This guide ties in with the class assignment to create a marketing plan for a new product or service to be offered by a US company. If you need any assistance in using these resources or if you are having difficulty in locating information, please contact the Economics and Business liaison librarian.
The sources below offer company profiles that will help you understand the challenges and opportunities currently facing the company that would be marketing your new product or service.
Annual Report Gallery
A one-stop source for the latest annual reports of over 2,000 companies. Reading your company's annual report will show you what they perceive as their strengths and weaknesses.
Business Source Premier
This database contains Datamonitor reports on individual companies, which include histories and SWOT analyses. Type your company's name into the "Browse for" box.
LexisNexis Academic: Business Module
Access company profiles from sources such as Hoover's, or read industry analyst reports on your company from Investext. To get started, choose Company Profiles from the menu at left.
Standard and Poor's Stock Reports [found in NetAdvantage]
To retrieve the latest report on your company, click the Companies tab, select "Stock Reports" in the Resources pull-down menu, and search for the company either by name or ticker symbol.
Learning about recent developments in your company's industry (including changes in consumer demand, marketing trends, and activities by your company's competitors) will help you design and position your new product.
Standard and Poor's Industry Surveys [found in NetAdvantage]
Ref HG4910 .S756 (print version)
These detailed profiles characterize the dynamics of a particular industry at the time they were written, including the major players and trends. Click the Industry tab and use the Industry Surveys pull-down menu to select the appropriate report.
Industry Profiles [found in Business Source Premier]
This database includes industry reports from several well-respected sources, particularly Datamonitor's Industry Profiles and Global Insight's Industry Yearbooks. To access an industry report, type a keyword representing your industry into the "Browse for" box.
The books listed below provide recent data on consumption trends in the United States. This information will enable you to determine the best target demographic groups for your new product or service.
Best Customers: Demographics of Consumer Demand
Ref HC79 .C6 R87
Statistical profiles of the consumption of more than 300 products and services, with breakdowns by age, income, region, race, and level of education.
Household Spending: Who Spends How Much on What
Ref HC110.C6 A666
Household spending on various products, broken down by a variety of demographics. The data is derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey.
Geisel Library catalog
To find relevant books, you will probably want to try a combination of Keyword and Subject searching in the library catalog. Start by searching one or more keywords corresponding to the issue that you're researching. When you find a useful book, check in its catalog record for Subject Headings that are pertinent to your topic, which can lead you to further useful books. Here are some sample keyword searches:
- (marketing OR advertising) AND (youth OR child* OR teen* OR adolescen*)
- (cars OR automobile*) AND (market* OR advertis*)
- (clothing OR fashion) AND (market* OR advertis*)
- (Internet OR online) AND market*
You can also try directly performing a Subject search on a defined Subject Heading related to your topic. Here are some Subject Headings that may prove helpful.
- Advertising - Psychological Aspects
- Child Consumers
- Consumer Behavior
- Internet Marketing
- Market Segmentation
- Marketing Research
- Marketing - United States
- Women Consumers
By searching WorldCat, you can identify relevant books owned by other colleges and have them delivered to Geisel Library for your use. Try performing the same Subject and Keyword searches that were effective in the Geisel Library catalog. When you identify a relevant book in WorldCat, you can click on the "Request via Interlibrary Loan" link in its WorldCat record. Books requested through WorldCat are usually delivered to Geisel Library in 7-10 days, so be sure to start your research early. You will be emailed when your book arrives, and you can check it out for a specified borrowing period.
More detailed and up-to-date analyses of product markets, marketing strategies, and advertising methods will be available in academic journals, business magazines, and the trade press. Here's a breakdown of what these types of sources will provide, along with links to directly search some of the best periodicals in each category:
- Scholarly journals: empirical studies of consumer behavior and the impact of marketing and advertising
- Business magazines: overviews of the latest trends and developments
- Trade press periodicals: articles written for industry insiders on the latest developments in markets and consumer preferences
To look for useful articles, start by searching the same keywords you used in the book catalogs, employing the Boolean AND and OR to combine concepts and related terms. Once you run your search, use the Publication Type limiter on the left side of the results screen to narrow your focus to Academic Journals, Trade Publications, or Periodicals (magazines). Click on a Subject Thesaurus Term along the left side to narrow your results to articles dealing with that particular topic. Here are a few sample keyword searches:
- (cosmetic* OR make-up) AND marketing
- marketing AND (Facebook OR Twitter)
- online gaming AND advertising
If there is no link to the full text of the article, click on the WebBridge icon to determine whether the journal is available in Geisel Library or in full-text via another online database. If the article isn't available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link in the WebBridge window to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Within a week, you should receive an email indicating that the article is available to access.
Business Source Premier
Provides full-text articles and article abstracts for scholarly journals, business magazines, and trade periodicals covering business, marketing, consumers, and industry trends.
Academic Search Premier
This multi-disciplinary database contains articles on a wide range of topics. Check here for articles on marketing and consumer trends from magazines like Time and Newsweek.
Search this database to learn about the psychology behind the purchase and consumption decisions of particular demographic groups, and the impact of effective advertising.
Try this database to explore sociological issues such as group identification, mass adoption of trends, or the impact of "mavens".
In their feature and business sections, newspapers often cover new consumer and marketing trends long before journals and books address them. Although they lack the analysis and scholarly weight of journal articles, newspaper articles may be the best source of information on new kinds of products and services. Try the same keyword searches that succeeded in the journal databases.
Find full-text newspaper articles from local and national papers. Next to Select Sources, choose either "US Newspapers and Wires" or "Business News Publications". In the results screen, change the Sort to "Relevance" to move the best results to the top.
Wall Street Journal
This database offers full-text access to the Wall Street Journal from 1984 through the present. You can limit your keyword searches to the article abstract or title to improve your results. In the results screen, change the sort order to "Most Relevant First".
See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.