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Library resources for marketing research

Industry Research

Industry Research--

  • If you are researching a particular company, check the company profile for the primary industry code and use that code and description to find the appropriate industry report or profile.   OR-- Identify your industry by description--keywords that describe it.  Example: micro brewery, craft beer, micro beer. Remember, some terms may be more widely used than others. Check a thesaurus to help identify additional terms that could also be used to describe your topic.  
  • ​​Industry codes.  These four- and six-digit numeric identifiers classify and describe business activities.  The United States employs two primary classification systems for this purpose and it is typical for companies to use both.

​​Online sources for industry codes:
North American Industry Classification (NAICS)
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)

  • Company profiles include primary and secondary NAICS and SIC codes.  The primary industry code describes the main business activity.  Secondary codes describe activities that are engaged in to a lesser degree.
  • Locate industry surveys, overviews and profiles.  Search the library’s databases (IBISWorld, ABI/Inform Collection, Mergent Online), using the keywords you identified earlier as well as the industry codes.
  • Use your list of keywords to search for current news and In-depth articles about your Industry
  • Visit industry and trade association websites\ Review market share data and other industry statistics.
  • Compare company/industry norms and financial ratios​​.

Find an Industry Report

There are several sources for industry reports, but try IBISWorld or Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage first.


  • Industry profiles may also be described as "industry reports" or "industry overviews"
  • Review profiles from several publishers to gain a more complete understanding of your industry.  Older issues of most profiles are available, providing an unbroken cycle that might prove valuable to your analysis 
  • You may search for industry profiles from a particular publisher by searching the industry AND "publisher name".  For example, ABI/Inform Collection includes reports from First ResearchBarnes Reports, or Plunkett Analytics (the search might look like this: telecom AND "first research")
  • Business Source Ultimate includes reports from MarketLine and RKMA
  • These two databases are great sources for all aspects of business research​ 

Internet Resources for Industry Research