MKTG 489: Marketing Management and Strategy: Situation Analysis: Company Information

Suggested resources for MKTG 489

Company Web Sites & Annual Reports

Annual Reports

  • Publicly-traded companies have to file annual reports with the SEC. The previous year's annual report is due March 31.
  • Annual report includes company background, current issues they are facing, what went well, what went wrong, and financial information.
  • The 10K contains internal company information. If a current annual report is not available, look at the most recent 10K.
  • The Presdient's Letter is where s/he explains the company's current situation to shareholders. Read this with a skeptical eye.

Where are annual reports located?

  • Many companies will put their most recent annual report on their web site.
  • Most post past annual reports, historical financial information, mission, values, etc. on their site.
  • Look for a link on the company's home page labeled, "Company information," "Investor Information," etc.

What else is on the company's Web site?

  • Mission, values, and vision
  • Possibly a recent strategic plan
  • Articles or press releases

Public Companies vs. Private Companies

  • If a company has a ticker symbol, it is publicly traded. Find the ticker in a simple Google or Wikipedia search--but don't rely on this information for your entire assignment
  • Some private companies will put a lot of information on their Web site. Some won't. 

Can you trust information from the company?

  • Yes. But read it with a skeptical eye and back up any of their own information with other sources.

How do I read some of these things?

Situation Analysis

What you need for this assignment:

  • Internal environment of the firm
  • Firm's overall strategy and performance
  • Customer environment (current and potential customers, value propositions, etc.)
  • Competitive environment, industry characteristics, and other environmental factors
The situation analysis will be the core aspect of this assignment, and you will find that many sources you use for the situation analysis will be useful for other aspects of the assignment, including marketing goals and strategy, evaluation and control, etc.

Company Research

Company Research Tips:

  • Publicly-traded companies will be easier to research than private companies.
  • You will use a mix of library resources (Mergent, Business Source Complete) and online resources.
  • Some companies are easier to research than others. Companies and brands are merged and absorbed regularly, and this can make finding even recent information difficult.
  • Just because you want a certain piece of information doesn't mean it is available.
  • Sometimes you will have to make an educated guess.
  • Always check the company's website for information, especially the 10Ks and proxy statements.

Remember: Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it!

Finding Company Reports in Business Source Complete

Video will open in new window. 

How to find company reports in Business Source Complete. Will open in new window.