The potential topics for your demand estimation project range from Pepto Bismol to fertilizer, and the markets could be anywhere from Saskatchewan to South Africa. The range of possibly-relevant resources is equally broad: there is no single perfect source or even group of sources that will cover every topic that you might come up with.
The links in section 2.a. of this guide will take you to several other SFU Library guides. These guides cover many industries, products, consumer groups, and regions and are likely to have resources that will help with whatever topic you choose. As a supplement to those general guides, we've listed a few key trade and commodity resources in section 2.b. that are not covered in our other research guides, and we've provided a short guide to some b2b/industrial marketing resources in section 2.c.
Think of this guide as a starting point in your quest for information resources. It won't answer all of your questions, but it will lead you to many of the key tools and sources that you will need to use. No marketing research guide, no matter how large, will cover every possible resource or tool that you might need, so I've included details on ways to get help. Do so early!
Good luck with your projects!
As mentioned in the Introduction, there are many potentially-useful resources for your assignment. The following guides list some of the key resources that are likely to help with whatever topic you choose. If you need further suggestions about resources, check out section 3 below.
- Marketing Research
SFU Library guide: Lists resources for Market Overviews, Competitors, Business Conditions, and Demographics - focused on North American markets and on business-to-consumer (B2C) resources. If you are researching a B2B situation, remember that most B2B relationships rely on related B2C markets, so B2C information may be a key part of your demand estimation.
- International Market Research
Country reports, multi-country comparison sources, industry reports, demographics, industry analysis, and more. You might want to start with the Web guides section.
- Internet & E-Commerce Resources
A guide to resources and search techniques covering internet usage statistics and e-commerce studies/articles. Includes links to some reports on B2B ecommerce.
- REM 100: Life Cycle Analysis - Library Guide
REM 100 does an assignment that involves tracking a product from the gathering of its constituent ingredients its eventual consumption and/or disposal. Many of the resources in the library guide cover product components that may give you clues as to potential demand for your chosen product.
- Tracking the details of the relevant industry as well as of companies in the field (competitors as well as possible customers) can play an important role in estimating demand. The following SFU Library guides list some key resources in these areas.
This is just a sample list of trade/commodity resources. See the SFU Library guide to Commodities for more suggestions.
- Minerals and Metals Markets (Natural Resources Canada - free site)
- Canadian Minerals Yearbook (Natural Resources Canada - free site)
- CANSIM (Statistics Canada data - online for SFU students/faculty)
- Exports (BC Origin) (online for SFU students/faculty)
- Trade Data Online (Industry Canada - free site)
- Canadian Trade Commissioner Service: Industy Market Reports.
- CNNFN Com modities (free site)
- CRB Commodity Year Book (Newest edition: Bennett 4th floor and Belzberg Reference: HF 1041 C571)
- FAO (agricultural products and fisheries information - includes FAOSTAT, FIGIS, Globefish and other databases)
- International trade by commodities statistics (OECD - online for SFU students/faculty)
- International Trade Statistics Yearbook (Reference: HF 91 U4731)
- Monthly statistics of international trade (OECD - online for SFU students/faculty)
- OECD iLibrary: Online statistical databases including National Accounts Database; periodicals such as the OECD Economic Surveys, Quarterly Labor Force Statistics, Quarterly National Accounts, Main Economic Indicators, Monthly Statistics of International Trade; electronic books and much more.
- TradeStats Express (US merchandise trade statistics - free site)
- UNCTADstat (UN - free statistical database)
- USGS Minerals Statistics and Information (US Geological Survey - free site)
- World Bank - Commodity Markets Briefs and Commodity Forecasts and Global Commodity Markets (report) and Commodity Price Data (the "pink sheets") (free site)
- World Trade Analyser (online database for SFU students/faculty) - This database includes tables for world trade, and separate extensive tables for Cana dian imports and exports.
- BtoB Marketing Magazine: Industry magazine available via LexisNexis.
- Global Value Chains -- Information about them, and links to many relevant publications via Industry Canada.
- For books: try the subject heading Industrial Marketing. You might also get some good material with the subjects Product management and New products -- Management.
- For articles, start with Business Source Complete. A few good subjects to try in BSC: Industrial marketing, Industrial goods, Advertising - Industrial, Industrial procurement, Industrial relations, New products, Product differentiation, and Marketing strategy.
The SFU Library has many books on marketing plans/planning, some of which have samples that you may want to look at as you begin to put together your own plan. Start with such subjects as Marketing - Planning and Marketing - Management to find titles such as The Marketing Plan: A Handbook. You might also want to look at our many books on Business - Planning in general, including our many online editions of the Business Plans Handbook.
3.a. Writing your report: Research is only half the battle! You also need to communicate your findings in a clear, well-structured paper, Check the SFU Library guides to Business Writing and Writing for University for resources to help with paper structures, grammar, spelling, and more.
3.b. Citing your sources: You also need to correctly cite all of the books, journal articles, and sites that you used in your research. Start with the SFU Library guides to Citing Business Sources using APA and to APA Style in general. A couple other guides that you may want to start with are Citing Sources (Duke University Libraries) and Diana Hacker's site.
NOTE: Save time and avoid a headache! The SFU Library provides access to a citation management tool called RefWorks. You can export your citations directly from databases like Business Source Complete into your personal RefWorks account, then have RefWorks automatically create a bibliography for you. See RefWorks at SFU for more information, including a tutorial on how to use it.
Learning how to properly credit others when you use their ideas is a difficult, but important part of research. Start with the SFU Library's interactive tutorial "Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism" to test yourself and to learn more about plagiarism. Also read the SFU Library Guide on Plagiarism for further discussion of this critical topic and for links to other plagiarism guides.
a. You can get help from a reference librarian in person at our reference desks as well as via email, chat, and telephone. Try our Ask a Librarian services.
b. You may also email your business librarians: Ania Dymarz in Surrey [firstname.lastname@example.org] or Mark Bodnar in Burnaby [email@example.com]. Please try to include as much of the following information in your question as you can. This will make it much easier for us to help you quickly.
What exactly you are after (saying that you need "everything about the world toilet industry" is far too broad - saying that you need to know where to find "the top toilet manufacturers" is better);
Where you have looked so far (i.e., Have you tried the sources listed in the Industry Surveys guide? What sources in the Company Information guide have you tried?);
- and what search terms you used.