Skip to Main Content

MKTG 336: Public Company Research

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

Page Overview

Resources on this page are largely geared toward publicly-traded companies. That said, don't overlook the strategies and resources on the private/non-profit page when researching a public company!

For more help, visit the guides below:

Company search activity: Choose from Mergent Online, Business Source Premier, and Nexis Uni to familiarize self with company information available on these databases.

Industry search activity: Choose one of the databases listed under Industry Reports and locate a report or analysis for the company you located in the previous exercise.

Questions to Consider

Is the company publicly-traded or privately-held? This sets the expectation for how much information is available and where to look.

Does the company exist as a subsidiary or is it owned by another company (parent company)? If it is a subsidiary, it is often helpful to research the parent company as well.

What is the real name of the company? Example: GE versus General Electric. Be aware of this when searching.

If publicly-traded, what is the ticker symbol of the company? Some resources are searchable by ticker symbol.

What industry or industries is your company, product or service classified under? Identify the NAICS or SIC code(s) as some resources are searchable by industry code.

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.

Other Databases Worth Mentioning

These two databases also provide company information, but with a stronger focus on finance (stock prices, valuations, etc.)

Databases with Company Information

When locating reports and profiles on companies or industries, pay attention to the publication date.

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...

Company Research - Key Terms

United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Information

The SEC requires that public companies disclose meaningful financial information to the public in order to achieve the concept that all investors, rather they be large institutions or private individuals, have basic information about an investment before they buy it and so long as they hold it. The filings collected by the SEC are searchable through EDGAR.