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Marketing Research: Definitions for Market Research Report

Archived Guide: Marketing Research Course--class project

Industry overviews

Investors will want to know about prospects for your industry. 

To get a big picture, start with industry surveys and analyses from investment houses and risk advisory services.

Use news from industry and trade associations to learn more about product lines within an industry.

Find benchmarks for firms in your industry with ratios and normscompiled by accountants and economists.

--from MIT Libraries

Competitive environment

To understand the strengths and weaknesses of your idea, it will be helpful to learn about competitor firms and their products.

Use company directories to create lists of competitors by industry, product line, etc. 

Search news archives for competitive intelligence.

Review patents to learn about features of competitors' products.

--from MIT Libraries

Market Analysis

To understand the market for your new venture, you will need information about  potential customers. These sources offer information about various customer bases:

Off-the-shelf reports from professional researchers

Consumer demographics and lifestyles

Business-to-business (B-to-B) markets can be compiled from company directories

Institutional markets, including governments

--from MIT Libraries

Industry codes

Is your product a niche product or an innovation? It may not be clear what industry you should research.

One strategy is to see if your product is classified by an industrial classification system.These systems organize and code products in numeric hierarchies.

Industry classification codes can be used to:

  • harvest government industrial statistics
  • tailor industry specific searches in databases
  • generate lists of competitors in company directories

--from MIT Libraries

Market share & market size

The size of a market and the share of this market held by competitors are key to assessing the competitive environment.

There is no single source of market size/market share data. 

Market size/share information is usually pieced together from various sources.

--from MIT Libraries