Research Tips for MBA 640 Project 4

For this project, you are being asked to develop a marketing plan to increase a company's sales to other businesses in the U.S.

The tips below give suggestions for finding useful information for some of the components of project 4.


Situation Analysis

For information about finding a company's mission or vision statement, and for information about creating a mission or vision statement, see Finding a Company's Mission Statement.

To find information about how to find or create a SWOT, PEST/PESTEL/PESTLE, and/or Porter's five forces analysis for a company, see our FAQ entry on this topic.

For general company information, including headquarters location, major products/services, annual revenue, competitors, etc., the following UMGC Library databases will be useful:

Click on the plus sign (+) next to each database's name above for tips on finding company information in that database.

Note that a company's own website may also be a useful source of information about the company. Information in sections of the website dedicated to investors may be particularly helpful.

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Market Analysis

For information that will be helpful for the market analysis portion of your project, see:

To find information about trends related to a market, you can run searches in OneSearch and ABI/INFORM Complete for:

[market name] AND (trend* OR forecast* OR predict*)

So, for example, to find documents that discuss trends for the solar power/energy market, you could search for:

("solar power market*" OR "solar energy market*") AND (trend* OR forecast* OR predict*)

The Library's Finding Industry Trends and Projections guide might also be a useful resource to consult.

And to find information about the existing or potential customers for a given product or service, you can run searches in OneSearch and ABI/INFORM Complete for:

[product or service name] AND (customer* OR consumer*)

So, for example, to find documents that discuss trends for the solar power/energy market, you could search for:

("solar power" OR "solar energy") AND (customer* OR consumer*)

To find documents that discuss customers' needs with regard to a product or service, you could search for

[product or service name] AND (customer* OR consumer*) AND (need* OR require*)

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Strategic Analysis

To find documents useful for the strategic analysis portion of your project, you can run searches in OneSearch and ABI/INFORM Complete along the lines of:

[market/product/service name] AND segment*

[market/product/service name] AND "target market*"

[market/product/service name] AND ("product strateg*" OR "brand strateg*")

[market/product/service name] AND "pric* strateg*"

[market/product/service name] AND ("distribution strateg*" OR "supply chain strateg*")

[market/product/service name] AND "market* strateg*"

Note that you may need to adjust your search terms somewhat when running these searches. In some cases, it'll help to include the word market along with the name of the market (e.g., "solar power market*" OR "solar energy market*"), while in other cases it'll be better to just search for the name of the product or service being offered (e.g., "solar power" OR "solar energy").

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Financial Analysis

To find documents useful for the financial analysis portion of your project, you can run searches in OneSearch and ABI/INFORM Complete along the lines of:

[market/product/service name] AND "break-even analys*"

[market/product/service name] AND (forecast* OR predict*) AND (sale* OR purchas*)

[market/product/service name] AND (forecast* OR predict*) AND (expens* OR expenditure*)

Again, you may need to adjust your search terms somewhat when running these searches. In some cases, it'll help to include the word market along with the name of the market (e.g., "solar power market*" OR "solar energy market*"), while in other cases it'll be better to just search for the name of the market (e.g., "solar power" OR "solar energy").

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Additional Recommended UMGC Library Resources

There are also a handful of publications that are available through the UMGC Library that may be useful for this assignment and that have been recommended by MBA faculty, namely:

Click on the links above in order to run searches for documents in each of the publications listed.

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Recommended Non-UMGC Library Resources

The following non-UMGC Library resources have also been recommended by MBA faculty:

Note that portions of some of the resources listed above may be restricted to subscribers. Because UMGC does not have a subscription to these resources, students will only be able to access the material on these sites that's freely available.

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A General Note

Whether you're searching in UMGC Library databases or on the free Web, your search results may sometimes include mentions of market reports or data compilations from market research firms such as Forrester Research, Frost & Sullivan, the Gartner Group, etc. Such reports are generally quite expensive; many cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

That being the case, the full text of such reports are not generally available in any library research database, and the UMGC Library may not be able to obtain the full-text reports for you via our DocumentExpress interlibrary loan service.

But press releases and other documents that discuss these reports -- documents that are often available from UMGC Library databases and/or posted on the free Web -- may be useful for your research since such documents often summarize key findings from the reports.

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Marketing Plan Resources

For more information about marketing plans and how to write them, the following UMGC Library e-books (some of which include sample marketing plans) may be helpful:

  • How to Write a Marketing Plan
  • Successful Marketing Plans in a Week
  • Powerhouse Marketing Plans: 14 Outstanding Real-life Plans and What You Can Learn From Them to Supercharge Your Own Campaigns
  • Malcolm McDonald on Marketing Planning: Understanding Marketing Plans and Strategy
  • Developing Successful Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing Intelligence and Planning: Course Book
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    Questions?

    If you need further assistance with finding information for project 4, please Ask a Librarian.

    If you have questions about the requirements for project 4, please contact your instructor.

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    Created July 3, 2019; updated July 15, 2019