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Marketing: Home

Starting point for thinking about marketing research assignments and projects and finding helpful secondary (library) resources.


Building a successful marketing campaign requires tailoring your offerings as closely as possible to what customers want and need. This guide will help you find sources of secondary data and information about

  • Prospective buyers
  • Product markets including leading competitors
  • Advertising costs

Since not all potentially useful information is available to the public, doing your own primary research (focus groups, interviews, surveys, and the like) is sometimes expected in order to complete class projects. Your class syllabus should indicate whether you will need to go beyond library resources and gather primary data.


Path to This Guide

Here's the Quick Recognition code for mobile devices with a QR reader installed.





And here's the url to paste into your browser

Getting Started

The basic building blocks of marketing are the 4 P's. These are the things that can be tailored to match values and interests of specific buyers. So these are factors that you may want to investigate in order to gain a competitive advantage. 

PRODUCT   Elements of the product range from its physical properties (e.g. durable, colorful, contemporary-looking) to a mental image (e.g. safe, trendy, ecologically responsible).

PRICE  This includes psychological "costs" such as inconvenience in addition to the actual purchase price.

PROMOTION   Most people think first of paid advertising but other forms of promotion such as coupons, free samples, or hiring actors to stir up some buzz before a product launch can also be effective ways to get the target customer's attention.

PLACE/DISTRIBUTION   This notion encompasses anything about where buyers get the product from point of access (big box stores, Internet, catalog sales, etc.) to the level of training and expertise sales people possess.

Your research could start with any of the following:

News: Mention of a technical product innovation, a new fad among a certain age group, or the impact of an economic phenomenon (e.g. plummeting gasoline prices) in a magazine or newspaper article, a blog, or a t.v feature can lead you to a profitable business opportunity. 

Scan recent articles from  Business Source Complete or   Lexis Nexis Academic for marketing ideas. Or depend on stories from media sources that you trust and check often online or in paper to choose a consumer group or specific product market of interest.

Published Market Research:  Click on the Market Research Data tabs to find useful online and book sources of US and International marketing data.

Company and Industry Information:  Knowledge of your company's strengths and the viable opportunities out there can be found in articles and reports about specific companies. See the Company Information tab within this guide for hints about finding information and opinions from journalists, stock market analysts, and the company itself. 

Since no company operates in a vacuum, a variety of industry reports can also yield useful facts and pertinent observations such as market shares, leading competitors, significant factors driving a particular product market, and more. Click on the Industry Information  tab within this guide to see recommended sources.


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Reference & Instruction Librarian

Khyle Hannan's picture
Khyle Hannan
151 Jerome Library
Bowling Green Ohio, 43403