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Journalism 4952 Fall 2022: Resources By Concept

Concept 1: Company

Answer these 4 questions as you conduct your research.  Suggestions and links to database resources are listed at each step.

What company are you are trying to assist to reach their goal?

  • What is their mission, vision, values, competencies, history?
  • Financials – what are the key drivers of revenue and profit?  Trends?

If your client company is publicly traded - Information about the company's history, mission and vision statements, culture and values can often be found on the company's website.  Financials (if a publicly traded company) can be found in the SEC disclosure documents or 10K.  Mergent OnlineNet Advantage (Capital IQ) and Factiva will have financials for publicly traded companies.  Look for news releases, business trade and news publications in Business Source Premier and Factiva.  Business Source Premier often has market research reports and SWOT analysis of companies and industries. 

If your client company is privately held, a franchised business or locally owned, you will need to consult local publications (newspaper, magazines and the company's website) for information about the company, its owners, customers, competitors, category/industry and trends). 

If your company is a nonprofit, it should have a website.  On that website, they should have information about them:  mission, vision, history.  Financial information can be found on tax forms.  Charities and Nonprofits must file 990 forms with the Internal Revenue Service.  ProPublica' Nonprofit Explorer offers free searching for nonprofits, including IRS 990 files.  Much information about competition, past advertising and promotional efforts will come from the client interviews.

Suggested database: Business Source Premier
Business Source Premier provides full-text for nearly 2,200 peer-reviewed and trade business journals. Also included are company profiles, industry reports, market research reports, and SWOT analysis.

Business Source Premier Logo

Suggested search terms:

  • "MarketLine Company Profile" and "store name"

Relevant profiles:

Suggested database: Google

Google Logo

Suggested search terms:

  • Columbia, Missouri
  • "book store" or bookstore
  • local

Suggested websites:

Concept 2: Industry

What category or Industry is the company a part of?

  • What business does the client think that they are in? (food, drink, fitness?)
  • Is the category/industry growing or not?
  • What product/service is typically marketed in the category?
    • What are the usual marketing tactics?
    • Does everyone market alike?
  • What external factors might impact the category?
    • Natural Disaster/ weather/ power outage?
    • Covid

Information about industries, business lines, etc. can be found by exploring the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes business assign themselves.  Data about these industries/codes is collected by the government and aggregated on the United States Census NAICS website.  Mergent OnlineNet Advantage (Capital IQ) and Factiva will have information about individual publicly traded companies and comparisons within their peer group.  IBIS World provides information about industries and trends by NAICS.    Net Advantage will have industry surveys and information about representative companies in that space, although they do not categorize by NAICS.  Find geolocation of businesses and information about a specific business at a specific location by using SimplyAnalytics.  Associations and organizations, which collect data and educate their members about trends, etc., are very good places to locate information about a particular category or segment.

If your company is private or locally owned and you know the category/industry in which they do business, you can search Discover@MU, Business Source Premier, ABI Inform  and Factiva and perhaps Mintel for industry trends.  

Suggested database: IBISWorld
IBISWorld provides reports for all of the 723 industries in the United States as categorized by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). IBISWorld research reports contain trends, statistics and analysis on market size, market share of competitors, and industry growth rates. Performance analysis includes emerging industry trends as well as recent production performance and 5 year forecasts.

IBISWorld Logo

Suggested search terms:
You can browse a list of NAICS classifications on IBISWorld here

Recent reports:

Suggested database: Mintel
Includes market research reports for Europe, the UK, and the US. Reports discuss market drivers, market size & trends, market segmentation, supply structure, advertising and promotion, retail distribution, consumer characteristics, and market forecasts.  In order to use Mintel, you must first agree to the terms of Mintel Academic Access.

Mintel Logo

Suggested search terms:

  • craft stores
  • book stores
  • retail

Recent reports:

Concept 3: Consumer

Who is the consumer of the goods or service?

  • How do consumers respond to the category?
    • Loyal, switchers, deal or variety-seeking?
    • Profile them (demographics, psychographics, attitudes, behavior
  • What can you identify about the purchase?
    • High or low involvement?
    • Primarily a rational or emotional decision?
    • Motivations?

Market size, segments, channels, customer information sources and trends may be found in market research databases like: Mintel and SimplyAnalytics,  ABI Inform and Business Source Premier often have market research reports and SWOT analysis of companies and industries.  Articles about trends, channels and market share may be found in: Business Source Premier and Factiva.  Industry trade publications and blogs offer another source of market and trend information.

If your company is private or locally owned, you can search Discover@MU, Business Source PremierABI Inform  and Factiva and perhaps Mintel for information about consumers of similar businesses.

Suggested database: Mintel
Includes market research reports for Europe, the UK, and the US. Reports discuss market drivers, market size & trends, market segmentation, supply structure, advertising and promotion, retail distribution, consumer characteristics, and market forecasts.  In order to use Mintel, you must first agree to the terms of Mintel Academic Access.

Mintel Logo

Suggested search terms:

  • "generation z"

Recent reports:

Suggested database: SimplyAnalytics
Provides over 100,000 data variables for use in creating thematic maps and tables. Data can be viewed by state, congressional district, city, county, ZIP code, census tract or block group. Note: You are not required to create an account. Click Sign in as a guest to access. Only create an account if you want to save your work in the system.

SimplyAnalytics Tutorial: Available in the menu of this website

Concept 4: Competition

Who is the competition?

  • Direct competitor?
  • Indirect competitor?
  • What is the competition doing and why?
  • How is you client’s brand positioned in relation to the competition?
  • How does your budget compare?

Information about competitors, their products, market share, strengths and weaknesses can be found in company/industry databases such as:  Business Source Premier, Mergent OnlineNet AdvantageIBIS World; business trade and news publications like Factiva; and market research databases like Mintel.  Competitive positioning might be revealed through advertising campaigns shared in advertising databases like Adforum,  WARC and Winmo.  Communication literature databases such as Communication and Mass Media Complete will have both scholarly and trade publications.

If your company is private or locally owned, you might consult the business itself to see who they consider their competition to be.

Suggested database: Business Source Premier
Business Source Premier provides full-text for nearly 2,200 peer-reviewed and trade business journals. Also included are company profiles, industry reports, market research reports, and SWOT analysis.

Business Source Premier Logo

Suggested search terms:

  • "MarketLine Company Profile" and "store name"

Relevant profiles:

Suggested database: Google

Google Logo

Suggested search terms:

  • Columbia, Missouri
  • "book store" or bookstore
  • local

Suggested websites: