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Market Research

What is Market Research?

Market Research refers to the study of the entire market and consumer behavior within that market.  It helps you understand your customers, familiarize yourself with the competition, and what people are prepared to pay for your product or service.    This is done by:

  • gathering and analyzing data about the position of a product or service in a market
  • by looking at demographics, customer income, behavior, needs, preferences, interests, spending habits and geographic locations
  • and, by analyzing the industry,competitors, and economic conditions and trends.

How to conduct market research

To find  Main Research Resources to Consult
Industry or industries your product or service is a part of NAICS Code
Research on your business industry, market and competitors Library databases (which include journals, trade periodicals, magazines) and internet sources
Other sources that cover your industry Market research reports, news sources, customer surveys, blogs written by experts, trade associations
Data and statistics Databases such as Statista, Census Bureau & other Government agencies sites, associations websites, surveys, interviews with experts, etc.

Use NAICS Code to Identify your industry

The NAICS Code is used to determine/identify which industry (or industries) best reflect or fit your primary lines of business (product or service). 

NAICS (pronounced Nakes) stands for North American Classification System, and is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies to classify business establishments for statistical and comparison purposes. Each business is classified into a six-digit NAICS code number based on the majority of activity at the business.  NAICS codes are also required by Federal, state, and local governments for administrative, taxes, or contracting purposes.

NAICS is a two- through six-digit hierarchical classification system, offering five levels of detail.

NAICS Sector Codes and Titles:
First two digits - Economic Sector
Third digit - Subsector
Fourth digit - Industry group
Fifth digit - NAICS industry
Sixth digit - U.S. industries

52 = Finance and Insurance (economic sector)
525 =Funds, Trusts, and Other Financial Vehicles (subsector)
5251 = Insurance and Employee Benefit Funds (industry group)
52511 = Pension Funds (NAICS industry)
525110 = Pension Funds (U.S. Industries)

Video: Finding an Industry NAICS Code

Types of Publications

Trade Journals are industry specific news publications

written for professionals in a given field.

Articles are often short, but very current. These

publications can be very helpful for market research.

Popular magazines are designed to inform readers

with varied backgrounds about a variety of current issues.

They are the least formal in scope and tone. 

Scholarly Journals are peer-reviewed and

written by subject experts. Articles are detailed

and often contain jargon.