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BUS 361 Integrated Marketing Communications (O'Meara)

This guide will give you support and tips for doing the research required for your BUS 361 class!

Consumer Behavior and Trends

Sources for Consumer Research: Primary Sources (information compiled by you and your team):

Interview

Opinion Polls

Surveys

Observations

Physical store audits

Visiting online review sites (Yelp, etc.) 

Sources for Consumer Research: Secondary Sources (information compiled by others):

Experian Marketing Forward Blog: Freely available data, infographics, and reports on consumer behavior and trends.

Harris Interactive, a market research firm that conducts the Harris Poll of consumers, has the following freely available information:

Marketing Charts:  This web site compiles data from other companies about consumers' interactions and habits with media including TV, Internet, social media, direct mail, and more. Data also shows the success of these campaigns, as well as ranking top media for advertising. Scroll down the screen to see charts arranged by most recent date first, search by media category, or do a keyword search for your topic. 

The Nielsen Holdings N.V. company measures what consumers watch and buy. 
Their web site has several great, free sections where you can get consumer news, trends, data, and reports:

  • Nielsen Newswire:  News stories tracking trends in areas such as consumer behavior and media.
  • Nielsen Reports: Longer pieces highlighting particular consumer groups, online and mobile trends, and more.
  • Claritas: My Best Segments This web site groups consumers into general categories, with brief descriptions and demographic information. Use the Zip Code Look-Up to get information about consumers in a particular area in both descriptions and graphs. There are three categories of information for consumers; PRIZM, P$YCLE, which describes the financial status of consumers, and ConneXions, which describes the level of technology use and connectivity of consumers. Use Segment Explorer to view descriptions of all of the consumer segments on the web site. Use the links on the left side of the screen to search for consumer groups by age, income, and other categories.
  • Nielsen TopTen: Top Ten list of various forms of media used by the public: Books, web sites, magazines, and more. Updated on a regular basis.

Pew Research Center: A non-partisan research group that collects and presents data, opinions, and reports on American attitudes, activities, and trends.

Time Use Survey: Bureau of Labor Statistics: US Labor Department: Data on how American consumers use their time.

Consumer Demographics and Expenditures

 

Consumer Expenditure Survey: Bureau of Labor Statistics: US Labor Department:

Statistics and reports on consumer expenditures, unemployment rates, and much more.

United Nations Demographic and Social Statistics Includes information on demographics of countries, income and consumption, and more. Also includes demographic yearbooks here, and demographic and social topics here

US Census Bureau International Data Base (IDB) Statistical tables of demographic, and socio-economic data for 227 countries and areas of the world. 

Company Research

Sources for Company Research: Primary Sources (information compiled by you and your team):

Interviews

Opinion Polls

Surveys

Observations

Physical store audits

Visiting online review sites (Yelp, etc.)

Sources for Company Research: Secondary Sources (information compiled by others):

Company's web site: Start with the company’s web site; look for Investor Relations, About the Company, etc. There may be a CEO message, or you can also find mission statements, values, financial information, and other information to help you analyze the company’s strategies.

Forbes Magazine's Company Lists

Don't forget books, you can sometimes get great overviews of a company in a book. Search your company in our library catalog here

Company Histories:

International Directory of Company Histories This online directory contains detailed histories of over 11,000 worldwide companies. Information includes merger and acquisitions information, highlighted key dates and events, subsidiaries, and more. Search Within Series for your company.

Media Usage and Marketing Expenditures

Digital Marketing Spending Survey: Charts and figures for digital marketing spending by major industry categories, and breakdowns of how the spending is allocated. This is a summary of findings from the survey.

Marketing Charts:  This web site compiles data from other companies about consumers' interactions and habits with media including TV, Internet, social media, direct mail, and more. Data also shows the success of these campaigns, as well as ranking top media for advertising. Scroll down the screen to see charts arranged by most recent date first, search by media category, or do a keyword search for your topic.

State of the News Media: An annual report by Pew Research Center that examines how consumers use news media, what formats they prefer, and more!

For specific media cost information, go to the web site for the major media outlet you are interested in (ex. Wall Street Journal)

Marketing and Advertising Blogs

Adverblog: Showcases digital advertising and marketing.

Inspiration Room: Promotes creative marketing in a variety of media.

Seth Godin: The highly ranked blog by Godin, a marketer, entrepreneur, and writer.

Digital Buzz: Trends, insights from the global digital marketing industry.

MarketingProfs: A clearinghouse and community of ideas, training, best practices in marketing. Free registration required.

Multicult Classics: Highlights the lack of diversity and misappropriation of culture in advertising.

Articles on Consumers, Companies, and Markets

Citing Your Sources

Whenever you do research, you will need to cite the information sources that you use. Most business scholars use APA style. Here are some tools that can help you with this task:

 

Getting Help!

There are several ways to obtain assistance with your research. Read on!

The School of Management has a library liaison named Penny Scott, and you can contact her for help. 

Her contact information is: email: plscott@usfca.edu * phone: 415-422-5389

It is best to call or email ahead, or make an appointment, to make sure she is available!

If Penny is not available, or any time you need help, you can always get help, just Ask a Librarian!