Skip to Main Content

I-CORE Research Guide

Industry Research

You need to:

  • Research the industry of your product/service
  • If you are marketing B2B, your customer's industry

Identify the NAICS Codes of the industries you are researching!

Industry codes are numbers used to describe a company's line of business. Many business databases including the US Economic Census are searchable by NAICS codes. The current standard for industry codes is the 6-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code.

NAICS Code Lookup

Researching Niche/Emerging Industries

If you are researching an emerging industry or a very specialized industry it may be more difficult to locate industry overviews and other industry analysis. Some strategies you can consider using to find information:

Look for articles in popular and trade journals (magazines and newspapers) that discuss this industry

  • Consider what other industries are related to your industry. Are there industries that have a similar target market or supply chain?
  • Consider researching the industries of your suppliers and your customers (if your customer is a business).
  • Use frameworks such as Porter's Five Forces or PEST Analysis to guide you in researching your industry.

Industry Research Resources

How to Search IBISWorld

How to read and IBISWorld Industry Report

Local Geographic Research

How do I find demographics for a local geography (including number of potential customers or competitors)?

Help I can only find national data and I but my target is just Indiana (...or Carmel...or the midwest)

When you can only find national data for your market size but you want to narrow it down to a smaller geographic area, you may need to back into this information often by making an assumption that the proportion of the market that Indiana (or whatever market you are considering) provides will be similar to the proportion that that market contributes to another economic indicator such as GDP,  new residential construction starts, business establishments, population, households, etc.

Example: You are trying to determine the market size for Indiana but only have national market size numbers for your industry. You decide GDP would be a good economic indicator to use. If you use GDP you need to locate the total US GDP and Indiana GDP. Calculate % that Indiana contributes to national GDP and multiple by the national industry market size your found to estimate the Indiana market size.

Don't always use GDP. When discussing your analysis for your forecast in the second deliverable you may need to explain your assumption. Source for economic indicators: 

US Bureau of Economic Analysis

Sources for other types of demographic information: