10 Free Resources for Strategic Planners
World Advertising Research Center – This is an excellent source for case studies and industry trend reports on a variety of subjects. Unfortunately, high quality reports like this usually don’t come cheap, and WARC’s database is no exception. In a pinch though you can sign up for a trial membership and pull up to 5 free reports!
Advertising Media Internet Center – Great source for basic media terminology and links to media research websites. But the best part about this website is its question and answer section “media guru”, which allows you to submit detailed question and get answers from a true media expert!
Advertising Research Foundation – Is a nonprofit organization which produces The Journal of Advertising Research, a R&D vehicle for professionals in all areas of marketing including media, research, advertising and communications. Most of the content on the website is NOT free, however you can sign up for free content alerts.
Kidon Media-Link – Provides a list of over 2,000 print media vehicles for every special interest and target market under the sun. Great resource for advertisers.
AllNewspapers.com – This complement to Kidon will fill in the gaps of any missing advertising vehicles.
Scarborough Research – Provides similar information to MRI and SMRB across 81 markets. While most of the information on the site is not free, Scarborough does publish case studies several times a year that can provide invaluable insights.
Pew Research Center – This is hands down one of my favorite websites. The center conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. This can be a great resource for understanding industry trends and consumer insights outside of the typical MRI/SMRB route. Best part… it’s all free!
Advertising Agencies – This is another piece of little common sense advice, and one that probably comes pretty naturally to those that have agency jobs. Whether you work for a large agency or a private advertiser, look at the work of your competitors can be a great source of inspiration and insight. Look for high quality ad agencies in your market and see what kind of creative solutions they are coming up with.
Interactive Advertising Bureau – A massive resource for research, insights, guidelines, standards, best practices, and just about anything else related to internet advertising.