Reports in this category are generally about directories across a good number of industries Directories generally would consist of a printed book listing of businesses in one category, though increasingly they are supplied digitally, in a PDF or spreadsheet format. They will usually provide merely the contact details of a company, as opposed to a detailed market research report with market data and analysis of that market, though often they will contain data such as the number of employees, revenues in the past two or three years, major products and affiliated companies.
Directories can be useful for benchmarking efforts, for development of sale prospect list, or for an idea of the competitors in an industry when engaging in business planning or a new product launch.
It is key to evaluate how a directory is assembled. Some directories have credibility that has been established for a long period of time. An example of this would be the Pharmaceutical Marketer’s Directory, which in that industry is known as the source for pharmaceutical companies seeking advertising services. Writer’s Market has been well established as a resource to link authors and would –be authors with publishers and book agents. These directories are compiled by publishing companies. One source for directories can be industry associations, such as physician, lawyer or realtor groups. There are also for-profit directory services that will compile information from entities within a given industry, offering them the chance to advertise for their services.