Below you will find an abundant amount of information that includes helpful tools for things like digital design, deep market research, and keeping up on cultural trends. Be sure to check as much out as you can, everything here is for you to use and to help you in your classes and future careers. If you know of a tool that may not be here, feel free to reach out so we can keep this list fresh!


  • Company Website – philosophy, history, mission/vision/values, products and more.
  • Company Annual Reports – business info (with a positive spin, business strategy, area's of investment, problem areas.
  • Business Periodicals – get the scoop quickly on company, competition and category, A bit less biased than investor reports.
  • Adforum – repository of ads, awards and other stuff.
  • Moat – database of thousands of digital creative elements, all searchable by brand.

Culture, Trends, News & Case Studies

  • Awwwards – Award winning digital design.
  • JWT Intelligence – Deep looks at emerging trends.
  • Jay Chiat Awards Case Studies – Amazing repository of award winning brand strategy work (includes past years winners).
  • Lifehacker – Tips, tricks and downloads for getting things done.
  • PSFK – Daily innovation briefing with news from advertising, design, retail & technology industries.
  • Trendhunter – Great source for latest trends in fashion, tech and more.
  • Cassandra Report – Help understanding young consumers. Great newsletter.
  • Zambezi – Fresh content posted monthly through their site or straight to your inbox. Subscribe here.

Consumer - Free Online Research Resources

  • Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Facebook – trend and and meta-analysis.
  • Amazon (& Yelp) Reviews– honest and insightful product reviews.
  • Consumer Confidence Index (Conference Board) – non-partisan think tank, trended read of American consumer confidence and other economic measures.
  • PEW Research Center – non-partisan research on politics, media, technology and more.
  • Google Trends – The crystal ball of what's on people's mind.
  • Google Correlate – Part of Google Trends, shows which search terms are most like other search terms in terms of volume, seasonality and geography.
  • Google Ngrams – Every word ever published since 1800.
  • Google Scholar – Academic research search engine.
  • Ad Settings – find out who Google thinks you are and the reason you get certain ads.
  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner – find search volume and similar searches (need to access via Google account).
  • Alexa – free website traffic.
  • SimilarWeb – digital market intelligence and website traffic, free trial.
  • Socialmention – real-time social media search and analysis.
  • SEM Rush – Easy to use keyword analysis tool.
  • Global Web Index – Data on consumer behaviors from around the world.
  • Facebook Audience Insights – loads of analytics about Facebook's audience. Ability to see consumer demographics and behavior of brand fans.
  • YouGov – Find popularity ratings of people, products and brands throughout the US.

Research, Analysis & Reporting Tools

  • Simmons – syndicated research tool that allows users to cut data on 25,000 annual respondents. LMU students have access to 3-year old data. (REQUIRES LMU LOGIN)
  • IBISWorld  the United States' most comprehensive collection of Industry Market Research and Industry Risk Statistics. (REQUIRES LMU LOGIN)
  • Euromonitor Global Market Information Database – stats from over 205 countries on economic indicators, health, foreign trade, environment, lifestyle, industrial and agricultural output, communications and more. (REQUIRES LMU LOGIN)
  • Wordle – Make word clouds.
  • Infogram – Infographic chart creation.
  • SurveyMonkey – Easy forms, contact sheet creations, and more.
  • Google Forms – Cheap/free survey tools with decent functionality.
  • Qualtrics – More powerful survey tool, LMU students have access (limited to 100 respondent sample unless with faculty approval. (REQUIRES LMU LOGIN)
  • Iconosquare cool measurement and optimization tool for Instagram (7 day free trial).
  • Lynda– 4,000 online courses taught by experts. Free through LMU.
  • Statistical Significance Calculator – Good for A/B tests, determining significance in surveys.
  • US Census Bureau – Powerful numbers from the US census. US Census Fact Finder – Check the facts on topics like business and industry.

Creation & Design Tools

  • Sketch – If Keynote, Indesign and Illustrator had a baby, but easier to use. $49 with student discount, TONS of free templates available online.
  • Xtensio – Powerful template tool, great for making personas, reports, competitive analysis and more.
  • Lifehacker: Youtube to File – Download Youtube videos to your computer with this step-by-step guide.
  • Canva – Poster design creation, tons of templates and free graphics.
  • Slides Carnival – Free presentation templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint.
  • Social Media Sizes – upload sizes of all social media assets.
  • TitleCase – capitalize titles and words the right way.
  • FoodiesFeed – Free stock photos of food.
  • Noun Project – Free icons for anything.
  • Colourlovers – Searchable color palates.
  • Dafont – For great fonts.
  • Google Fonts – Web-friendly font library.
  • Trendy Google Fonts – Great resource of popular font combinations.
  • Font Fabric – Amazing fonts for free.
  • Typio – Help picking fonts that go together.
  • Pexels – Stock videos for free.
  • Picular – Like Google, but for colors.
  • Paletton – Color scheme creation platform.

Strategy Resources


  • Invisibilia – Human trends in who we are by NPR.
  • Hidden Brain – On human behavior / behavioral economics.
  • Reply All – Stories from the internet.
  • Radio Lab – Stories from culture.
  • Giant Thinkers – Guests discuss what motivates them and how they work.
  • The Tim Ferris Show – Interviews with people who are amazing at what they do.
  • The Treatment – Influential individuals provide concise insights on themselves and their work by NPR.

Industry Newsletters, Blogs & Sites

  • AAAA Smartbrief – Daily summary of industry news.
  • AAAA – Industry information including conferences, tools, and project highlights.
  • AD2  AD2, part of AAF, caters to young professions in advertising. They have a nice resource page for students with links to awards shows, conferences, camps and more. 
  • ANA – Large content library (subscription required).
  • Adweek – online trade mag with news, events, jobs and more.
  • AdAge – Online trade mag. Lots of data, articles and industry news (limited use without subscription). Be sure to check out Creativity – Showcase of new work and those who made it.
  • eMarketer Newsletter – The go-to source for digital research, lots of charts and stats.
  • Mashable – Digital tech new aggregator.
  • MediaPost – News on media and advertising. Special sections / newsletters include Out to Launch, Accounts on the Move, People on the Move and Research Brief.
  • Agency Spy – Behind the scenes agency dirt.
  • School of Communication Arts – Top advertising industry reading list.

Merchandise Platforms

  • Printful – Easy, on-demand, online printing, fulfillment and shipping.
  • Printaura – Custom garment printing and order fulfillment.
  • 4Imprint – Traditional custom printing with great options.
  • Shopify – Online retail store for all types of things.
  • Big Cartel – E-commerce store geared toward creatives/artists.
  • Facebook Shop – Create a shop on Facebook, and get steps on how to.

Personality Tests

  • Enneagram Test – Simple format personality test giving 1 of 9 types
  • 16 Personalities – Sleek personality test with 1 of 16 types and deep analysis
  • Red Bull Wingfinder - Red Bull Wingfinder is an accurate free personality assessment that focuses on your strengths, the things that you’re naturally inclined to be good at

Course Files

  • Adaption-Innovation 9 Question Survey - download pdf 
  • PBM Workbook Part 1 - four part prework for workshop, takes several hours. Note: do not complete workbook in browser; download pdf, be sure to save your work. 
  • PBM Worksession Workbook Part 2 - worksession workbook. Note: do not complete workbook in browser; download pdf, be sure to save your work. 
  • PBM Goals Worksheet - for use in worksession. Note: do not complete workbook in browser; download pdf, be sure to save your work. 

Frequently Asked Questions