Free!–Marketing Resources

Barbara Findlay Schenck over at gives your business a boost with these no-cost marketing resources.

Market research: MapStats. Don’t rely on guesswork to determine whether the region you serve can support your growth goals or whether new markets are good choices for business expansion. Instead, tap into government-assembled facts about any U.S. state, county, city or congressional district. With just a few keyboard clicks you’ll see the region’s population and demographics, as well as facts about growth, housing, income, employment, number and nature of businesses, and business activity by sector. Through this single source you can gather valuable information to weigh as you plot your next marketing moves.

Customer research: Zoomerang and SurveyMonkey. These resources let you create customized surveys and view responses to them, giving you knowledge of how your products and services are perceived by consumers so you can improve your business offerings accordingly. Higher-level services are available for a fee.

Marketing-plan resources: U.S. Small Business Administration. Business advisors agree on one thing: Businesses with marketing plans market better. For help getting your marketing in order, the SBA provides a rich array of advice on a single Web page. Links lead to how-to instructions for conducting competitive analyses, writing marketing plans, placing advertising and more. For additional information, visit the Palo Alto Software site for marketing-plan advice, tools, and what’s described as “the largest single collection of free sample marketing plans online.”

Photo by gelaskins.

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