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Courses covered within this research guide:

  • MGCR 352 – Marketing Management - MGCR 352 presentation - Fall 2014

  • CMRK 200 – Fundamentals of Marketing

  • CMR2 542 – Marketing Principles and Applications 

Below are some of the major research questions students have for their marketing project:

Where can I find information on who's buying my product/service (e.g. who are my consumers?)

Start with PMB Online.

For a quick video on how to navigate PMB and read a report, click here. You may also conslut the PMB Online Database Guide.

Where do I locate industry reports/industry information?

Start in Passport GMID or Marketline. For supplementary assistance with these databases, please visit either the Passport Database Guide or the Marketline Database Guide

No luck? Try searching for industry reports in Business Source Complete or ABI Inform. In the 'advanced search' you can limit document type to 'industry report'. Otherwise, search within Business Source Complete and ABI Inform using keywords for your industry. 

If you are researching a technology industry, try eMarketer or StatistaVisit the eMarketer help centre for how to guides.

Where do I locate market share?

Start in Passport GMID. Search for your industry and country in the top right search box (e.g. beverages Canada). Within the report, scroll to the 'Category data' section.  You may have to think of synonyms for your industry or go a level higher (e.g. if your product is pretzels, you may have to use the 'savory snacks' report).

Can't find your industry in Passport? Try Market Share Reporter. Select 'keyword' and 'include current and backfile directories.' Type in your keyword (e.g. pantyhose).  This will give you basic market share charts.

If you are researching a technology industry, try eMarketer. Limit to 'charts' or 'reports' in your search results. Visit the eMarketer help centre for how to guides. 

Where do I locate information on competitors?

Go to Hoover's or Mergent Online and search for your company. Within the company's report is a basic list of its competitors.

Where do I locate information on private companies?

Search business magazines, news and/or trade journals for any mention of the company. For American and international companies, go to Business Source Complete or ABI Inform and search the company name.  Search CBCA Complete for Canadian companies. 

Where do I locate information on distribution channels?

Look at the Passport GMID industry report. Sometimes in the 'product data'  you will find information on the distribution channels for that product. Otherwise, go to Marketline and once there, select the 'databases' icon--> 'Market Data Analytics'. On the next page, on the far right select 'distribution' as your data selection. Now select your product category and country. You should now see a % breakdown of where that product is sold (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies etc). 

Encyclopedia of American Industries

  • Select your industry and locate the section "Organization and structure". Gives brief overview of how the industry is organized. 

Where can I find information on estimating product costs or profit margin?

Typically you won't be able obtain prices for component parts of a product. To estimate your variable costs use the SME Benchmarking Tool.  Using tax returns from real Canadian companies, this website provides figures on what % of revenue goes to particular costs in different industries (e.g. rent, insurance etc). It also provides an average “gross margin” (a relative measure of profitability or profit margin).  To use this tool you’ll need to know the NAICS (North American industry Classification System) for your industry.

Where can I find information on advertising rates and budgets?

To locate rates for advertising in newspapers, magazines, radio, and billboards see Canadian Advertising Rates & Data (CARD). See this guide on how to use CARD.

To locate television spot rates see Americas Market & Mediatfact (see Canada section)

To locate advertising budgets of public companies, see Advertising Redbooks. Search your company and then view their media breakdown and expenditures (note: not available for every company). 

Use the SME benchmarking tool to locate the industry average for advertising expenditures (% of revenue expended on advertising in that industry). Note you will need to know your NAICS (North American industry Classification to use this product. 

Where can I find information on supply chains?

Google Books

  • Supply chain information on an industry or a company will often comprise one very tiny chart or section of a book. If you were to search a library catalogue, there’d be no way to know if that book contained the chart or information you were looking for. Simply typing in Google Books something like ‘supply chain and food industry’ will help you isolate chapters/sections of a book which might be relevant. If the section you wish to read isn’t available on Google Books, check the library catalogue.

Supply Chain 2020 Project (MIT)

  •  This is fantastic project at MIT of masters and doctoral theses on particular supply chains. Although they go into more detail than required for the MGCR 352 assignment, the introduction section often provides the basic information needed.  Various industries are covered (e.g. pharmaceuticals, apparel etc) and they often provide case studies on particular companies.

Mergent Horizon

  • Use this to try to determine customers and suppliers for a particular company. Search for a company (e.g Apple) in the search box and then on the left select either ‘Customers’ or ‘Suppliers’. Selecting ‘suppliers’ will show companies that have been identified as Apple’s suppliers either by Apple itself (marked with a green arrow) or by external sources (marked with a purple arrow). You can do the same for customers (e.g. companies Apple supplies).

Business Source Complete & ABI Inform

  • Search for articles on the supply chain/distribution of a particular industry. Use keywords for your industry in addition to words 'supply chain' or 'distribution'.


Encyclopedia of American Industries


  • Select your industry and locate the section "Organization and structure". Gives brief overview of how the industry is organized. 



Where can I find information on estimating sales?

Use Passport GMID to calculate the approxomate sales of your competitors (e.g. if you know that X brand has a 5% share of a $1 000 000 market, then their approximate sales are $50 000) . Then use that as an upper benchmark. Alternately, use PMB Online and/or Statistics Canada to determine the size of your consumer base and then estimate how much of your product each consumer will purchase. For supplementary assistance with these databases, please visit either the Passport Database Guide or the PMB Online Database Guide.

If you can't locate the market share of your competitors in Passport GMID, try searching for articles in Business Source Complete and ABI Inform for your company/brand/product in combination with the word 'sales'.


Still have questions? Don't hesitate to contact your liaison librarian Michael David MILLER.

For more resources, see these additional research McGill Library subject guides for additional resources :

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