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Marketing Your Small Business: Research Guide


“Marketing,” loosely defined is a synergy of activities designed to work together that, hopefully, will result in a profitable business.  A “Marketing Plan” is the strategic plan designed to help you accomplish your goal. This guide will take you through its basic principles, popularly known as the P’s of Marketing, and show you how to find helpful information at the Science, Industry and Business Library.

If you need more help with doing research or using the databases, please approach a librarian at the B. Altman Desk for assistance.


MARKETING: What is it?

  • Definition of marketing
  • The components of marketing



MARKETING: What you need to know


  • What is your product or service? Describe in detail.  Answer some basic questions:
    • What is the product's/service's main reason for being in the market?
    • What consumer need is it going to satisfy?
    • What makes it stand out vs. competition?
  • To what industry does it belong? 
  • Who is your competition? How is your product the same as/different from/better or worse than competition’s?




  • Who will want your product or service?
    • Consider age, gender, lifestyle, interest, geographic location,  etc., value sets, education, employment, income level, ethnic identity, brand loyalty
    • Consider psychographics: emotional and psychological motivations, influencing factors in purchase decisions
  • Who is using competition?





  • How much will your product or service cost?
  • What pricing strategy will you use?
    • Consider break-even point, profitability, customers’ perceptions of product’s value, competition’s pricing strategy




  • How will the customers access your product or service?
  • Where is it located geographically?
  • Is it online?




  • How will people know about you and your product?
    • advertising campaign
    • PR activity
    • campaign offering free gifts, samples or trading stamps
    • Store demonstrations or exhibitions
    • Price reduction
    • E-mail or direct mail activities
    • Social media