There are many sources of market information. The first place anyone looks is the Internet. But where do you look and what is the quality of what you find? Ruth Balkin, the president of Penguin, has a tag line that says if you can't find what you want on the Internet in 10 minutes, pick up the phone and call her.
That elevator speech is not just a self-serving advertisement for Ruth. It’s the truth.
While the internet is an enormous archive of information, it is of widely varying quality and detail. Information needed to validate a market analysis often needs to come from "reliable sources" that are recognized as being accurate by those in the field.
Besides the mountain of free information on the internet, there are a multitude of databases available only by subscription, and there are market research reports that cover whole industries in great detail and are usually very expensive.
One of the services that Ruth provides is that she has subscriptions to many of those databases. She also has the ability to look "within" some of those very expensive reports. Often the information you most need is on a few pages of a $3000 report. Ruth can sometimes pull out just those pages.
So far we have been dealing with published literature which is, by its nature, general. When you want something very specific that applies just to your particular question about a product, you often need to commission a specific market study. That is one of the services Penguin provides through its Market Sonar service which makes use of Voice of the Caller surveys.
To learn more about Market Sonar, check out the Penguin website shown below.
Originally published in Business Metamorphosis LLC's January 2018 newsletter. Written by Richard Blazey, edited by Ruth Balkin