STCM 30900: Media Planning

About this Guide

Students in Media Planning are assigned a client.  The emphasis of this guide is to find company and industry information for the client.  Additionally, students will use Simmons OneView to find data about products or brands; data about media (print, broadcast, newspaper); psychographic data (attitudes, values, beliefs -- what people like, dislike); and demographics (age, gender, race); this data will be used to create a media plan.

Research Method

  1. Search your client's websiteex.  Sonic Drive In
  2. Find the industry code:  NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System)
    Uses a 6 digit numbering system to classify industries that either make a product or offer a service (such as banks) in North America. You can search the database by code or by text describing the industry. These codes can be used to generate a list of companies in an industry and to compare them using other directories found both print or online. You may find the codes and an explanation of them here:  How to find a NAICS code  Learn how to search the NAICS code (video, Jim Bondra)  Limited Service Restaurants: 722513  You can also find them in the company profile (step 3, below).
  3. Company Profile and History. Search Business Insights: Essentials and  LexisNexis Academic (Search by Subject or Topic  > Companies > Dossier) for company profiles.  Is there a parent company (look at the hierarchy)?  Is there a company history? After finding the company profile in LexisNexis, do a second search in the News files (Search by Subject or Topic  > All News > Advanced Options)
  4. Coverage in magazines, newspapers, business wires, and reports.
    Business Source Premier (Original Interface)  (EBSCO) and ABI/INFORM Collection (ProQuest) for: 
    a)  by your company's name  or ticker (ex. SONC)
    b)  by the NAICS industry code (ex. 722513)
  5. Coverage in the S&P Industry survey (print resource, library Reference)
    Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys REF HC106.6 S74  Here is a sample page from the Industry Survey for Foods & Nonalcoholic Beverages (p.25). The report is dated June 2014.
  6. Information from supporting trade associations.
    Print Reference: Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources
    REF DESK HF5353 .E52  Use it to identify directories, yearbooks, periodicals and newsletters, and trade associations for your industry.

    Industry organizations are a good additional source of information.  Some information may be available for members only.  Associations include:
    National Restaurant Association
  7. Look for additional reports in Statista , a database that aggregates statistical information from market research, government data, etc.
  8. Use Simmons OneView to find more demographic information of those you plan to target (find information, for example, preferences of female health food eaters in a particular age range).  You can also find which media that demographic is most likely to use. 
  9. Use SRDS Media Solutions  for ad placement by DMA, media contact information, and some pricing. 

Best Bets: Databases

Advertising Data (Target Audience and Brand Analysis)
  • Simmons OneView
    Simmons OneView(formerly Simmons Choices3) provides access to U.S. adult (18+) consumer data on product and brand usage, spending behavior, media usage/habits, and more. It can be used to create custom reports which analyze demographic and/or psychographic characteristics of product users and their media behavior.  It allows cross tabulation of hundreds of consumer product categories and usage data for over 8,000 brands, inclusive consumer media habits, diverse demographic categories and psychographic (attitudinal and lifestyle) profiles.  It consists of three parts: National Consumer Study (NCS), National Hispanic Consumer Study (NHCS) and New Media. Most recent data available is at least two years old. Our license allows for five simultaneous users.
    Note: if your brand is not included, consider a similar brand or category
Ad placement (Magazines, Newspapers, Television titles, rates and contact information)
  • SRDS Media Solutions
    Access to publications with information about advertising rates and deadlines, editorial or programming content, circulation, links to online media kits, Web sites, audit statements, and other basic information for a variety of advertising media: radio, business magazines, consumer magazines, direct mailings, out-of-home (billboards, airports, etc.) and interactive (Internet). This source is designed for the media buyer, but also is helpful for identifying target audiences. The Digital Media listings contain website metrics by Compete, Doubleclick Ad Planner (Google) and Nielsen NetView when available.
  • Go to the magazine or newspaper's website and look for the "Media Kit" in the footer
Company, Industry, and Brand Analysis information (trade and industry news, competitors, some industry reports such SWOT)
  • Business Insights: Essentials
    Company profiles, brand information, rankings, investment reports, market research reports, SWOT reports, market share information, company histories, chronologies, journal articles, and interactive charts.  Search this database to find detailed company and industry news and information.
  • Business Source Premier (Original Interface)
    Business topics: management, economics, finance, accounting, international business, etc. SWOT analysis on selected companies.
  • ABI/INFORM Collection
    Search all three ABI/Inform databases together here or search one at a time below. ABI/INFORM Complete provides current and historic abstracts and many full-text articles from over 2,800 business and management journals, including hundreds of titles from outside the U.S. The database covers finance, management, marketing, operations, accounting, business conditions, sports and business, entertainment, and case studies.
  • LexisNexis Academic  Company Dossier (Search by Content Type > Companies > Dossier). Includes Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
    The Hoover's Company Records - In-Depth Records Database contains information for more than 40,000 major public and private companies worldwide.  In-Depth Records include overviews and histories, up to 10 years of key financial and employment data, lists of products and key competitors, names of key officers, addresses, and phone and fax numbers.
  • Statista
    A statistics portal that provides data on over 80,000 topics from more than 10,000 different sources.  The content is purely aggregated statistics, geared towards business and marketing statistical needs, with a focus on current awareness.  Easy-to-use infographics and tables are available for download as images to insert into presentations.
Local Companies and Nonprofits Sports:
  • Sports Marketing
    Annual market research report available from Richard Miller & Associates available through SPORTDiscus.  Includes some  television viewing statistics.
  • SMA | Sports Market Analytics
    Full text of current market research and industry news covering all facets of the sports industry: sports equipment sales, sports participation, sports broadcasting, sports sponsorship, sports market information, and sports sponsorship. SBRnet also has buyTRACK, by Harris Interactive, a tracking study of sporting goods purchasing habits on the Internet.


Highly Recommended in Reference (back of the 2nd floor of Gannett near the Library Cafe):
  • Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys REF HC106.6 S74
    Coverage of major industries in the U.S.,quarterly. Statistics, suggested sources, overviews including trends, major players, regulatory issues, etc. Supplemented by Monthly Investment Review. Latest two years in REFERENCE. Older editions in stacks.  Here is a sample page from the Industry Survey for Foods & Nonalcoholic Beverages (p.25). The report is dated June 2014.
  • Thumbnail media planner : media costs and data
    REF HF5415.3 .T48
    Detroit, MI : 2020:Marketing Communications LLC, 2003- Annual publication. Library retains latest edition.
Select titles:       By Subject: 
Find books by New Strategist Publications (ex. Who's buying by age / generation)


    " is the technology, data and insights arm of AOL Advertising."  The platform AdLearn helps advertising agencies cnetrally manage their campaigns.
  • Alexa: the web information company
    Alexa provides data such as rankings on websites.  Users can insert a URL and click "Lookup Sites" to view data.  The "Top Sites" tab has three viewing tabs: Global, By Country, and By Category.
  • American FactFinder
    Current population, housing, economic, and geographic data from the US Census Bureau.  Includes the Annual Survey of Manufactures, Economic Census, Current Population Estimates, Business Patterns, and American Community Surveys.  The Guided Search walks you through each step in picking the data and/or geographies you want to download.
  • The Advertising Association / Warc
    UK companies that provides the database called Expenditure Report. The report covers advertising expenditure data going back to 1982 in addition to 2 years of projections. IC Library does not subscribe but some data is mentioned in the press release. 
  • Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron)
    Market research firm that collects data on the radio industry and other media outlets. Nielsen acquired Arbitron in 2013.
  • Alliance for Audited Media
    Organization that audits circulation statistics and generates reports to assist advertisers and publishers with media sales. Formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.  Some free reports are available.
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Covers a wide variety of economic indicators at the national, international, regional and industry levels, including: Gross Domestic Product(GDP), Personal income, Balance of Trade, and an overview of the U.S. Economy.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor
    Detailed releases of a wide variety of economic statistics including: Consumer Price Index (CPI), productivity, consumer spending, wages and earnings, employment/unemployement, inflation among others.  They Publish the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), a survey of American buying habits (spending, earnings, etc.) as well as The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) that measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities. 
  • Cornell Program on Applied Demographics (PAD)
    PAD works with the New York Statistical Information System (NYsis), Regional Economic Development, and Consumer Demographics and Market Strategies (CDMS).   Contact information can be found here. Cornell is home to a U.S. Census Research Data Center (RDC).  It is located at the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER).
  • Doubleclick ad planner
    A Google ad planning feature that assists market researchers define audience and build media plans.  Demographic data are also included in SRDS Consumer Media.
  • EDGAR Database (Securities and Exchange Commission)
    Official SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) documents such as Form 10-K, 10-Q, Proxy statements, registration statements, and merger and acquisition documents.*Be sure to look at the DEF14A (Proxy) statements and the Management Discussion and Analysis sections of Form 10-k, Form 10-Q for insights into management.
  • Google AdWords
    Online advertising site for Google.
  • Google Databoard
    Interactive tool to industry research. 
  • IceRocket: top blog posts
    Blog search that lists Top Blog Posts.
  • Interactive Television Research Institute (ITRI)
    Educational Institute at Murdoch University, Australia, that teams academics with renowned commercial sponsors to produce reports, news, and study opportunities.
  • Klout
    Measures influence on topics across the social web.
  • MarketingCharts
    Charts and data for marketers in web and Excel format from Watershed Publishing.
  • Microsoft adCenter Labs
    Digital advertising technology from Microsoft.
  • NationMaster
    A central data source and handy way to graphically compare nations. NationMaster is a compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD.  Use the search form to generate maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics.
  • Nielsen
    Measures audiences for television and other media markets. Claritas SiteReports provides U.S. demographic data.
  • Nielsen Ratings and Rankings-Top 10s and trends
    The top 10s and trends in consumer media and marketing behavior for radio, television, books, video games, music, advertising, and sports.
  • Pew Research: Journalism Project
    Assesses the state of news in society. Includes a link to The State of the News Media Annual Report as well as other research reports and analysis.
  • Research and Markets: Market research reports
    Company, based in Ireland, that sells international market research reports on a variety of specific topics.
  • SEC Filings from Yahoo
    Announcements of SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filings updated daily from Yahoo.
  • SEC Info
    Securities Information from the SEC EDGAR database. Search by Name, Industry, Business, SIC Code, Area Code,Topic, CIK, Accession Number, File Number, Date, ZIP. You may have to join but membership is free.
    TRENDWATCHING.COM and its 3,000+ trendspotters scan the US, Canada, European Union, Japan, South Korea, India, South Africa, Australia, Brazil and 50 other nations & regions for hot, emerging consumer trends and related new business ideas. Free monthly bulletin briefings are archived back to first issue (November 2002). 
  • TV By the Numbers - Zap2it
    Blog by Bill Gorman and Robert Seidman that collects and explores TV ratings data. They merged with zap2it.
    Company that researches competitive television development and programming.  Some information is members only but there is a "Free Area".
  • VALS (Values, Attitudes, and Lifestyles)
    By Strategic Business Insights, this measurement tool based on psychographic segmentation is used in marketing to define targets.
Media research companies (a selection. note: many market research reports are priced out of range for the academy; you can sometimes read executive reports for general trends; Cornell subscribes to MINTEL):
  • BIA Kelsey
    Company specializing in supplying local media data to clients.
  • Competitrack
    A full service advertising tracking firm.  Copetitrack's services are avaialbe to advertisers, ad agencies and related companies only.
  • comScore
    Market research company that measures consumer behavior online for a variety of industries.
  • Edison Media Research
    Marketing research for broadcasters including television, radio, and the Associated Press.
  • eMarketer
    Online market research that reports on trends in key industries: banking, broadband, consumer products, e-commerce, media &entertainment, information technology, international, internet demographics, internet usage, media & content, pharmaceuticals & health care, retail, telecommunications, travel, wireless, etc. Partial fulltext. Visitors can sign up for free newsletters.
  • Forrester
    Market research company
  • General Sentiment
    Analyzes consumer sentiment on the internet and though social media outlets.  Products and services include: Media Measurement Dashboard, Custom Reporting, Syndicated Reporting, and API.
  • Informa Telecoms & Media
    Business that collects and sells strategic information for the telecom industry.
  • Insight Research Corporation
    Market research for the telecom industry.
  • Kantar Media
    Company that provides strategic advertising intelligence. & compete
  • Q Scores
    This company measures the consumer appeal of personalities, products, characters, licensed properties, programs and brands.   The Q Score is a "measure of likeability" that predicts consumer involvement. Data is sold to advertisement and PR firms amongst others.
  • Rentrak
    A multi-screen media measurement company.
  • Scarborough Research
    Measures consumer trends for media markets.
  • VMS
    Integrated Media Intelligence company that monitors media for public relations, marketing, and advertising.

Contact Us

picture of Cathy Michael

Cathy Michael

Communications Librarian
(607) 274-1293

Search Argos

Class Demonstration Notes

Here are notes from my class demonstration for: ALTOIDS.  As the notes are to myself, they may be vague.  Contact me for clarification or to answer questions.

Simmons OneView Guides

We subscribe to 5 user accounts for Simmons.  MRI+ was cancelled in December 2013.

Guides from Jim Bondra, Business Librarian:

SRDS guide

Watch this SRDS (Standard Rate & Data Service) video to learn how to run a basic search for Local DMA (designated market area).  Click here

LexisNexis: Business information

LexisNexis maintains a wiki expalining how to search for business information.

To search for news on your company or industry, they recommend, "..., use the Advanced Options section of the main search form. There, use the "Add Index Terms" feature to access the SmartIndexing terms for industries and specific companies. Using index terms is far more accurate than doing a free text search on the company name. In the People index, you will find terms for many high-profile corporate executives, allowing you to search for stories on them as well."

Related Guides

​Also use this guide for your secondary data / background research report: ​Additional guides include:


Research Brief

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WSJ News: Media & Marketing

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Advertising Age

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Media Life Mag

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