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MKT 302 Applied Marketing Management & Leadership: Home

MKT 302 - Writing a Marketing Plan Assignment

Getting Started - What you need to know about your company

This is designed to help find needed resources for the information to answer the questions for developing a marketing plan.

In order to do this project well, you need to keep up with daily world and local events and weather as they happen, as well as, looking to the past 5 years for additional information on the background to these events. Some events have roots and court cases going back 20-50 years. If so, search for those specific events or court cases by name and date.

Keep track of your search strategies and the databases you use! Articles may work for more than one part of this marketing plan. If is very difficult to re-look up something you vaguely remember reading.

Search Terms to use

Use the company name and any nicknames (3M was Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing until 2002 when it officially changed its name. GM is still General Motors). You may need to use all the names including any name changes in the last 5 years.

Also search for any parent company names and subsidiaries - These can make a BIG difference in the outcome of events! (Boycotts can impact all products of the company.)


Starbucks is the name of the company and the name of the brand. This is not true of most products that are manufactured. For services industries, the company name and the brand are often the same. Do be careful when a business is really a franchise and not all locations are owned by the company. The restaurant chains are good examples of this. Some are company owned, some are franchisees.

Personal Names of the CEO, CFO, COO, President, and Chairman of the Board. - These are the top people. A change in these usually signals a change in direction of the company. Interviews of these people often reveal information on the company direction and future before it in widely known. Also watch for news of these people selling off or buyng stock in the company (insider trading).

There is more than one way to define an industry. The airline industry has sub-industries of commuter airlines and regional airlines. They also have package services in addition to the passenger services. You need to keep up with the larger industry and the subsectors. This is also where you should watch for articles on whether this industry leads, lags, or is counter cyclic to the economy. Few industries are neutral, but some are under certain economic conditions. Few industries are insensitive to fuel prices, although we may see certain sectors of the intellectual services on the internet with very little impact.

There are rarely specific names to go with the new trends until they are well under way. The best way to keep up is to watch or read daily and weekly news items along with the popular magazine for the trend that interests you. Also look to your own extended family and how they are reacting to what is going on in the world. Some examples are

  • changes in eating, buying, shopping, travel habits;
  • hot new fashions in clothing, sports, food, jobs, toys, houses, cars, etc.;
  • hottest TV shows and films often lead or are precursors to change;
  • changes in population;
  • changes in economic indicators like the CPI, unemployment, consumer confidence, credit card usage, etc.;
  • world news that could have an effect on your company, industry or product -- war or economic collapse, for example.

The best place to start is the Business & Economics Databases page. Here you will find the list of ASU Libraries business database organized by the type of information.

The best databases for marketing information are:

ABI/Inform. Choose the TOPIC tab to narrow your search to advertising and marketing items. The Suggested Topics links will also help you refine your search. Once you have found an article that is exactly what you need try the "Find more documents like this" option listed in the box on the right of the complete record to find more articles on a similar track.

Business Insghts: Global. This database defaults to a Company name search but you can also do searches by keyword.  To do the best keyword searches in this database, use the ADVANCED Search and select the Subject term from the drop down list. When you find an article you like, use the complete record to look at the other subject terms listed in the box on the left.


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