specific number of records for example 50, 100, 200, 1000.

MarketingFile have extended their services and now offer complementary services such as printing and posting of letters, postcards and inserts. They have a 100% Delivery Guaranteed offer on email and postal lists which offers 50p per item towards your postage for mail “goneaways” and 5p – 10p per item towards broadcast costs for email hard bounces.

It is not always easy to identify the most appropriate list for your research. Rather than waste time trying different lists I’d recommend that you contact their helpline, which is based in the UK. They will be able to give advice on the best strategy for your research or project.

Workshop: Statistics and Market Research

If you need to track down statistics and market research via the web I am running a hands-on workshop under the UKeiG banner in Newcastle on Wednesday 21st April. The venue is the Netskills Training Suite, University of Newcastle. Further details of the workshop and a booking form are available on the UKeiG web site at

Which country makes the best chocolate

Major headline news in UK is the hostile bid by Kraft for chocolate manufacturer Cadbury. Cadbury apparently called Kraft’s offer derisory but there are now stories circulating that Hershey is in the race to gain control of Dairy Milk and Bourneville chocolate, amongst others. This has started a debate over US vs UK chocolate (see BBC News -The great transatlantic chocolate divide This then spread over to  Twitter and other countries were mentioned as producers of the world’s best chocolate.

So choccy consumers of the world, here is a twtpoll to determine the truth! Poll ends Friday 18th December 2009.

Google compiles industry stats for the UK – sort of

Google has launched a new page that pulls together industry stats for the UK. Google – Internet Stats, which is biased towards information on electronic and online services and products, gathers data from third party vendors many of which are priced. A list is available at the bottom of the Internet Stats page. You can, though, submit your own “killer fact”.  All submissions are vetted by Google.

There are five categories: Technology, Macro Economic Trends, Media Landscape, Media Consumption and  Consumer Trends. Each section has further sub-categories.

This is not the answer to a market/industry researcher’s prayer. The number of statistics is very limited and the search option only searches within the browsable statistics on the landing page. Do not expect to be able to search for and find data on, for example, UK chocolate consumption! If your query falls within one of the listed categories you may be in luck.

Exactly where Google is going with this and why they have introduced it is not clear. This is a UK-only initiative at present and there is no link to it from either the .com or main Google search pages. Neither is it listed in Google Labs. Even the official announcement on “Google Barometer: New! Internet Stats all in one place” gives very little further information.

TriMark Publications – Biotechnology, Healthcare and Life Sciences Market Research

TriMark Publications focuses on market research in biotechnology, health care and the life sciences. You can browse reports or search by keyword. The market reports vary in price but there are detailed table of contents and the first three or four pages available free of charge as a sample. However, any figures or data on the pages are blacked out.  It is refreshing, though, to see a detailed listing of what is contained in the reports before you part with significant amounts of money.

Sector Snapshots cost just USD 500 and provide a high-level overview of a particular market sector, including key players, sales data and emerging trends.

Database Tables, costing USD 100 each, are a one-page table of hard-to-find numerical information. They are derived from “a proprietary source” and provide a high-level overview of specific data points in a table format. Database Tables are not reports or comprehensive analyses.

Research Recap

Alacra’s Research Recap pulls together industry, economic, academic, market, investment and credit research reports. It concentrates on free content but also offers links to selected paid research deemed of relevance to the topic. Priced reports are sourced from a wide variety of providers, including the Alacra Store. Much of the paid research is usually password-protected and will not show up in a Google-type search, but Research Recap has made arrangements with providers to review their proprietary research to determine what is appropriate to highlight for Research Recap’s audience. Research Recap does not claim to be comprehensive and may not include items that are widely circulated elsewhere.

Research Recap is published in blog format and is also available as an RSS feed.

Research Recap acquires Profound has acquired the Thomson Business Intelligence (TBI) Market Research service, known as Profound. Thomson announced earlier this year that they wanted to sell Profound.

According to the press release “the acquisition expands’s international reach with additional content and sales presence in Europe and North America. Profound provides a closed-platform, market research service that complements’s open-format, web-based service.” It will be interesting to see what pricing model they adopt for it and how, if at all, they integrate Profound with their existing service. bought rival company MindBranch in 2005 but the two sites remain. I suspect that, given the different type of users the services have, Profound will be marketed as a separate product.

The Viewing Facilities Association UK

The UK Viewing Facilities Association ( is a trade association representing companies which have viewing studios and services available for hire to other market researchers, (as opposed to studios which are tied to particular research companies). It sets high standards for membership such as requiring members to meet certain levels of customer satisfaction, to be members of the MRS and work to the MRS code of conduct. They must also have completed fire risk and health and safety assessments. The site contains a directory of members and is searchable by location.

The Association for Qualitative Research

Alan Dickinson of Skill Zone pointed me in the direction of this site. I should declare an interest on behalf of Skill Zone in that they designed the site but what follows is my own independent assessment. If you don’t want to read the full review my personal opinion is that this is a very good starting point for associations, contacts and practitioners in the field of qualitative and market research.

Founded in the early 1980s, the Association for Qualitative Research has over a thousand members. The web site includes a directory of qualitative research practitioners and suppliers of services. The Directory is available as a handbook published as an A5 format of 500 pages and is free to anyone on request (subject to availability). The published version of the directory includes a selection of articles, reference documents, and the AQR membership list.

There is also a section on useful contacts that lists professional associations, membership organisations and industry bodies focussing on particular aspects of research or services, both in the UK and overseas. The categories include market research, advertising organisations, marketing/direct mail and overseas associations. In addition, the site has a library of articles which are free to read, some short, some in-depth, and a glossary of terms used in market and qualitative research.

Overall, a very good starting point for market and qualitative research in terms of understanding the industry, terminology, identifying relevant organisations, and tracking down practitioners in the field. Definitely recommended.

Market Research on the Web – Special Offer

IRN Research are offering a special introductory annual subscription to their Market Research on the Web (MROW) database. The special offer is £100 and applies to single user corporate subscribers, academic and public library users. A free trial is available covering the food and drink sector.

MROW is a searchable database of sources of market data, industry reports, company lists, statistics, industry news, legislation, and links to over 4,500 evaluated UK and European Web sites. The sites are categorised by organisation type for example trade association, professional bodies, market research publishers, market research agencies, magazines/journals, Government sites, gateways/portals.

I have subscribed to this service since it was first launched and was a regular user when it was still free of charge. The main advantage of the service for me is that it saves me so much time when I am looking for industry statistics or directories of members/companies on trade and professional association web sites. I pride myself that my search skills can track down relevant sites without the help of MROW, but I then have to visit and navigate each site in turn. All too often I find that the site does not give stats on their sector or does not have a directory. MROW tells me straight away if there are stats or market data, if there is a directory of members/companies, availability of news and press releases, and if there is information on relevant legislation and technical data. MROW finds in a couple of minutes what would normally take me about half an hour to track down the Google et al way.

MROW also provides a Guide to Market Data and Statistics – a searchable database of statistical and market research terminologies, classifications, and concepts. This is a great resource for checking on market research jargon.