MARK 4060 - Marketing Research: Home

Dr. Durvasula's course on research methods
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This guide was prepared for Dr. Durvasula's course on marketing research methods. The guide provides sources for secondary research only.

Off campus access methods (authentication)

  • Library Login:  This method (a proxy server) is quick and easy, and requires no setup.  But a few databases will not work with it, and it is less reliable when there is heavy internet traffic or a slow connection.
  • VPN (virtual private network): The VPN requires you to download an app onto both your cell phone and your computer.  It is much more reliable during times of heavy internet traffic, and is well worth the necessary setup time. Outline of the steps required for the VPN:
    1. Find detailed VPN instructions here. Once there, click on "How do I start using GlobalProtect VPN and Duo?"
    2. Register for Duo Mobile. Two ways to do that: via an email from ITS (; you can email and ask for "the VPN registration invitation email"); or via Office365.
    3. Download the Duo Mobile app onto your cell phone. Make sure you allow push notifications for it.
    4. Download the GlobalProtect app onto your computer.

Although the detailed instructions page refers you to Information Technology Services for help, at the Raynor Information Desk we can also help with some parts of the process.  Give us a call at (414) 288-7556.

About finding industry profiles

The databases below offer industry profiles that are regularly updated, some quarterly, some annually, etc.  There are more industry profiles in two of our article databases, ABI-Inform Trade & Industry and Business Source Premier

Investext is another good source for industry information, but it is more difficult to use.  I've put Investext into its own box below, with more instructions for getting to the industry-wide reports. Please be aware that while you can often find really useful reports in Investext, it can take some time to find them.

Databases for Industry Profiles

Below are links to industry reports from individual publishers, and to databases that contain industry reports. Many of these reports are available in general business databases:  where possible, the links go directly to that content, not to a general search screen.  But where such direct linking is not possible, the links go to the main database search screen (e.g. Passport).

Two notes about MarketLine (formerly Datamonitor) reports:

  1. Datamonitor reports were recently re-branded as MarketLine Industry Profile reports, followed by either the tag "a Datamonitor Company", or the tag "an Informa Company". You'll see all three brand names.
  2. MarketLine reports are available in two different databases, Ebsco's Business Source Premier, and Thomson One's Investext. Each has advantages and disadvantages. 
    • For slightly easier searching, use Business Source Premier
    • For the most complete collection of MarketLine content, use Thomson One; Ebsco does not always receive the current reports in a timely way.

Links to reports from individual publishers or vendors:

These reports are pulled from large aggregator databases (ABI-Inform Trade & Industry, Business Source Premier, and Business Insights Essentials). The interfaces of these large databases allow me to create these individual links, which is not possible in other interfaces.

Links to databases:

Sample reports

Just for fun, read this short entry about the word 'toilet'!

Customer analysis

Below are two online books which will provide overviews of the customers for various products.

For more detailed information, especially at the brand-level, you would need to use a consumer survey dataset.  These have a steeper learning curve, so be prepared to ask for help and spend some time on them.  Here are links to more information:


Investext was once a separate database all on its own, but it was bought up by Thomson Reuters some years ago.  At Marquette, it is available through the interface, where it is unhelpfully called 'Research'!  Below are instructions on how to get to the advanced search screen where you can specify industry reports.

First, what is Investext?  It's a collection of research reports written by investment analysts from many different research companies.  Some of the 'big names' are:  Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, William Blair, AE Edwards, CitiBank, Credit Suisse, and many more. Here are a couple of things to know about the content:

  • Reports are embargoed by 2-3 weeks (i.e. we get delayed access)
  • Over 1,400 providers of in-depth research reports on companies and industries worldwide
  • An industry report is defined as a report which discusses at least three companies.  Although many of the industry reports offer very valuable content, this oddball definition means that some industry reports are less useful.

The Advanced Search for Investext (Research) reports:


Screenshot of Thomson One search menubar

Getting to it (see screen-shot above; please note that sometimes the menu displayed in the screen-shot above can be on the left-margin instead -- this is a function of which version of Internet Explorer you have):

  1. In the menu across the top, hover over the blue Screening & Analysis button (to the right of Company Views, the tab open by default)
  2. Once the Screening & Analysis menu drops down, hover over Research, then click on Research Search.

Things to do / check (see screen-shot below):

  1. In the top Search Options menu, consider using a longer time period to search in (the default is 90 days).  This will be especially helpful for industries that are less newsworthy or 'sexy'
  2. In the More Options menu, for Report Type, uncheck 'company'.
  3. In the More Options menu, you can also: 
  • Use the drop-down menu to search in the report's table of contents, or in the full-text (instead of searching only in the report title); or ...
  • Use NAICS or SIC codes to specify your industry (not always necessary; I often find that a combination of keyword and industry code searching works best -- it just depends on the industry!)
  • Specify a geographic focus for the reports:  for some industries, this is especially helpful.  I recommend using the look-up feature, as the country/region names are sometimes not what you might expect
  • Specify that you only want reports longer than x number of pages -- a very useful feature for avoiding the quarterly financial blurb reports which tend to be the shorter ones, 5-6 pages in length.

Screenshot of Advanced Search screen for Investext/Research