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MKTG 4310 Marketing Research

Improve your research experience

This guide is designed to provide guidance for finding company and industry information. This guide is divided into five major sections.  After you review these sections, you should be able to complete the following tasks.

  1. Develop a strategy and approach for locating company and industry information  

  2. Locate company information using appropriate methods

  3. Locate industry information using appropriate methods 

  4. Identify tools for consumer, market and industry data & statistics 

  5. Identify APA  Citation Resources

Company Characteristics

Identifying whether a company is public, private, subsidiary or division of a larger company, or foreign-owned will help you choose the best search tools and methods.

Public Company

  • Public companies offer shares (ownership) to the general public.
  • Shares are traded on stock exchanges.
  • They are legally required to meet public disclosure requirements of the federal government's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  •  SEC requirements apply to foreign and domestic companies. 

Why does this matter?

There is a great deal of information available on public companies because they are required to disclose information about their company. You may have more information available, but information you need may be located in more than one place

Private Companies

  • Private companies do not sell stock to the public.
  • Private companies are usually owned by individuals/private investors 
  • Private companies are not legally required to release any information about their activities.

Why does this matter?

There is very little information available on private companies because they are not required to disclose information about their company.

You will need to think outside-the box and perhaps rely on articles, news and. local and state resources.

Subsidiaries and divisions

  • Information is usually folded into the parent's company's information.
  • Read carefully through reports about the parent and look for references to the subsidiary.

Company & Industry Codes

Companies and industries have unique codes that can make searching for information more precise. 

Why does this matter? You can use industry code to quickly Locate Industry Information like profiles and surveys

Why does this matter? You can use ticker symbols to quickly Locate Company Information like profiles, reports, articles, and filings.