Market Research for Fun & Profit

Note: this is a copy-paste of an email I sent to entrepreneurs-in-residence I’m mentoring these days. Please excuse the less-than-perfect formatting. If you have more sources/methods, please share in the comments.

One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face (especially in the Kingdom) is the lack of market intelligence to support their planning. I am sending you this email to share with you a list of resources and techniques for market research. I’ve been growing this list for quite some time and I hope you’ll find it as useful as I have in the past. You should skim through them quickly and drilldown on the ones that are relevant to you. Regardless of the sources you choose, try to keep an open mind and always seek out-of-the-box methods to support your decisions.

Saudi Government Entities

  1. Central Department of Statistics & Information (CDSI)
    General statistics such as imports, exports, inflation, population, growth rates, etc.
  2. Information & Communication Technology Commission
    Reports and studies on ICT sector
  3. Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF)
    Industrial statistics and future outlooks
  4. Ministry of Commerce and Industry
    Reports and statistics on factories and volumes
  5. Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON)
    Reports including cost of doing business in Saudi
  6. Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (SAMA)
    Periodical reports with economic indicators
  7. Ministry of Health (MOH)
    Health indicators and statistics
  8. Port Authority
    Monthly and annual reports on imports and exports for each port
  9. Customs Authority
    Annual reports on imports and exports

Techniques for Software Startups

  1. Google Trend: effective/creative use of this toll will allow you to gauge interest in a certain topic, find correlations, and predict behavior. I find the data to be much more meaningful when filtered by country/region.
  2. the go-to place to estimate website traffic and most popular urls. It can be most effective in determining the most popular websites in similar countries in order to find unexploited trends.
  3. App Annie: best place to look up traffic on mobile apps from different platforms.
  4. Facebook Ads: good to measure niche markets.
  5. good to look up performance and fund raising of similar ventures in different markets