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Researching technology market trends

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Background: MinitorQuest, an industry leader in the production of computer display monitors for desktop and laptop computers, has an extensive understanding of the display market, but its marketing manager wants to be sure he’s not missing something.

To maintain the company’s competitiveness, he wants to know what new technological developments are affecting the computer display industry.

He also wants to know what innovations are in the works that might result in alternative to the cathode ray tube (CRT) or the liquid crystal display (LCD).

He assigns the project to an in-house researcher in MinotorQuest’s market research group.

Research budget: The marketing manager does not approve any budget ($0.00) for expenses and only about an hour of professional research time. Raw data with a summary will be adequate.

Research strategy employed: The researcher concludes that more current and extensive information on computer products and technology will be found via the Internet that through the more commonly used aggregators.

With this type of search, a number of directions can be pursued; he decides that the best place to start is Webopedia (http://www.webopedia.internet.com) because it is important to identify the terminology used in the industry first so he can use it in the search language.

The other benefit of Webopedia is that it provides access to a number of articles and links to relevant information.

The second direction would be to use a search engine to look up monitor display organizations.

In the computer industry, standardization is critical to getting any product to the market. Monitor display organizations will provide information on technological advances and the feasibility of standardization.

The last place to check is market research reports, where information can be gleaned from the abstracts and table f contents of individual reports.

Full-text market research reports are expensive, but sometimes single pages from the report can be purchased. These sites might also provide other linkable material.

Research results: A search using “display screen” OR monitor at Webopedia brings up a short description and a sidebar with related categories and terms. Selecting Monitors under Related Categories brings up a broader series categories and terms:

Parent Categories, Subcategories, and Terms. Selecting the subcategory Flat-Panel Displays leads to more defined terminology, listed by Parent Categories, and Terms, and clicking Fiat-Panel Displays again brings up a series of articles.

One article, “Fiat Panel Display Technology Overview” (http://www.pctechguide.com/07panels.htm), provides a very good overview on the technology.

If the researcher needs more information later, he will perform a search-engine search using computer display organizations or computer display monitor organizations, which would probably provide some interesting results.

Display Search Links directs him to a list of organizations and industry resources. One of them is United States Display Consortium (USDC) (http://www.usdc.org).

On the USDC site is a tab marked Industry Resources. Clicking one of the subtitles under that tab, Business and Market Info., brings him to a page of market forecasts, overviews, and statistics (http://www.usdc.org/resources/GDN_business_market.htm). Here there are a number of excellent reports, but the first one mentioned, “Analyst’s Outlook:

Boston, Display Search (pdf) (7/01),” is quite informative. Another subtitle under the Industry Resources tab is Tutorials, which offers more reports on forecasts and display technologies.

The researcher then looks at market research report material. The USDC has a link for such a report from its forecasts page to iSuppli/Standord Resources, Inc.

(http://stanfordresources.isuppli.com/index.asp). On the iSuppli/Stanford Resources site under Market Intelligence Products there is access to an excellent abstract and table of contents for “Emerging Displays Review.”

This information will complement and support previous research already accomplished.

The researcher also uses a search engine to search for display monitor reports. This search retrieves the Display Reports Web site (http://www.displayreports.com), where free information can be found by selecting Press Room on the sidebar.

Here are a number of articles, including “Display Search’s Annual LCD Monitor Strategy Report Projects LCD Monitors to Overtake CRT Monitors in 2004” (http:/www.displaysearch.com/press/2002/102302.htm), which highlights trends and leading technological directions.

Useful tips
• Use a glossary or thesaurus to verify terminology, especially if it is unfamiliar.

• Look for market research report summaries and abstracts, which often provide useful information at no charge.

• Trade associations often have specialized information not available elsewhere.

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