Industry Research

Industry information includes:

  • Competitors - who is already operating in a space. Your products will compete on price, quality, and differentiation. 
  • Market share and size - how fragmented or concentrated a market is as well as how much sales are. Trends will give you an idea of where the potential of sales may be heading.
  • Suppliers - and the supply chain of the raw materials for your product. This is important as what affects your suppliers will affect your ability to get raw materials.
  • Distribution channels i.e. how the product gets to customers. 
  • Operating costs - how much do you pay in labor, raw materials, equipment, sales, etc. 

In short, industry information is about the operating conditions for all the firms making/selling a product or service. 

When researching an industry, use a combination of industry reports, trade journal articles, and trade associations to get the most complete picture. The more niche or new an industry, the less likely there will be a published industry report. When that happens you will need to rely on trade journals, industry associations, and information on individual firms (SEC filings, articles, press releases, interviews) to pull together the information.  

Top Picks: Industry

These are great starting points for understanding your industry. 

Market Research

Market research is similar to industry research except instead of focusing on the companies in an industry, it focuses on who the customers are and why they buy what they do.

You might look at market research to determine trends that might affect your sales. For example, if you are manufacturing pharmaceuticals then demographics and rates of disease will affect the forecasted demand for your product.

Finding B2B market information can be very difficult and depends heavily on the particular market you are looking at. Passport has B2B information for industrials, ingredients, and packaging. Technavio has B2B for healthcare and pharmaceutical related spaces. If your project is B2B focused and you are having difficulty finding information, email us for guidance on your market.

Additional Sources

If you cannot find information you need in the Top Picks list, try the following resources and/or contact the Management Library.  There may be other sources available depending upon your particular project. For example, trade associations and journals are great sources of information particularly for B2B markets.