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MGT490 - Strategic Business Planning Capstone (Bonoff and Sacco)

Purpose of this Guide

The purpose of this guide is to help you with research elements of your marketing plan. 

From your rubric:

Analysis of the external environment: Competition (look at the 4 basic types of competitors, Exhibit 3.6), economic growth and stability, political trends, legal and regulatory issues, technological advancements, sociocultural trends Pay specific attention to collecting relevant, substantive information via credible sources.

It will also help you with your SWOT analysis.

Citing business databases: Check the MLA guide at the tab at the top of this page, and if you still have questions, try this guide to citing business databases from Miami University.

Research Tools for this Project

What is the economic outlook for our industry? Political, legal, regulatory, technological trends?

  • In Hoovers, Statista, and First Research look for industry reports or competitor SWOT analyses to learn business analysts’ perspective on the industry
  • Find the homepage for your industry’s advocacy organization by Googling your business type (ie: restaurant, beauty salon, dentist, bed and breakfast) and "advocacy organization." Look for a button for “issues” or “advocacy” or “research.”

Are sociocultural or demographic trends relevant to our marketing strategy?

  • Try a Harvard Think Tank and an advanced Google search for sociocultural trends or demographic trends, being sure to evaluate your sources. Think Tanks are organizations that have scholars on staff who research and release reports on current issues. They may have a political bias so try googling any you find to determine if you need to seek out the other side of an issue.
  • A great source for demographic information about consumers, and geographic information is Social Explorer. Click on "demographic profiles" and enter the zipcode or name of the city or county. You can also search by state. 

Are economic trends that affect our target customers going to affect our marketing strategy?

  • Look at the Bureau of Economic Analysis “US Economy at a Glance page and scroll down to data by state for data about personal income and consumption expenditures. You can also do a Harvard Think Tank Search for economic trends for the demographic groups you're marketing to. 

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