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Commerce Subject Guide: COMM 4201: Marketing Strategy

A guide to key databases, reference & web sources, and research & citation guides for Commerce.

COMM4201: Marketing Strategy

Commerce 4201: Marketing Strategy Library Research Guide

January 2018

This guide is intended to supplement the research class held in the library Jan. 23, 2018, and to highlight secondary marketing research sources for the Group Term Project.

A) Finding Books
B) Finding Articles
C) Selected Marketing Research Sources
D) Citing Sources
E) Research Assistance

A) Finding Books

The Marketing books in the library are generally found on the 2nd floor book stacks; call numbers starting with HF 5400...  The most efficient way to find books on your topic is to search the Library Catalogue, the first 'Quick Link' on the MTA library website.

If you want to see if we have a book for which you know the title, search in the title field:  e.g. Developing Products in Half the Time

You can limit keywords to specific fields (select Advanced Keyword): e.g. Smith (in Author field) AND developing products (in Title field)

To find books on a topic, keyword searching is an easy way to start, but subject searching may also be needed. Check the Full Record of the best books found to see the Subject Terms used.

Click on the subject term in a record, or search by subject by changing the default search: “words or phrase” to “Subject”: e.g. Business presentations

Use single quotation marks for phrases: e.g. ‘marketing plans’
(NOTE: This is different from the more common double quotation marks used in most article databases and search engines including Google.)

For a narrower search, combine two or more search terms with AND to find books that include both words in any order: e.g. marketing and planning

Use OR to get alternate spellings and synonyms: e.g. marketing and (email or e-mail) -- (Note: use parentheses if combining AND & OR in same search)

Use the truncation symbol: "$" to get all possible endings: e.g. entrepreneur$ (gets entrepreneur, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, etc.)

Broaden search terms if needed and consider others that may apply: e.g. small business instead of entrepreneurship

As you read through what you find, watch for book titles or authors frequently cited and see if the library has those by searching the catalogue by author or title.

If the library does not have a book you need, it may be possible to get it through an interlibrary loan. Please see the instructions on how to submit an Interlibrary Loan request.or to order it for you. Contact the Commerce Librarian.

B) Finding Articles

To see if the library has a specific article, use "Journal Finder" (the second Quick Link on the library homepage). Select “Title begins with” and enter the Journal Title:

e.g. to find this article:  Pittaway, Tina. “Fly Like a Dragon.” Profit 27, no. 4 (Oct. 2008): 58.

Enter: Profit

Check the full-text coverage dates given. If your article is covered, click on “Find Title” and you should be taken to the database that contains that article. Select the correct year, volume and issue number to find the article online. Interlibrary Loan requests can be made for any articles not found.

Finding Articles on a Topic:

From the Library homepage, select the Quick Link: "A-Z List of Databases", select subject: Commerce

Note the types and numbers of publications indexed varies for each database.

Recommended for academic business journals: ABI/INFORM Collection and Business Source Premier: These two databases contain the largest number of top academic business journals.

Recommended for broad business coverage (including  magazines, trade and professional journals, academic journals and news sources): Select ProQuest(All) which includes ABI/INFORM, Canadian Newsstream, Canadian Business and Current Affairs, international business collections and others on a wide variety of subjects.

ProQuest business databases, Business Source Premier, and LexisNexis are excellent sources for articles and special reports on market share, consumer surveys, product and industry trends and forecasts, company and industry profiles, etc.
Statista compiles a wide range of statistics including on markets and industries, media and business, and provides them in easy to download graphical displays.

Note: Some specialized topics may require searching other databases as well (e.g. Environment Complete, an environmental studies database for articles on environmental services or products.) Read the content descriptions on the A-Z List of Databases  page on the library website to select the appropriate databases to search.

SEARCH TIPS:  (For ProQuest databases and Business Source Premier)

Use AND between keywords to make sure each keyword is in every record found

e.g. pricing and food

Use double quotation marks for phrases longer than two words

e.g. “new product pricing”

Use * (truncation symbol) to get all possible endings for a term

e.g. entrepreneur* gets entrepreneur, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, etc.

Use OR to get one or the other term (useful for synonyms or alternate spellings)

e.g. entrepreneur* and (women or female)

In 'Advanced Search' you can limit the fields searched. e.g. Company/Org, NAICS, etc.

e.g. Apple in Company/Org.

Check out the other search options available in each database to improve your search results.

Evaluate the articles you find using the metadata provided before downloading the full text: Select "Abstract/Details" in ProQuest; Click on the article title in BSP. If the article is on topic, note the terms used in the abstract, the subject terms assigned and other features you can use to make your next searches more precise.


Do NOT limit results to Full Text documents only! Where the full text of an article is not available, click on "Find @ MTA" to link to the full text. If no link is found, click on the interlibrary loan form to request the article be emailed to you. (NOTE: You must have requested a 4-digit PIN to complete the interlibrary loan form. Instructions are on the library website.)

C) Selected Marketing Research Sources

There are many specialized print and online resources for marketers, and other information sources that can be used for marketing research. The following are just a few that should be useful for the Group Term Project: (Note: REF=Reference Collection, main floor of the library)  More information sources useful for marketing are listed in the Commerce Subject guide under "Reference Sources" and "Recommended Websites", and in particular within the "Marketing Hits" guide to Canadian marketing sources.

Marketing Plan Guides:

Planning for Success - Your Guide to Preparing a Business and Marketing Plan, by ACOA
- outlines the basic requirements of the marketing plan and business plan as a whole.

 Developing a Marketing Plan, by Canada Business Network
- a detailed guide on developing a marketing plan, includes online marketing, marketing strategies, pricing, etc. with links to additional content.


Consumer Analysis:

Marketing Facts: Statistics and Trends for Marketing in Canada HF 5415.12 .C3 M37 2015 REF
- a compilation of consumer-based statistics and survey data by the Canadian Marketing Association. Includes marketing trends and benchmarks, advertising expenditures, media channel reach, consumer segment data, etc.

Statistics Canada Website
- 2016 Census data covers: Population, households, dwellings, age, sex, marital status, families, language, income, occupation, educational level, etc.for all of Canada, and down to very small geographies such as the FSA (based on postal code).
- “Census Profile” provides Census data at the community level.
- useful publications for marketing research: Spending Patterns in Canada, Households and the Environment, Canadian Social Trends, Enivro Stats and other research available under "Information for Analysts and Researchers".
- CANSIM has survey data in time series (e.g. sales of specific products, manufacturing, industry statistics, etc.)
- whole site is searchable, or browse by subject
- More detailed statistics for cross-tabulations may be available through the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) Data Files. List of Surveys and survey acronyms: DLI Collection. DLI Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) is a web-based multi-dimensional table viewer to access aggregate data in the DLI Collection. No knowledge of statistical programs (e.g. SPSS, SAS) is required. Includes Excel tables, IVT tables, word docs and PDF files. DLI Nesstar is a web-based data exploration, extraction and analysis tool that lets you search for survey variables across the collection of PUMFs (public use microdata files), and public master file metadata. PUMFs can be manipulated online by selecting variables to generate custom tables or downloaded for use with most statistical software (SAS, SPSS, etc.). For assistance see: Nesstar Webview User Guide or contact MTA's DLI Contact and Data Librarian:

Association Directories:  Industry associations can be a great source of information on customers with specialized interests, and can provide targeted marketing opportunities.

Canada's Information Resource Centre database includes several directories that can be used to identify associations, or specific groups by topic. For example: Associations Canada - most comprehensive listing of organizations by subject, province and town. Canadian Almanac and Directory lists schools, libraries, hospitals, religious and sports organizations, and more. Others include: Canadian Environmental Resource Guide, Health Canada Guide, Financial Services Canada, etc.

Public Opinion Polls/Consumer Surveys. Summaries of these are reported in the news and business media (e.g. ProQuest) or on polling company web sites (e.g. Nielsen Co.) Note: Mount Allison does not subscribe to the full content of these sites.


Competitive Analysis:

Industry Codes These are used in many research tools to allow for quicker searching by industry. Note there are several variations, depending on the publishing country, date, and purpose of the source. NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) is the most often used in Canada. (Used by Statistics Canada.) Some other codes and variations are used in databases and reference sources. If the NAICS code doesn't work in a source you are using, check for a link/page reference to the industry codes used.

Company Directories list companies by name, province/city and type of business. They allow you to identify competitors, buyers, distributors or potential partners. For example:
Canadian Key Business Directory HF 3223 .C24 REF
Scott’s Atlantic Industrial Directory HD 2356 .C3 A6 REF
Directory of Restaurant and Fast Food Chains in Canada HF 5429.6 .C3 D598 2010 REF

Online examples: Canadian Company Capabilities by Government of Canada (search by keyword or browse by industry or specialized directory). Canadian Importer's Database by  Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, etc. (See Marketing Hits for more.)

Company Profiles can be found in Business Source Premier (select the "Business Profiles" tab from the top of the screen) or in LexisNexis (select "Search by Subject or Topic", then see under the heading: "Companies"). Most include a list of competitors. Update these with articles, press releases, filings in the SEDAR database (for public companies only) and information on company web sites.

Industry Profiles or Overviews may be found by searching the major business article databases, and also:

Canadian Industry Statistics by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. A massive site incorporating and linking to information on manufacturing and service industries from Statistics Canada and other sources.

Information by Industrial Sector by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.For five industrial categories: (manufacturing, resource, and service industries, consumer products, and technologies) this site provides industry profiles, links to directory listings, regulations and standards, and other related information.

Canadian Agriculture and Food Statistics and Market Information by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Includes links to the latest Census of Agriculture, agri-food system overview and outlook reports, and specific food product reports and market trends.

New Brunswick Industry Sector Profiles  by the New Brunswick government.

Other More Specialized Sources:

ACOA's Project Information Site
- a database of projects approved by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency since 1995.

Canadian Business Counts Statistics Canada. Business Register data on the number of businesses by type. Semi-annual. Latest: June 2017: See CANSIM Tables 552-0006 and 553-0006 for Canada and provinces/territories only. Lower geography counts may be available on request through the DLI.

Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises
- shows five years of aggregate data on operating profit margins, revenue, expenses, etc. for 67 industry groups. (Discontinued in 2016. Data tables available in CANSIM: Table 180-0003.)

Financial Performance Data
- provides income statement and balance sheet data based on industry averages for small and medium sized businesses by type of business; useful for estimating operating expenses.

Canadian Patent Database Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
- over 2 million patent documents can be searched to see descriptions and images of patents. For patents filed in the US see the:  U.S. Patent & Trademark Office or Google Patents or a worldwide search (from WIPO:  PATENTSCOPE, combines the applications from all national and regional patent offices that are part of the International Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Business Rankings Annual HG 4050 .B88 REF
- use the Index Volume to find entries

Market Share Reporter HF 5410 .M35 REF
- has index by company name, brand, product or service, etc.


External Factors (Guidelines & Regulations):

BizPal New Brunswick
- a one-stop source for information on business permits and licences required from all three levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal)

Canadian Advertising Codes and Guidelines
- web site of Advertising Standards Canada has the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, Gender Portrayal Guidelines, etc.

Canada Business Network A federal government web site with lots of info. on business regulations, e.g.: Permits and Licences
- includes Permit search option where you can fill in a province and type of business to see the permits and licences required
Marketing, Advertising and Sales Regulations - misleading advertising, labelling, promotional claims, etc  The whole site can be searched to find federal and provincial/territorial government regulations, programs, and incentives for business.


Marketing Strategy (Promotion):

Marketing Facts: Statistics and Trends for Marketing in Canada HF 5415.12 .C3 M37 2015 REF
- a compilation of consumer-based statistics and survey data by the Canadian Marketing Association. Includes marketing channels, media reach, marketing trends and benchmarks, advertising expenditures, and more.

Media Digest
- This large annual report by the Canadian Media Directors' Council has consumer data and trends, advertising spending by media, circulation and viewership statistics,
and other related information.

Newspaper Circulation Data by News Media Canada (formerly Newspapers Canada). The site also includes more information on advertising reach through newspapers, and a Database of Canadian Newspapers searchable by province, city, owner, etc.

D) Citing Sources:

Citing sources is a cornerstone of academic work; it shows your audience that you are basing your work on relevant facts and information and allows them to find the same sources you used. The assignment description gives you the choice of using either the APA citation style or Chicago (endnotes and bibliography) in your report.

Tip sheets and guides for both citation formats are under the library website "Research Help" tab and  "Citation Guides". Some additional guides with business-specific examples are listed in the Commerce Subject Guide. Print copies of tip sheets are available at the Research Help Desk.

E) Research Assistance

For help with your general research questions, you can contact a librarian at the Research Help Desk in the library at, call 364-2564 or use the library's online chat service during the Research Help Desk hours.

For assistance with research specific to your Commerce assignments, please contact Anita Cannon, Commerce Librarian.