Marketing research is done for two primary reasons. One is to gather information about a product or industry including information on who your competitors are. The second reason is to identify where to market your product or service. The resources needed for these two purposes are very different.
Before you begin your marketing research it is best to consider:
There are two types of research, primary and secondary.
Primary research is information that comes directly from the source. This can be in forms such as a survey, focus group or observation.
Secondary research involves gathering statistics, reports, studies or other data from organizations. The majority of information you find will be secondary research.
The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) are numerical classification systems that are used to group and classify business establishments into industries. These codes are used to collect and analyze data related to the business economy of the U.S. The SIC system was originally developed in the 1930s and was last updated in 1987. NAICS was introduced by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 1997 to replace the old SIC system.
While NAICS has "officially" replaced SIC, many business directories and databases still use one or both of the systems. Therefore, it is important to know about both SIC and NAICS.
It is very helpful to know what your industry code is before starting your marketing research. When trying to figure out what codes you will use ask yourself: Where does my product or service fit? and What kind of purpose does it serve?
Research Tip: If you are having trouble determining the best NAICS code for your business, you can search for a similar company and look at what code they are using.