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Marketing Research Assignment Components

Identifying the Competition

There are several avenues for identifying the competition, so to speak.  This tab will walk you through three or four pathways within the library's collections. Imagine beginning with Olay, (Procter & Gamble) or another personal care brand.  It's straightforward enough to pull out the company's perspective, through key points on its web presence.


Under Investor Relations discover P&G's annual report, SEC filings, financial releases, and stock information.  However, you will want to go beyond the company's point of view!

Starting out

After digging out the SWOT Analyses in Business Source Complete, you may have noticed that they are attached to more expansive reports.  Besides a SWOT analysis, these Marketline company reports offer a company overview, key facts, history, business description, a list of major products & services, and a list of top competitors, among other things!

Getting to the Procter and Gamble company report looks something like this:

Unfortunately, this search has hit a snag!  The requested report does not appear in the alphabetized list.  The solution lies in moving away from "alphabetical" and selecting "match any words".  In this collection, Procter and Gamble is known as The Procter & Gamble Company.  Indexing practice often drops the word "The".  However, that did not happen in this case. 

This example serves as a reminder that it is useful to get to know the library's collections, exploring their different dimensions and obtaining a sense of what they can offer.  There are other approaches to consider, including asking a librarian for assistance, before pressing the self-destruct button and choosing a different company/topic!


And, here is the list of P&G's top competitors! A renewed search of company profiles will pull together individual company reports on each top competitor.

The view from Industry

Sticking with the personal care and hygiene industry category, the Business Source Complete database, and a number of other library collections, come loaded with all kinds of industry reports.  Among other things, these industry reports contain an analysis of the leading three or four companies working within the particular industry.

For personal hygiene, select the Industry Profiles tab in Business Source Complete, search the category, choose a market, such as Canada, and open the most current report.  The following leading companies are compared and contrasted within the Canadian personal care and hygiene market: Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Natura & Company Holdings, and Colgate-Palmolive.

Market Share Reporting

Deep within the guts of the library's Business Insights Global collection resides the Market Share Reporter.  This annual publication produces lists of product/service leaders in all kinds of industry categories.  Conveniently arranged in useful charts, the data has been carefully sourced across a wide spectrum of published information.  It is yours for the taking!

Enter Business Insights Global, make a bee-line for the Advanced Search, and be sure to give the database a heads-up that it is the Market Share Reporter you want!  Something like this:


And Voila!

Going Local: Scott's Directory, please!

Students sometimes find themselves looking for competitive information in their own backyards.  Scott's Directories is a key player in the Canadian landscape of "just around the corner" competitive data mining.  This collection scoops information directly from its voluntary holdings to produce customized lists of business data. A list like this was obtained through a postal code and product search.

Record level

Each entry can be expanded to the individual item level.

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