UMGC Library

MBA 640: Innovation Through Marketing and Technology: Project 1 Tips

A Library Research Guide

Project 1 Tips: Overview

For this project, you are being asked to analyze the market for smart TVs in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

You may want to consult the UMGC Library's Business Research: Finding Demographic or Psychographic Information page, which gives general guidance about how to find information about particular populations and their spending patterns, etc. The Library's Business Research: Conducting Market Research and/or Business Research: Finding Market Size Information pages may also help.

Note that to find as much information as possible for this project, you will likely need to run searches on the free web (i.e., use Google or Bing, etc.) to supplement what you find in Library databases. Be sure to carefully evaluate what you find.

This guide focuses on providing tips for using the UMGC Library's databases to find information for project 1, although links to MBA faculty-recommended non-UMGC Library resources are provided as well, along with tips for finding information on the free web.

Using UMGC Library Databases to Find Consumer Spending and/or Preference Information

Keep in mind that there may be relatively few documents that directly address what a given region's consumers are looking for with regard to a specific product; that is, you may not find many documents that specifically mention, for instance, what types of features Germans are looking for in smart TVs. But you may, however, find documents that discuss Germans' spending habits in general, and such information could then be used to make informed inferences about Germans' preferences with regard to smart TVs.

For current and forecasted economic and consumer information for the three regions, the following resources should be helpful:

ABI/INFORM Collection 

In ABI/INFORM Collection, click on the icon that looks like three horizontal lines next to the database's name toward the top left-hand side of the database's home page and then click on the Browse link from the resulting sub-menu. On the resulting page, scroll down to the "Country Reports" section.

From the "Country Reports" section, you can click on the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Country Finance & Forecast Reports link to see available reports. Clicking on the Browse by Location tab will let you find reports for the three regions of interest. Note that you may need to re-sort your results by publication date in order to find the most recent report for each region. Reports are fairly lengthy, so you may want to search the report text for terms of interest (e.g., TV, television, customer, consumermarket, etc.).

Also from the "Country Reports" section, you can click on the Oxford Economics By Country Industry Forecast to see available reports. Again, you may need to re-sort your results by publication date to see the most recent reports first. And, again, you may want to search the body of the report for terms of interest.

On the main search page of the database, you can run searches along the lines of:

german* AND (customer* OR consumer*) AND (behavior* OR attitude* OR preference* OR research) AND ("smart television* "OR "smart tv*")

For more information about how to properly format search statements, please see Searching Basics.

Keep in mind that you may need to broaden your search in order to find enough useful information for your assignment. That is, you may need to search for television* OR tv* rather than for "smart television*" OR "smart tv*", or you might even need to broaden your search still further, to, for instance, "consumer electronics" and/or "household electronics", "audio and video equipment", "home entertainment", etc.

Note that you can use the publication date limiter on the left-hand side of the search results page to find recent documents for your research.

Business Source Complete 

As with ABI/INFORM Collection, on the main search page of the database, you can run searches along the lines of:

german* AND (customer* OR consumer*) AND (behavior* OR attitude* OR preference* OR research) AND ("smart television* "OR "smart tv*")

Again, remember that you may need to try different variations of your search terms, especially with regard to the terms having to do with the product of interest (i.e., smart TVs).

As with ABI/INFORM Collection, you can use the publication date limiter on the left-hand side of the search results page to find recent documents for your research.

Using UMGC Library Databases to Find Smart TV Industry Information

In addition to looking for information about smart TV consumers in the three regions of interest, you may want to also look for relevant industry information, as that could help you understand current and forecasted sales conditions, etc.

When conducting industry research, it often helps to know the relevant industry NAICS code, as many databases allow you to search by NAICS code. In this case, going to the Census Bureau's NAICS web page at https://www.census.gov/naics/ and searching for television and then reviewing the results will show that the relevant NAICS code for smart TV is 334310, which is the code for audio and video equipment manufacturing.

ABI/INFORM Collection 

To find relevant industry reports in ABI/INFORM Collection, you can use the search box on the database's home page to enter a search such as:

("smart television*" OR "smart tv*") AND "united states"

and then select Industry Report from the Document type: menu toward the bottom of the page.

You can also click on the icon that looks like three horizontal lines next to the database's name toward the top left-hand side of the database's home page and then click on the Browse link from the resulting sub-menu. On the resulting page, scroll down to the "Industry and Market Research" section and then click on the link for First Research. Of the First Research industry reports, the most relevant one will be the one for Audio & Video Equipment Manufacturing. Be sure to sort your results by publication date so that you can find the most recent report.

Business Insights: Global 

To find relevant industry reports and other information in Business Insights: Global, select Industries from the menu bar across the top of the database's home page. 

If you select All Industries from the resulting sub-menu, you can use the search box on the left-hand side of the page to search by industry name or NAICS code. Searching for 334310, the NAICS code for audio and video equipment manufacturing mentioned above, will lead you to the "Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing" profile. In addition to taking a look at the industry essays, be sure to click on the links under the "Industry Information:" heading on the left-hand side of the profile page to see associated content (market share reports, rankings, news, etc.)

Business Source Complete

To find relevant industry reports and other documents in Business Source Complete, you can use one search box on the database's home page to enter 334310 (the NAICS code for audio and video equipment manufacturing) and then use the drop-down menu next to the search box to select IC NAICS Code or Description. You can then use another search box to enter, for instance, "united states". You can then select Industry Profile from the Publication type: menu toward the bottom of the page.

You can use the publication date slider on the left-hand side of the search results page to limit your results to documents published within whatever time frame you specify. Note that the dates that you'll see in the publication date boxes when you run a search reflect the dates of the oldest and newest documents in your result set, so if you run a search and see, for instance, From 2002 To 2013, that means that the oldest document in the database that matches your search criteria is from 2002, and the newest is from 2013.

Hoovers

To find relevant industry information in Hoovers, use the drop-down menu next to the search box at the top of the database's home page to select Industries and then enter 334310 (the NAICS code for audio and video equipment manufacturing) into the search box. After clicking on the link to pull up the entry for that NAICS code, use the links in the "Market Research Report" section to read relevant industry profiles.

IBISWorld

To find relevant industry information in IBISWorld, begin entering 334310 (the NAICS code for audio and video equipment manufacturing) in the search box on the database's home page. You'll then see that the closest match is 33431. The industry report that you'll retrieve for audio and video equipment manufacturing for the United States contains an industry definition, supply chain information, major industry players, key trends, an industry SWOT, key industry data, the industry outlook, supply chain information, demand determinants, market share concentration, barriers to entry, key industry ratios, etc. Use the navigation options on the left-hand side of the industry report page to jump to specific parts of the report. 

Although there are not similar industry reports for Germany or the United Kingdom, some of the information from the U.S. report may still be useful for your research; see, for example, the "Industry Outlook," "Products & Markets," and "Competitive Landscape" sections of the report.

Using UMGC Library Databases to Find Additional Smart TV Information

You can find additional useful articles for your research in UMGC Library databases such as ABI/INFORM Collection and Business Source Complete. Searches along the following lines should be helpful:

  • ("smart television*" OR "smart tv*") AND (trend* OR forecast* OR predict*)
  • ("smart television*" OR "smart tv*") AND (sales OR purchase* OR buy*) AND (season* OR month*)
  • ("smart television*" OR "smart tv*") AND "distribution channel*"

Remember that you may need to try different variations of your search terms, and remember, too, that you can use the publication date limiter in each database to limit your results to documents published within whatever time frame you specify.

Additional Recommended UMGC Library Resources

There are also a handful of publications that are available through the UMGC Library that may be useful for this assignment and that have been recommended by MBA faculty, namely:

Click on the links above in order to access each of the publications listed.

Recommended Non-UMGC Library Resources

The following non-UMGC Library resources have also been recommended by MBA faculty:

Note that portions of some of the resources listed above may be restricted to subscribers. Because UMGC does not have a subscription to these resources, you will only be able to access material on these sites that's freely available.

Using the Free Web to find Relevant Information

As noted above, in addition to running your searches in UMGC Library databases, you may need to also run searches on the free web, using a search engine such as Google or Bing, etc.

You may want to run searches such as:

"smart tv" "united kingdom" market

"smart tv" "united kingdom" consumer

etc.

Again, be sure to carefully evaluate what you find on the free web, to ensure that it comes from a credible source.

It may also help to learn more about the consumers in each of the three regions of interest. See, for instance, Santander's Reaching the Consumers information for Germany,  the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Using Companies' Websites and/or Advertisements to Find Relevant Information

You can make educated inferences about which smart TV features are of interest to consumers by looking at companies' own websites and/or advertisements, since a company's product offerings will be informed by the company's own research into what its customers are looking for. (For example, does a company's website focus on TVs' size? Ease of use? Price? Durability? Energy efficiency? The features that a company's website or advertisements highlight will be the features that the company thinks will be most appealing to customers, and as you compare websites for various companies and regions, you may notice significant similarities or differences.)

The project 1 instructions list several companies that make smart TVs: Samsung, LG, and Vizio. To find the company websites for the three regions of interest, you can use Google, Bing, etc. to run searches for a company name and region. For example:

samsung "united kingdom"

When searching for company websites for Germany, you may find content written in German. Note that some browsers (e.g., Chrome and Edge) offer the option to automatically provide a rough translation of a web page's content into English. Some websites may also offer a translation option.

A General Note

Whether you're searching in UMGC Library databases or on the free web, your search results may sometimes include mentions of market reports or data compilations from market research firms such as Forrester Research, Frost & Sullivan, the Gartner Group, etc. Such reports are generally quite expensive; many cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars apiece.

That being the case, the full text of such reports are not generally available in any library research database, and the UMGC Library may not be able to obtain the full-text reports for you via our DocumentExpress interlibrary loan service.

But press releases and other documents that discuss these reports -- documents that are often available from UMGC Library databases and/or posted on the free web -- may be useful for your research since such documents often summarize key findings from the reports.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with finding information for project 1, or if you have questions about the requirements for the assignment, please contact your instructor.

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