San Francisco Public Library

Market Trends Research

Understanding your overall market -- how your industry is structured, how it’s performing, and how it’s changing -- can help you better steer your marketing efforts. To help you find this sort of information we provide sources that contain industry surveys or market share statistics. In print, we offer a comprehensive, up-to-date series of industry guides (Plunkett’s Almanacs) by industry, such as biotechnology, apparel, e-commerce, etcetera. Our databases are also great sources for industry and market trends research. The “Industry Overview” feature in our Business Insights: Global database is especially helpful, as are industry overviews in Mergent and Ebscohost's Business Source Complete.

Industry Overviews

Industry Ratios

Ratios for Small Businesses

Industry Statistics

Internet Resources

Industry Associations

Trade or industry associations are an excellent, and often the only, source of industry information.

Internet Resources

Industry Surveys

To find industry surveys in the online catalog, try a keyword search on the industry name and the word "statistics". You can also ask the librarians at the Business, Science & Technology Center to search for  industry surveys from the U.S. Industry & Trade Collection. The trade directories in this section often contain market data as well as product information.

Trade Periodicals -- Online Resources

Magazine articles are often the best source of current market information. You can search for relevant articles on our online databases. Look for an Industry Overview on a particular industry or for subject subdivisions such as economic aspects, forecasts, market share, statistics. Investment analysts' reports on an individual company will also provide valuable industry information.

Currently the best resources for market research are:

Trade Periodicals -- Special Issues

A selection of special issues of trade magazines can be found in the U.S. Industry & Trade Collection. This includes annual buying guide issues, annual industry survey issues, and more. Ask the librarian staff at the Business, Science & Technology Center to help you find such issues.