Check It Out

Cast Of Characters

Next, Smith needs to build a profile of her customers. While she believes anyone who likes animals is a potential customer, she wants to be more specific. If she decides to market her cards throughout Southern California, how do buyers there differ from buyers in, say, Madison, Wisconsin?

Because there's no single source for this information, the librarian suggests Smith try several resources. First she checks Editor & Publisher's Market Guide (Editor & Publisher Co.), an annual guide forecasting economic activity and retail sales in every newspaper market in the United States and Canada. Smith also looks at the Sourcebook of ZIP Code Demographics (Caci Marketing Systems), which has statistics on disposable income across the country.

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This article was originally published in the June 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Check It Out.

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