If an INDUSTRY is well established (like cars or computers), then finding enough background information on the industry or market is fairly easy. If an industry is a niche, new or fairly small, it may not be well covered. Think about the typewriter which was replaced by the computer. In the beginning, there was no market research or industry data on computers. So your best bet was to look for information about typewriters to start to understand the possibilities of the new computer industry:
If an industry is niche or small, it will be more difficult to find information. Sources of information that can also help are industry associations which can be found here: Directory of Associations
INDUSTRY RESEARCH is all about the competitors, products and services that are provided. These databases are a good place to begin your research:
This database has market research reports attached to the PARENT company record. Open the Parent (Public or Private), scroll down to Industry and select the link for the NAICS code. This links you to market research reports and note that you can VIEW ALL as only 5 will be displayed.
MARKET RESEARCH is all about the use and users of the product or service. These library databases are the best to begin with:
eMarketer - Market research reports on how e-commerce and the Internet affect business, industry and details about users.
Forrester - Reports and analysis that focus on the business implications of technology change.
Gartner - IT data and analysis on key technologies, products, trends, opportunities, vendors and products.
Mintel Oxygen - all about the consumer (characteristics, demographics, habits, preferences, behavior).
Thought Leaders are industry experts who are generally respected as being knowledgeable about an industry or market. Often leading consulting firms or major companies publish information on the Web about state-of-the-art thinking or status. Here is an example using Google Advanced Search to find such reports:
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Using the Google Advanced Search allows you to find more focused search results.