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MRKT 396 Fundamentals of Marketing Research

Market Analysis Tools

Reference USA. Another source of business and consumer research, which is available at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, is Reference USA. This database is especially useful for small business owners/entrepreneurs and for job seekers. (OSU does not subscribe but students can get a free public library card, even if you don't reside in Benton County.)

Market analysis can be very challenging. Not all the information you need is going to be publicly available, which is precisely why you also need to conduct primary research for your projects. Sometimes you'll have to extrapolate information from different sources to get the information you need. Market research reports created by for-profit companies are usually much too expensive for a student to afford and impossible for a library to obtain. You will need to get creative!

Library Research: Company & Industry Information

Specialty Databases


The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. Knowing the NAICS code(s) for your chosen industry can also be an essential tool for finding all kinds of information on your product, because many of the databases attach these codes to their articles, which makes focused searching easier.

There are several ways of discovering NAICS codes.

Approach 1: NAICS lookup: This can be time-consuming and confusing, so you may wish instead to try...

Approach 2: Search a business database (Business Source Premier, Wall Street Journal, Mergent Online, etc.) with a subject keyword or the name of a company you already know is involved with the kind of product you're researching. Look at the results to find assigned NAICS codes and make note of them.