Morris County Library > Reference > Market research


Market Research

Demographic data Who are your customers? Where do they live? Can they afford to buy your products? This information is essential to your market plan. Census data is free and readily available on the Internet.

Government statistics & reports
Our federal government reports domestic industry data by
Standard Industrial Classification code (SIC). This four digit numbering system is revised periodically to accommodate new industries and technology. The SIC is also used by commercial publishers (Dun & Bradstreet, Standard & Poor's and many popular business databases) to report market data. If you are currently following a specific industry, you need to know that the current four digit SIC code is being replaced by the new North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For the time being, you can still use the 1987 SICs.

Industry data
Access to data gathered by trade associations varies. Some organizations offer extensive databases of free information, others limit data access to their paid membership. Your public library can help you identify major associations (and their URLs) by subject.

Which companies are engaged in the same business & where do they rank?

[NOTE: our library owns several industry-specific directories which list companies and products. Please ask the reference librarians for assistance.]

Need to track industry trends? Recent mergers? New products? MCL offers several excellent
databases covering trade journals, consumer magazines and newspapers. You can access several databases from home. Many articles are available full-text. Need more?

Consumer trends & opinions
Consumer trends can best be tracked through newspapers and magazines. Commercial surveys, academic studies and opinion polls are often cited in general consumer and trade publications.

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© Morris County Library 1996
18 July 2014