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5 Critical Content Sources for Conducting Market Research
February 14, 2022
5 min read
Market research is a critical component of modern business strategy.
The world is evolving more rapidly than ever before, creating uncertainty and even faster flows of information to process. There is an increasing need to have systems and processes to be able to easily stay up to date on market shifts and pinpoint insights faster to inform strategic decisions.
But conducting market research casually through search engines or using public information alone isn’t enough in today’s business landscape when so much information is available to competitors, customers, partners, and other stakeholders. In order to remain confident in your strategy, know your market position, and make informed decisions, companies must dig deeper.
Without using a wide range of content types and looking beyond what’s available through a simple Google search, you risk having incomplete or inaccurate information that can lead to bigger consequences once you start using it to make decisions. Google is an effective way to find information but it is highly time-consuming, fragmented and you are often are left feeling unsure if you’ve found everything. There are many exclusive content sets unavailable on Google or PDFs that live within websites that are unlikely to show up in search results.
We’ve compiled a list of our top 5 content resources to help you tap into these critical content sets as part of your market research.
Company documents are valuable because they offer firsthand information about specific companies that come directly from the source. They include content like call transcripts, ESG and annual reports, c-suite commentary, regulatory findings, and press releases.
Analysts and strategic decision-makers leverage these documents in a number of ways. Some examples include:
- Using historical documents to analyze a company’s commentary over time
- Searching recent call transcripts to see what companies have to say about current events
- Reading annual reports to get insight into a company’s finances and operations
- Curating a range of company documents for use in conducting a competitive analysis or evaluating target investments
Traditionally, broker research was conducted by sell-side firms to help investors and hedge fund managers identify opportunities and make smart investment decisions. Corporations are now increasingly seeing the value of leveraging this type of research for their own strategic purposes as well. Corporate strategy professionals use broker research to get smart quick on market landscapes and understand analysts expectations as it relates to market trends, industry, and peer performance.
The types of content you can expect to find when you search broker research include:
- Industry reports – Cover a group of companies within the same industry and help to understand market dynamics, trends, and competition within that industry.
- Commodities reports – Frequently published reports (usually weekly or monthly) that provide a detailed analysis of commodities within an industry.
- Initiation reports – In-depth analysis of a company issued when an analyst or firm first begins covering a stock.
- Company reports – Periodic update reports issued after an analyst or firm begins covering a stock.
- Flash reports – Short reports issued in response to a news release or important event related to a company or industry.
Slide Decks & Presentations
Companies make presentations to a number of audiences — internal teams, investors, board members, even customer stakeholders. These presentations and their accompanying slide decks are valuable content resources for market research because they present important company information in extremely digestible ways.
In company presentations, you’ll find things like bulleted lists, images and videos, and data visualizations that capture complex information in ways you can quickly scan and analyze. Company presentations offer a valuable look into the way that an organization’s internal teams are thinking and operating — you can glean insight into what they think is most important to share, what their business priorities are, and which data points they’re tracking. The J.P. Morgan 40th Annual Health Care Conference is a great example of this, offering 300+ event transcripts and other related research.
Company presentation decks and transcripts can be found under company documents in the AlphaSense platform. Other places to find them include company websites, company-hosted events and webinars, or even on YouTube. In these more public places, you might not find internal presentations, but investor pitches, conference talks, and other webinar events can still be found and offer valuable insights. Beyond the content itself is the ability to use AI for sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis offers the ability to read through event transcripts and uncover minor shifts in sentiment and commentary often not revealed in other company documents. This is a great way to gain clues or insights into strategy and performance.
You can get an ongoing sense of how a company is operating in its industry by systematically following related news. One easy way to do this is to set Google Alerts (and real-time push alerts if you’re on the AlphaSense platform) so you receive automated notifications about news in real-time.
News insights are valuable because they reflect public sentiment about a company, both from industry players and the general public. Over time, you can get a good sense of what is being said about a company and how they are perceived. Following a company’s related news also ensures you don’t miss important events and announcements (good or bad) that could affect your firm’s decisions.
Company websites are one of the best content sources for market research — and one of the most often overlooked. It might seem too obvious, but the truth is that company websites contain valuable information like organization overviews, mission statements, and fact sheets (which often include data like annual revenue, number of employees, and other statistics).
Never skip over this easy but effective tactic when conducting market research on a specific company. In fact, it is often a great place to start in order to get a sense of direction and note what you want to explore more deeply in your subsequent research.
Corporate strategists and competitive intelligence teams at leading companies are identifying future industry and market trends through research directly from Wall Street’s top analysts. To get you started, we’ve compiled the 5 types of research reports you can leverage to stay ahead of the curve in our infosheet, The 5 Types of Wall Street Research Reports Leveraged by the Corporate World.
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