1. Define the industry with a NAICS code. Retail? Service? Manufacturing? Construction? You can also find industry overviews for schools, churches, and some other nonprofits.
2. Find industry and market research.
3. Learn about your target market and customers.
4. Investigate trade association data.
5. Research government economic statistics and more.
6. Read industry news (see Find Articles tab)
If you are doing marketing research for educational or nonprofit organizations (schools, daycares, churches, etc.), you can still use IBISWorld and its NAICS codes for background on the industry. For example:
Industry reports contain valuable analysis of an industry's operating conditions, driving forces, competitive landscapes, and more. Use these resources to help you identify and define an industry, locate industry surveys and reports, search for industry trends, identify leading companies, find market share data and rankings, get current and in-depth news about an industry, and much more. Be aware that many do not cover smaller niche industries and always check the date to see how current the information is. Supplement these reports with information found in newspapers and trade publications.
Industry data sources cover groups of organizations involved in similar business activities - airlines, soft drinks, sporting goods, etc. Many resources organize information using industrial classification codes - NAICS & SIC. Check the Industry Classification guide which explains the codes and how to identify them.