At various past jobs, I would loved to have had millions of marketing dollars for intelligence services, analyst reports and more to make my job easier. I often didn’t have that luxury so, I had to learn to get creative with my own searches and digging for information to validate and support marketing plans.
I get asked questions today like “do you use Google to search” or do I use other mystery sources to find gold nuggets?
The short answer is, “YES, I use Google and I love it.”Searching for information often comes down to the phrases you type into a search engine and how you think about the problem or data you’re trying to collect. In other words, garbage in, garbage out (results). When trying to find competitive data, pricing information or some obscure thing related to the market, open your mind to how you search.
A Few Quick Tips:
- Don’t get lazy – don’t stop at page 1 of a Google search – I often find what I really want on page 5, 10 or 20.
- There are more and more semantic search engines that are industry focused – you may search for “semantic search (your industry)” to see if you can find one early on for more targeted research. An example of a biomedical engine like this is: www.novoseek.com.
- If you’re trying to find industry experts or key personnel at companies, look at industry events and trade shows for contact names giving presentations. Often, after events, you can even find presentations posted – a great resource.
- Grab information from credible sources if you have access or can get a temporary pass like: Hoover’s Online, The 451 Group, Analyst sites, industry information portals with articles, etc.
- If looking for pricing, type in the “company name, product name and the word pricing.” If you can’t find it, try a competitor in the same category with the same formula. If that doesn’t work, try “company, product, price quote” or a version of this statement.