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Business

Common Business Questions Answered by Articles

Market Size or Total Industry Sales:

In market research, the total size of an industry or the size of an industry segment is a common search. Using keywords about the industry with “market size” and other variations will produce results.

  • Example search:

(womenswear OR “women’s clothing” OR “women’s apparel”) AND (“market size” OR “industry sales” OR “total revenue*” OR “total sales” OR CAGR)

Publication types that will most likely contain this Information:

  • Press Releases, Wire Feeds (also known as Newswires), Market Reports, and Trade Journals.

 

Consumer Trends, Preferences, or Attitudes:

Articles are a great way to keep up with industry trends as well as the preferences or attitudes of different consumer segments. Trends and consumer attitudes for a particular industry or industry segment can be found by searching for either attitudes, preferences, or trends with an industry keyword or keywords. To find articles on the attitudes, preferences, or behaviors of a particular consumer segment, such as the millennial generation, try those keywords in addition to keywords about that generation using the AND function. 

  • Example search for industry trends:

Footwear AND (trend* OR attitude* OR preference*)

  • Example search for customer segment attitudes, preferences, and behaviors:

(igen OR "gen z" OR igeneration OR "generation z") AND (attitude* OR behavior OR preference*)

Publication types that will most likely contain this Information: 

  • Trade Journals, Business Newspapers, and Market Reports

 

Company or Brand Crisis and Response:

This a common search when researching brand or company malfeasance and comparing responses. 

Tip: Most business article databases, such as Business Source Premier and ABI/INFORM, have a search option for company/organization which can narrow your results when you are looking for a particular company or brand.

  • Example search:

“Patagonia inc” AND (crisis OR response)

Publication types that will most likely contain this information:

  • Business Newspapers, Trade Journals, Academic Journals, and Case Studies.

 

Marketing Strategy, Brand Identity, and Campaigns:

These efforts range from the product itself and the packaging, for product businesses, to the perception of the brand and its identities as well as how the brand or company engages with its consumers. These aspects of a company or brand’s identity and marketing strategy are often complimented by advertising campaigns that are attempting to convey the same message. The effectiveness of these efforts is a major piece of a company’s competitive advantage, and marketing and advertising professionals learn how to effectively market or advertise by evaluating the efforts of other companies or campaigns. 

Tip: You can narrow these searches to efforts targeting a specific consumer segment by adding those keywords to a search using Boolean logic.

  • Example search:

“Apple inc” AND (“market* strategy” OR marketing OR advertising OR "ad* campaign*" OR “brand equity” OR "brand identity”) AND millennial*

Publication types that will most likely contain this information:

  • Trade Journals, Business Newspapers, Academic Journals, and Case Studies.

 

Corporate Social Responsibility (Sustainability and ethical business practices):

Ethical and Sustainable practices in business have become a very newsworthy topic in recent years. Since consumers are increasingly interested in these issues, several companies have adopted more ethical and sustainable practices and incorporated them into their marketing. These efforts are also generally referred to as “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) or "Ethical, Social, and Corporate Governance" (ESG). 

Tip: When searching for CSR practices across an industry, using the NAICS code options in a database can be really helpful.

  • Example company or brand search:

“whole foods market inc” AND (sustainab* OR ethic* OR CSR OR “corporate social responsibility” OR ESG OR "Ethical, Social, and Corporate Governance")

  • Example industry search:

(naics(445110) OR “grocery store*” OR supermarket*) AND (sustainab* OR ethic* OR CSR OR “corporate social responsibility” OR ESG OR "Ethical, Social, and Corporate Governance")

NOTE: The example above contains the NAICS code search from the ABI/INFORM database, and the Industry code searches vary from database to database.

Publication types that will most likely contain this information:

  • Business Newspapers, Trade Journals, Case Studies, and Academic Journals.

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace have become increasingly newsworthy in recent years, and hiring practices, promotion, and equal pay have been some of the hot button issues. Publications on this topic tend to talk about individual companies as well as industries as a whole.

  • Example searches:

Gender AND pay AND (tech* industry)

Diversity AND (hiring OR recruitment) AND (“HM” OR “Hennes & Mauritz AB”)

Publication types that will most likely contain this information:

  • Business Newspapers, Trade Journals, Case Studies, and Academic Journals.

 

Supply Chain, Logistics, and Distribution:

When researching manufacturing businesses, it is common to try to find more information about how they produce and distribute their products. Articles can be a good source of information on how these companies source materials, produce the product, and distribute them through their various sales channels. 

Tip: Most business article databases, such as Business Source Premier, ABI/INFORM, and Nexis Uni have a search option for company/organization which can narrow your results when you are looking for a particular company or brand.

  • Example search:

company(Ford motor) AND ("supply chain" OR logistics OR distribution)

NOTE: The search above contains the company search function from Nexis Uni

Publication types that will most likely contain this information:

  • Business Newspapers, Trade Journals, Academic Journals, Case Studies, and Company Profiles or Reports (such as SWOTs).

 

Product Development or Research & Development (R&D):

Product businesses have to invest money to develop new products, and this money is spent developing new technologies, prototypes, and measuring consumer perception. Articles are a great way to glean some insight into this process.

  • Example search:

TK "PG" AND product AND (design OR development)

NOTE:  The search above is using the ticker (or stock symbol) limiter from Business Source​

  • Example search:

company(amazon) and "earnings call" and r&d OR "research & development" OR "research and development"

NOTE: The search above is using the company search limiter from Nexis Uni.

Publication types that will most likely contain this Information:

  • Trade Journals, Press Releases, Wire Feeds (also known as Newswires), Magazines, Newspapers, and Earnings Calls. 

"Earnings calls" is the term for Shareholder meetings, and these are typically great sources for happenings and developments at public companies. These are most easily found by searching for "earnings calls" and the name of the public company within this publication, FD (Fair Disclosure) Wire.