Marketing Research

This page is designed by Olivier Charbonneau, Senior Librarian for the Marketing department of JMSB, to support learning and classroom activities of students enrolled in MARK 302 Marketing Research.

Quick access: remember to access the Library’s (1) Business Research Portal for the library supported collection for JMSB; use the (2) Ask-A-Librarian service for searching help; and the (3) citing business sources in APA format for your bibliography.

These are the usual pages students are referred to during their undergraduate degree

Marketing research is the process by which you employ scientific methods to enrich the discourse in your discipline. An important preliminary step in this process involves searching for existing data, evidence or sources within the scope of your project. Simply regurgitating facts is not sufficient, you have to align insight, evidence and analysis to the state of affairs in marketing research. That is the difference between university research and course work you have previously encountered in your studies.

Research makes marketing into a science, you are now training to become marketing scientists. Proper scientists are keen to perform a review of existing knowledge before applying research methods. Googling your way around this is insufficient, marketing evidence is either hidden on the Internet or it is too expensive to be posted for free. Libraries and their humble custodians exist to uncover hidden gens on the internet and they acquire expensive market research sources so you can use them for free.

Another important point: you need to review existing data, sources and evidence about your topic BEFORE you design your final project’s questionnaire. This is a common mistake of new marketing researchers. If you design your questionnaire before having read the market research reports acquired by your library or you don’t generate data tables from StatCan or Vividata, your project will be underwhelming. And so will your grade.

Let’s unpack all these ideas and discover some new skills and tools.

Tip #1: Is Google evil? Is Google even helpful?

If using Google is your definition of searching, then you need to seriously update your skills and knowledge. Google only provides access to material which has been posted on the “free” web, it uses an algorithm that unfairly promotes popular material that is aligned with your past searching behaviour and provides the illusion of having located information. Because of these and other facts, Google is usually misused as a search engine within the university context. This can be catastrophic for your GPA.

Market research is an expensive undertaking. Consulting firms charge hefty sums to secure scientific-grade evidence to organisations who can afford it. National statistical agencies hire vast teams to harvest facts about their populations to analyse government programs. Researchers in Universities spend years devising and applying new methods to uncover knowledge. Some of these sources do make their way on the “free” web but ask yourself two questions:

1. Do you really think that Google’s sorting algorithm will consider complex, detailed and nuanced analysis as popular enough to make it in the top 10 of results?

2. Don’t you think that those who produce market research would really post it for free on the Internet?

Source: Senior Librarian Olivier Charbonneau uses Google every day, but understands when other tools are required to succeed in life

The answer to both questions is a resounding “NO!” For more insight about Google, please revisit the tutorials and videos created for your first year at JMSB. The solution is simple: stay calm and use your library’s Business Research Portal at

Libraries have accompanied human society in a variety of models since the beginning of history (actually, history wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for archives and libraries). With each technological or social revolution, libraries have reinvented themselves to serve their purpose. Libraries may not be today’s Internet unicorns, but we do two things very well: 1. we find hidden gems on the free web and teach you how to use them successfully; and 2. we acquire sources that you wouldn’t be able to afford yourself.

More importantly, you need to perform a detailed review of existing knowledge about your topic before you can scope out your research method.

Tip #2: Get familiar with Statistics Canada

Canada’s national statistical agency provides for a Census of the population as well as 350 other ongoing surveys. Click on the link below to discover more about its free resources:

Click on “Get familiar with Statistics Canada” to learn how to navigate its web site to uncover three extremely useful data tools

Now that you know how to use resources from Statistics Canada, every student is expected to generate a Data table from the Census to obtain counts of their target market according to its demographic composition. If you want to verify the demographic characteristics of your target market, please use Vividata, explained below.

In addition to a Data table from the Census, most groups will find it judicious to include a table from the general Data portal, specifically about household spending by income quintiles. These concepts are explained on the Get familiar with Statistics Canada.

Tip #3: Market and Industry Research

Most market or industry report providers use Statistics Canada data as well as other sources to generate their analysis. It provides for an additional layer of analysis. They can be very expensive, but the library has you covered because we pre-pay for you. Every group should explore these sources, follow the link to access a video tutorial and the pre-paid link to the resource.

PassPort by Euromonitor

Passport from Euromonitor is a professional tool paid by the library and provides reports worldwide consumer markets, such as Megatrends, Consumer lifestyles Canada as well as sectorial reports and data (from Search> Search Full Tree). The library website provides for a tutorial on using Passport by Euromonitor.


IBISWorld provides over 1000 industry reports for business in Canada, the USA, China and global markets. Use these reports for insight on industries & external environment.

Tip #4: Vividata is an alternate source of primary aggregate research data

Vividata provides for a yearly survey of Canadian consumers to assist in defining target markets and the appropriate media mix. This is a professional tool used by marketing executives. Use it in conjunction with Statistics Canada’s Census Data Tables (above).

Vividata allows you to discover the demographic profile of consumers of specific products or brands. Use this insight to generate a Census Data Table to get the market size.

To access Vividata, visit the Business Research Portal’s Market research page:

Tip #5: Trade news and scholarly articles

Use ProQuest for what you would have done in Google. Filter for trade news and scholarly articles. You should have a dozen articles in your bibliography. Read and cite from them. Understand the nuances, let them guide you. Search for company names, brand names or business topics. Access ProQuest Business databases for trade news and scholarly articles here:

Parting thoughts

You are putting your name on this paper. Did you take all necessary steps to elevate it to the standards of a University researcher in Marketing? I would go a step further. You are also competing with all other students in your class. How many groups have performed all the required preliminary work prior to design their project? How will your work compare if you simply provide shoddy, underwhelming work not aligned with the state of knowledge in marketing research?

This project may seem like more work than you anticipated. But your capacity to learn from the steps involved in successfully completing this project will benefit you in the long term. Specifically, it is designed to increase your capacity to develop more nuanced, powerful and insightful analysis of existing literature. Using the tips to review the marketing literature on a regularly basis will provide for a sustained capacity to learn and discover knowledge during your studies as well as after you graduate. Truth be told, you are being groomed to seek out knowledge like a scientist. This is an integral part of the university experience.

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 2020-09-10 à 2:16 pm.