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CMR 117: Personal Finance: Marketing and Finance Resources


Use the linked resources and tutorials below to find the information you need for the marketing plan section of your business plan.  I've tried to identify the best resources for you to use for several of the sections, and to explain how to approach them.  If you have any questions, be sure to let me know. 

Finding SIC and NAICS codes for different industries

Here are a couple of great links to find these codes for your industry (and here is a tutorial that shows you how to use them - Finding SIC and NAICS codes for your industry (1:34)):

For SIC (the Standard Industrial Classification), use this page on the U.S. Department of Labor's site.  Type in your product or service, and you'll get one or more numbers that match.  For instance, I tried "doughnuts" and received 2051 for baked goods, and 2053 for frozen bakery items.

For NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes, see this page on the NAICS Association site (it also has a search for SIC codes).  Doughnuts turns up 311812 and 311813 (for frozen doughnuts).

These codes can be used to search the sources below for information related to your industry.

Industry Analysis Resources

The following resources may be of useful for completing an industry analysis (here's a short tutorial on how to use them - Industry Analysis Resources (1:20)):

Hoover's D&B Business Browser (formerly OneSource) - this source offers individual company information (as we'll see below), but it's also great for industry overviews. To start, after connecting to the database,  click on the "Research Industries" tab and type in words or phrases that describe your industry (or an NAICS code).  The resulting page will either direct you to an industry summary (under "D&B Hoovers Industry") or direct you to related industry pages that might fit the industry you seek. 

IBIS World  - in this source you can browse the first page for your industry, or use either of the two search blanks to enter your industry name.  You will be taken to the industry report that matches what you type or given suggestions of related industries.  Each report has a "key competitor" section that will identify major companies in the industry.

Marketline (Datamonitor)  - click on "browse all industry results" to get started.  You can enter the name of your industry in the search blank under "Refine Your Search" - "Search within results" to find related industry profiles.  Use the choices in the left hand menu under "Refine by industry" to make your search more specific.  Once you choose an industry profile from the results in the main part of the window, you'll open it as a PDF file.  Look at the "leading companies" section of the profile for locating competitors within the industry.  Be sure to watch the under six minute video on using Marketline.created by the Cass Library for help.  

Customer Analysis Resources

The following sources are excellent for finding information on consumers (here's a short overview of how to use them - Customer Analysis Resources (3:29)):

Mediamark  - this database provides excellent survey information on individual products, showing how much of the product was consumed (and by whom) and what the outlook is for future use.  It segments consumers by income and age, and also by their readership of magazines and by audiences for television networks and web sites.  (Be sure to look at the Mediamark handout created by my colleague Susan Hurst for login information and navigation help).

Global Market Information Database  - enter the name of your product or industry in the search blank in the upper right hand corner of the screen.  You will see results in the middle of the page, listing the available reports on your product or industry.  Since this is a global database, be sure to note any geographic focus for a report (it's usually right in the title).  The reports will give you the outlook and prospects for the product or industry, and consumer trends related to it.  

Mintel Academic - full-text in-depth market research reports and infographics covering consumer segments such as automotive, clothing, health, food, retail, travel, etc. Mintel also reports on specific demographics (millennials, affluent consumers, multicultural, children, etc.), and specific themes (convenience, ethical, social media, mobile, etc.). The reports are primarily US based but there is also some international coverage.

SimplyAnalytics - is an Internet-based mapping application that enables users to develop interactive thematic maps and reports using thousands of demographic, business, and marketing data variables. This database is limited to 4 users at a time.

Competitor Analysis Resources

To find information about companies involved in your industry, use the following sources (here's a short tutorial on how to use them -Competitor Analysis Resources (2:06)):

Hoover's D&B Business Broswer (formerly OneSource) - as noted above, this source offers individual company information on over 14 million companies.   To find information on a specific company, after connecting to the database, click on the "Search for a Company" search blank at the top of the page and type in the name of the company.  Any companies in the database that include the word or phrase that you type will appear in a results list.  Use the brief description given for each company to choose the one you wish to view. Once you click on your company, click on "Competitors Report" in the lefthand menu to see a list of competitors.

You can also find lists of companies involved in a given industry by going to the "Build a Company List" tab, selecting search criteria, and then entering an industry name or code under "Industry Classification."  

Marketline (Datamonitor)  - Marketline includes profiles of over 50,000 companies.  To search for a specific company, click on "Browse all companies information."  Then you can enter the name of a company in the search blank, or browse for the company by industry, geography, size, or revenue.  For more guidance on the database, be sure to watch the brief video on using Marketline created by the Cass Library.

For a freely-available source, you can also check EDGAR, a database of company financial reports maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Click on "search for company filings."

Another freely-available database is If you are seeking a manufacturing company, it is likely to be listed in this directory. You can also use this database to find other companies in the same industry.

It's a good idea to check multiple sources for information on a company to confirm that data given in one source is correct or that you are getting the most current information on the company you seek.