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MK342 - Spring 2021 (Gustafson)

This Bentley Library research guide has been prepared for students taking MK342 Advertising with Professor Lee Gustafson during the Spring 2021 trimester.

Company Research: Corporate Website & 10-K Filings

Corporate website & news releases

Most corporate websites are structured to provide key pieces of valuable information. Explore the website (retail and investor relations) of the company you are creating a campaign for.

  • Explore the retail sections of the sites for product offerings, promotions and messaging
  • Explore the "about us", investor relations (for public companies), and press releases/media room sections of the sites for information about company mission, history, beliefs, operations, strategy, and financials

10-K Annual Report

Public companies are required to file financial information with the SEC. Each year a public company will produce a 10-K annual report. This report provides valuable information that goes beyond the balance sheet and income statements. Usually, the entire year is recapped and you will learn about the external and internal forces affecting the company.

Read the 10-K closely, especially these two sections: 

  • Item 1: Business
  • Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ("MD&A") 

Company Research Databases

Use these databases to locate company profiles and conduct company research.

  • Search Tip: On the right side of the page, click on [Company Profiles]. Enter the company name in the search box and click [Browse]. Locate your company in the list and click on [MarketLine Report]. Reports contain a SWOT analysis (for most public companies)
  • Search Tip: Hover over [Companies] in the navigation bar, then click on SWOT Reports. 
  • Search Tip: In the top navigation bar, click on [Companies] then search for a company by name. After you've performed a search, look for the [Local Company Profile] or [Global Company Profile] report. (Not all companies will have a company profile)