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MKTG 181:Principles of Marketing - Savannah Wei Shi: Home


Introduction of Market Research Tools

What we will do in this 40 min session:

  1. Introduction to market research tools - 15 min
  2. Hands-on exercises - 20 min
  3. Wrap-up discussion - 5 min

What you will learn in this session:

The purpose of this 40 min session is to introduce you to four powerful market research tools: IBISWorld, Mintel, Business Source Complete and Factiva. These are proprietary, licensed databases (paid for by the SCU Library) used by thousands of companies worldwide because they provide industry and market research that would otherwise take hundreds of hours to compile in-house. The reports and articles in these databases provide companies with huge amounts of information, data and analysis that helps them understand the markets they are interested in. These are sophisticated tools use by professionals and require some initial training to use efficiently and effectively.

The learning outcomes for this session are:

  1. you will know there is a business librarian and how to contact him for assistance with your business research or if you have any questions about SCU Library resources or services.
  2. you will know how to access the licensed (paid for) business databases through the SCU Library website.
  3. you will know that there are a number of databases useful for market research (which you may encounter in the workplace).
  4. you will know what IBISWorld is and how to use it to find an industry report and locate specific data within that report.
  5. you will know what Mintel is and how to find consumer data on a specific topic.
  6. you will know what Business Source Complete is and how to find SWOT analyzes and articles on a specific company or topic.
  7. you will know what Factiva is and how to find articles on a specific company or topic.

Why You Need to Know About These Tools

According to the Guidelines for Case Discussion  (course syllabus p. 6) your analysis of each of the nine cases must include current data about a company and industry, including data such as market share, market growth rate, revenue, etc. Finding this data using reliable sources you find for free on the Internet would take hours - assuming you could find reliable sources in the first place. Fortunately, you do not have to do this because there are research companies that will do it for you ... for a price. 

Just as importantly, for most of you your jobs will require you to do research and you need to know that there are tools available besides the Internet that will allow you to do good market research. You may encounter these very tools, or similar ones, in the workplace. Knowing how to use these tools is an asset and should be included in your resume under research skills.

Exercise 1: IBISWorld

IBISWorld contains standardize industry reports for over 700 industries and is an indispensable tool for gaining an overall picture of how an industry operates. Find industry reports by searching for a specific company (for example, "general motors"), by keyword(s) (for example, "automobiles"), or by NAICS code.

Use the keyword "casinos" to find the industry report on Casino Hotels in the US and find the following data:

  1. Market growth rate

  2. Revenue

  3. Profit

  4. Three “major players” based on market share

  5. Revenue growth beginning from the year 2006

Exercise 2: Mintel

Mintel provides market research reports consisting of market data and analysis, competitive intelligence and product intelligence gathered by Mintel analysts located around the world. Reports combine these elements in an expert synthesis that generates insight and recommendation rooted in highly reliable data and information.

Use the keyword "hotels" to find the report Hotels - US - October 2014 and find the following information in this report:

  1. how income level and loyalty programs affect consumers' preference for different types of hotels (midscale chain, upscale chain, economy).

Exercise 3: Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete provides access to articles from thousands of scholarly journals, for example, the Journal of Marketing. But it provides much more than journal articles: it also provides SWOT analyzes, industry reports, company reports and much more. 

  1. Use the keyword "swot" AND the name of a company, for example, "delta air lines," to find a SWOT analysis for a company of your choice. NOTE: Not all companies will have SWOT analyzes, so if the first company you try does not have one, try another company. 
  2. Use the keywords "digital marketing" AND "strateg*" (tha is an asterisk on the end of the word) to find articles on the topic of digital marketing strategy. 

Exercise 4: Factiva

Factiva provides millions of articles from tens of thousands of business and trade publications and newspapers, for example, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, New York Times. It also provide company reports.

Use the keywords "iphone 7" AND marketing strateg*" (that is an asterisk on the end of the word) to find articles on this topic. The default date range is the last 3 months, you may change this if you wish.


Please contact me with any follow-up questions about session, or if you would like assistance with finding sources for your business research projects or if you have any questions about University Library resources or services.








Business Subject Specialist

Anthony Raymond's picture
Anthony Raymond