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BA 311 Marketing Management: Industry

Research Tips

There are three main sources for industry information:

  • Industry reports/profiles through Library databases: relatively comprehensive overview (e.g., size, forecast, main players, current issues). A very new or niche industry may not have a dedicated report. 
  • Industry associations: exist to promote the industry. They may provide unique data and analysis not available elsewhere and some information may be free on the website. Google with [industry or product name] association. Examples: Outdoor Industry Association, Oregon Wine Board.
  • General media: newspapers, business magazines, trade publications, industry blogs. Use them to be informed of current developments related to an industry. They are especially useful if one cannot find a dedicated industry report. Use library article databases or do a Google search.

Research Tips

Two tips on finding out what industry or industries a company operates in:

  • Most library databases that provide Company Profiles will include the primary industry (and sometimes secondary industries) the company is in. For example, in Business Insights: image of company profile in Business Insights
  • In IBISWorld, type in your company's name (or a main player's name if your company doesn't yield good results) to find relevant industry information: image of industry profile in IBISWorld

Common Issues & Research Strategies

  • Issue: Information availability depends on the specific industry. Not every industry is covered in all databases, and there may not be a report on a very new/niche industry in any database.
  • Strategy: Broaden your search or look up information in related/competing industries. Do article/Web search.
  • Issue: Different databases may call the same industry differently.
  • Strategy: Brainstorm synonyms or search by company name (main players). 
  • Issue: Even on the same industry, numbers from different databases may not be the same, due to difference in scope, time period, source, or methodology. 
  • Strategy: Make sure you understand how a particular report defines the industry, and what the numbers mean (e.g., production vs. retail sales).
  • Issue: Most databases provide industry/market information on the national level rather than local.  
  • Strategy: Make educated assumptions, consult Census industry data by state, do article/Web search for info on local markets. 

Market Size

Market research reports databases like Mintel and Passport have information on market size. 

However, it's not always easy to find size information on a narrow/niche or emerging markets. When that happens, search for Business Source Premier and LexisNexis to see if the info is mentioned in articles. Search websites of relevant industry associations. Google is great at picking up news, blog posts, and press releases that may mention specific numbers.

You may also need to infer from broader market data and come up with your own estimates. Below are two tutorials on how to size a market:

Industry Profiles & Market Research Reports



Market Shares

If you don't find market share information in secondary sources such as databases and websites, you may calculate an estimated market share. Divide your company's sales (if your company has only one type of product) or your product's sales (if your company has multiple products) by industry revenue (available in the Economic Census) or industry profiles.