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MKTG 336: Private Company or Non-Profit Research

Research strategies and resources for MKTG 336 Direct and Interactive Marketing with Dr. Paula Morris

Page Overview

These resources and strategies are more applicable to the MAXI challenge project, but could be equally useful for researching your catalog company.

For more help, visit the guide(s) below:

Industry Codes

Simplify your research and keep things consistent by FIRST defining your industry by selecting the industry code that classifies your business or service.

You could search by company within the databases and be on the lookout for the NAICS or SIC code. Or, you can search by a keyword that describes a particular product/service using the links below.

Find Investor Relations, Press/Media, or About Us Pages

Investor Relations pages are gold mines for publicly available company information. Since they are geared toward current or future investors of a company, they often provide resources such as SEC filings, annual reports, historic sales, and stock information.

If you can't locate the Investor Relations page (or another kind of page, for that matter), Google is your friend:

  • If you haven't already, look up the company's website. Keep the official website in mind.
    • Example 1: www.gapinc.com
    • Example 2: www.businessinsider.com
  • Google the company's name, plus "investor relations" (or the name of any page you are trying to locate)
    • Example 1: Gap Inc. investor relations
    • Example 2: Business Insider about us
  • Evaluate the results (the correct page should be within the first few, though). Pay attention to both the title of the result and the URL associated with it. The first part of the URL should match up with the company website you already located. If it doesn't, it's probably not associated with the company.
    • Example 1: "Investors - Gap Inc."... www.gapinc.com/content/gapinc/html/investors.html
    • Example 2: "Welcome to Business Insider - About"... www.businessinsider.com/about

Find Trade Associations and Publications

Associations keep track of industry data for their members and may have valuable information on an industry that would not be found in standard business sources. Business Insights: Essentials (Gale) offers a directory of associations. Business Source Premier (EBSCOhost) and ABI/INFORM (ProQuest) offer trade publications for some associations or organizations.

Aside from using the databases linked below, you can also use Google to find association websites and publications. Try using keywords such as [industry or product description] trade association. e.g., home inspection trade association. Once you find one, be sure to evaluate the website with a critical eye before using any information or data it provides. If it seems legitimate, look for pages that mention a newsletter or journal, member directories, industry outlooks/data, an "about us" summary, or other sections that would provide insight into the existing conditions of the industry. Keep in mind that not all associations will have this information publicly available (membership benefit).

Find Industry Reports & More

To supplement company-specific information, get a better sense for the total market by researching the overall industry.

When locating industry reports, pay attention to the 1) publication date, and 2) geography (global, US, India, etc.). 

Online Resources (for off-campus access, you will be prompted to login with your SU username and password - same as for Gullnet, MyClasses, etc.)

Print Resources (in the library)

For older surveys...

Select Books on Nonprofit Marketing, Management