The British Library’s Business Information Service, has written a guide to help small businesses find suitable consumers for their products, but here are some of the key ideas on how to find your target audience:

1) Market Research Reports

This is the main information source on consumer markets and is therefore a useful starting point for research. It’s a combination of statistical data, along with interpretation and analysis, and will include things like:

• Definition and size of the market
• Recent trends
• Current issues affecting the market
• Distribution channels
• Information on key players

2) General Publishers

• Data monitor – produces reports on markets such as: food and drink, personal care and financial services.

• Euromonitor – covers sections including: alcoholic drinks; consumer lifestyle; domestic electrical appliances; healthcare; leisure; and tourism.
• Key Note – covers a range of areas, including: clothing and personal goods; drinks; tobacco; financial services; healthcare; household goods; and retailing.

• Market Assessment – produces in-depth reports on key UK markets, updated at least every 18 months on areas like: clothing; food and drink; home improvements; and financial services.
• Has five report series, which, combined, produce over 200 reports each year. Some of these series are : Leisure Intelligence reports, which covers catering, leisure pursuits and travel;
Market Intelligence reports, covers food and drink and other fast-moving consumer items;
And Special Reports cover many topics related to home shopping and lifestyle.

3) Specialist Publishers

• Corporate Intelligence Group has two businesses which publish market research reports:
One, analyses retail markets across the UK and Europe, providing a comparison across countries; the other covers travel and tourism both nationally and internationally including hotels travel agents and airlines.

• Verdict also has several areas that it produces reports for, from various perspectives of retail including: looking at market dynamics;  looking at different locations; looking at how, why and where UK consumers shop; and forecasting trading activities across major retail sectors.

 Jupiter Media Matrics looks specifically at the internet, focusing on major players, technologies and trend in internet services.

4) Opinion Surveys

There are many of these available online, however, two of the largest companies to look into are:
Market and Opinion Research International (MORI), which looks mostly at topics like culture, media, leisure and national identity;

NOP Research Group, which looks at three areas of that could be of interest to your business – internet surveys, public opinion surveys, and financial surveys.


What Do You Think?

Are there other useful ways in order to find out what your consumer wants from your business? What did you do in order to find appropriate consumers for your small business? Let us know, leave your comments here.

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