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Business/Economics: Market Research

This guide will be useful to students creating a marketing plan, including those in BA 223 and BA 260.

Getting Started

photo of crowded shibuya crossing at night with advertisementsMarket research consists of data you collect yourself (primary research, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observations) and secondary research, or research that already exists. To learn more about primary research, search in the library for terms like marketing research or business intelligence to find relevant books and e-books. You'll find sources of secondary research below, some only available in library databases and some freely available on the web.

Library Business Databases

The library databases below will give you market share reports, SWOT analyses, and information about consumer groups, industries, and publicly-traded companies. Private companies may be mentioned in industry reports or trade magazines. Be sure to start here to access them, since you have to log in!

Library News Databases

Find articles about your company and its competitors in regional and local news sources. This may be your best bet for external analysis if you're working with a private company!

desk with various items including newspaper

Stuck? Need a definition?

If you're unfamiliar with a marketing term or concept, you might find this Marketing Dictionary from Monash University helpful, or review content in an OER like Principles of Marketing. If you get stuck, reach out to a librarian or an instructor! Sometimes certain information doesn't exist or costs a lot of money--librarians can help you figure out what's available to you as a student.

Company Info on the Web

Company websites will likely provide information about a company's mission, goalshistoryproducts, and more. There is likely to be more information about public companies than private companies. Public companies have a unique ticker symbol. They're required to file 10Ks (a summary of a company's performance) with the federal government, and they publish annual reports for investors, which may be on their websites. Information about private companies is probably self-reported.


Accessing ReferenceUSA through the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library

As an LBCC student, you have access to Corvallis-Benton County Public Library's (CBCPL) electronic resources. To use these, you must first have a card from CBCPL. To get a card (if you don't have one already), take your LBCC student ID to the desk at one of the CBCPL libraries and ask for help signing up.

An important business resource from Corvallis Public is ReferenceUSA, which is one of the best sources for information on very small, local, private companies. To get here (once you have your library card), look under the Business & Finance section of CBCPL's E-resources and click the ReferenceUSA link. Use the number on your CBCPL card (not your x number) to log in.

Finding Local Company Information through ReferenceUSA

Once you're logged in, click on the search button for US Businesses. Enter a company name and a city to find the owner, contact information, SIC/NAICS industry codes, expenditures, sales, and more. 

Under Location Information, you can enter a number of miles in Radius Search, and then click on Find Similar to see nearby businesses in the same industry.


Government Data the Web

Consumer Trends & Digital Marketing

Contact Your Librarian

Michaela Willi Hooper's picture
Michaela Willi Hooper
Albany Campus Library, WH-144

License & Credits

Creative Commons License This page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International LicenseStock photos on this page are public domain via Pixabay.