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Advertising For Your Business: A Research And Planning Guide: MARKETING RESEARCH: THE STARTING POINT

This guide intends to show the basic thought process of creating an advertising plan and to help you find information in the library's databases.


Major facts you need to know:

1. The Product or Service -- What is it? 

2. The Price -- How much are consumers paying for your product or service?

3. The People -- Who is your target market or target consumer?

4. The Place -- Where or how can consumers get or access your product or service?

5. The Promotions -- How do people know about or why will consumers want your product or service?

The above are otherwise known as the "marketing mix" or the "P's of Marketing."

The term marketing mix refers to the four major areas of decision making in the marketing process that are blended to obtain the results desired by the organization: product, price, promotion, and place. The four elements of the marketing mix are sometimes referred to as the four Ps of marketing.

The marketing mix shapes the role of marketing within all types of organizations, both profit and nonprofit. Each element of the four Ps consists of numerous subelements. Marketing managers make numerous decisions based on the various subelements of the marketing mix, all in an attempt to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers.

Truell, Allen D. "Marketing Mix." Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, 3rd ed., vol. 2, Macmillan Reference USA, 2014, pp. 518-522. Gale eBooks, Accessed 17 June 2020.

For purposes of this guide, a fifth P -- PEOPLE -- is added, because without PEOPLE, the sixth P -- PROFIT -- cannot be possible.



Book JacketMalcolm McDonald on Marketing Planning : Understanding Marketing Plans and Strategy

McDonald M, McDonald M. Malcolm McDonald on Marketing Planning : Understanding Marketing Plans and Strategy. Vol Second edition. Philadelphia, PA: Kogan Page; 2016. Accessed July 10, 2020.

Focusing on the practical application of marketing planning, this book will guide readers through the production of a marketing pla n that has real world application. Key content includes defining markets and segments, setting marketing objectives and strategies, advertising and sales promotion strategies, and price and sales strategies. Includes the essentials of marketing planning and the strategic marketing process. Online resources include multiple templates as a practical toolkit for marketing planning.





  • Describe your  product/service. undefined
  • Explore the nature, character, and benefits as well as shortcomings of the product or service (if possible,  on the physical, psychological, emotional levels)
  • Identify who are your target consumers and competitors
  • How does your product stack up vs. competition, especially in quality, performance, etc.
  • Is there a problem with the product in terms of quality, performance, consumer perception, etc.?
  • Get industry information.





Market Share ReporterMarket Share Reporter

Presents comparative business statistics. Each entry features a descriptive title; data and market description; a list of producers/products along with their market share; and cites original sources.

Market Share Reporter, edited by Robert S. Lazich and Virgil L. Burton, III, 30th ed., Gale, 2020. Gale Directory Library,

Brands and Their CompaniesBrands and Their Companies
Lists manufacturers and distributors from small businesses to large corporations, from both the public and private sectors. Provides complete coverage of U.S. consumer brands; manufacturers, importers and distributors; and companies that are out of business, as well as brands that are no longer in production or are now considered generic.

Brands and Their Companies, edited by Peggy Geeseman, 44th ed., Gale, 2020. Gale Directory Library.




Provides "top ten" rankings of companies, products, services, and business-related 
activities compiled from a variety of published sources.
Business Rankings Annual, edited by Deborah J. Draper, 2020 ed., Gale, 2020. Gale Directory Library
  • How much are consumers paying for your product or service?undefined
  • What is your pricing strategy?
  • What is competition's pricing strategy?
  • What is consumer perception of your product's value? Do they think your price is too high, too low, or just right for its value?
  • Are you profitable?



  • -- This database contains an amazing collection of industry forecasts and insights, consumers insights and preferences, industry insights and forecasts, key country and company reports, as well as worldwide statistics on a great number of major industries and markets. Also includes a tool to help you put together a numbers-rich business plan. It's almost a one-stop shop of information.

Statista is only available through specific computers in the Business Library, so please ask staff for assistance.



Encyclopedia of Small Business"Pricing." Encyclopedia of Small Business, edited by Virgil L. Burton, III, 5th ed., vol. 2, Gale, 2017, pp. 836-838. Gale eBooks, Accessed 29 June 2020.

"The pricing of goods and services is almost always determined by demand, which creates the market or confirms an offering as legitimate. In free market economies prices also tend to be controlled by competition, and for most businesses the cost of production and distribution also play an important role."




Encyclopedia of Business and FinanceTruell, Allen D., and Michael Milbier. "Pricing." Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, 3rd ed., vol. 2, Macmillan Reference USA, 2014, pp. 609-612. Gale eBooks, Accessed 29 June 2020.

"Price is perhaps the most important of the four Ps (product, promotion, and place being the others) of marketing because it is the only one that generates revenue for a company. Price is most simply described as the value exchange that occurs for a product or service. Broadly, price is the total of all values exchanged for a product or service."

  • Who uses your product or service? Do you know why they chose you?undefined
  • Who uses the competition's? Do you know why they chose competition's?
  • Do you know who your consumers are, in terms of:
    • Demographics: age, gender, lifestyle, geographic location,  etc., education, employment, income level, ethnic identity
    • Psychographics: interests, value sets, brand loyalty, psychological and emotional motivations
    • Purchase motivations
  • The bottom line: do you know what makes your consumers tick?






Book JacketNew Strategist Press. American Generations : Who They Are & How They Live. Vol 9th edition. East Patchogue, New York: New Strategist Press, LLC; 2018. Accessed July 1, 2020.

"For decades, the U.S. population has been fragmented by generation. The ninth edition of American Generations: Who They Are and How They Live is the tool for piecing together those fragments and seeing the whole. It is the resource for those who want to stay on top of the dynamic generational mix—from the preschool Recession generation to the adolescent iGeneration, from young adult Millennials to middle-aged Generation X, from the “go-go” Baby Boomers to the “slow-go” Swing and World War II generations. The age and generational profiles in this new reference tool are an invaluable resource for marketers, advertisers, small businesses, large corporations, entrepreneurs, consultants, business students, and the libraries that serve them. American Generations opens with an in-depth overview of the demographics of each generation. "

Book Jacket

Bruner GC. Marketing Scales Handbook : Multi-Item Measures for Consumer Insight Research. Vol (Library version). [Place of publication not identified]: GCBII Productions, LLC; 2019. Accessed July 1, 2020.

"The Marketing Scales Handbook series is the longest-running set of books that provide reviews of multi-item measures used in scholarly studies of consumer behavior. "



How do consumers access your product or service?undefined

  • Where is the business located geographically?
  • Can people find it easily?
  • Is it online?
  • Is it available through various points/outlets (multi-channel), or only in a single location? 
  • Is accessibility and availability equal to, better than or worse than competition's?



Statista --  Provides a voluminous set of data dealing with statistics, forecasts and surveys, industry and country studies, and many more.



Encyclopedia of Small Business"Distribution Channels." Encyclopedia of Small Business, edited by Virgil L. Burton, III, 5th ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2017, pp. 351-353. Gale eBooks, Accessed 1 July 2020.

"Goods produced in factories and commodities produced in agriculture must reach consumers. The systems by which goods reach consumers are known as distribution channels. These are organizations that facilitate the sale and movement of products. The totality of all distribution channels forms a distribution network."




Gale Encyclopedia of E-CommerceFundukian, Laurie J., editor. Gale Encyclopedia of E-Commerce. 2nd ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2012. Gale eBooks, Accessed 1 July 2020.

"Provides access to the world of Internet commerce and addresses the concerns of those who want to join the ranks of the Internet business community. Features 470 essays on topics related to the emerging world of e-commerce. Includes profiles of individuals and organizations considered to be the industry leaders and innovators and covers significant events, case studies and legal issues important to understanding the current e-commerce environment."

  • How will people know about your product or service?
  • How can you persuade people to buy your product or patronize your service?
  • How can you turn them into repeat consumers?
  • In what stage is your business -- launch, growth, expansion?



EXAMPLES OF  PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES                                                                                              SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING ON THE  PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES                                                                                                                              
  • Advertising 
  • Public Relations
  • Free products with purchase or samples 
  • Price markdowns
  • E-mails
  • Word-of-mouth or networking
  • Sales Promotions
    • price discounts
    • free with purchase
    • discounts for multi-buys
    • free shipping
    • many more
  • How much is your promotional budget?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What is the cheapest way to reach the greatest number of them?
  • What is the focus of your message: price, product, place, or people?
  • What resources do you have to carry out your promotions strategy: money, people?
  • What promotional tool will you use: Advertising, public relations, networking, email, mailing,      in-store promotion, sales promotion, etc.?



Encyclopedia of Small Business"Sales Promotion." Encyclopedia of Small Business, edited by Virgil L. Burton, III, 5th ed., vol. 2, Gale, 2017, pp. 953-955. Gale eBooks, Accessed 13 July 2020.






Encyclopedia of Business and FinanceTruell, Allen D., and Michael Milbier. "Promotion." Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, 3rd ed., vol. 2, Macmillan Reference USA, 2014, pp. 630-633. Gale eBooks, Accessed 14 Sept. 2020.









Statista -- provides helpful statistics on a wide variety of industries and business categories, including promotional activities of specific markets. This database is only available through specific computers in the library, so please ask staff for assistance.