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BGSU University Libraries

Entrepreneurship Resources: Market Information

Intended to guide BA 2040 classes in finding information on which to base a winning proposal for funding.

Consumer Surveys

Consumer surveys about a product category or a specific brand sharing characteristics of the market you intend to enter or about the groups of customers you want to attract can be a goldmine of details about consumer attitudes and values, purchasing patterns, decision makers, demographics and other make-or-break details sometimes termed "Market Drivers". 

Mintel (US and International data) and Mediamark (US data) are the best places to get a comprehensive look at customers within specific market segments. PassPort GMID (US and International statistics and reports) features separate product reports and consumer reports by country. It is most comprehensive for companies operating on a global scale.


Check out some Mintel "What's Hot" consumer trend articles. Or look at a full report on an industry segment or a demographic segment 

Mintel. Offers market research reports covering US and International markets. Each report combines data & analysis of the competitive landscape, market-share analysis and consumer profiles. Complex demographic issues are broken into easy-to-understand sections, explaining consumer behavior and demonstrating the structure of the market. 


 Passport GMID (Global Market Information Database)  One of the quickest ways to get a handle on US population (statistics and impact) is the Consumer Lifestyles report for the United States. Here's how:

Market analysis for companies in this database includes links to global and country reports and key competitor reports, providing context for company operations.  Focused mostly on prominent companies with international operations (e.g. Microsoft, Yum Brands, and L'Oreal), this database is reliable, complete, detailed, and up to date.  

Consumer Behavior This annual report by Richard K. Miller and Associates on trends and patterns in American consumer markets (available via Business Source Complete) has lots of good information about buyer behavior and how to influence various demographic groups. Follow the link in the BGSU Catalog to get to this resource.

Additional Sources


Several sources listed below may provide a starting point for pinpointing your target market (e.g. tweens or people with children) -- revealing how many of that group exist, where they live, and so on. 

  U.S. Census Bureau  This site provides access to a wealth of demographic data. An example of a report generated from 2000 census data is Demographic Trends in the 20th CenturyThis screenshot shows some of the types of crosstabs given. 


The American Factfinder search engine is your access point for tables on topics such as poverty or other social and economic characteristics in a specific zip code or other geographic area. This site is a work in progress, as the government is trying to simplify the search engine.

People   If one limits to Geography, Ohio, the Topic link for People, and the subtopic Marital Status, one can find a chart for who was born in a different state by the characteristic married, single, divorced as shown in this screenshot or a chart showing how many OH grandparents (married on unmarried) are raising their grandchildren as in this screenshot.

The Process: You select a link from the left sidebar and then click Add in the center search box. As you set search limits or parameters, the upper left corner of the screen will keep track of what you've chosen.


The list of census titles in the center shows documents that you can choose to view and/or download. Click here to see a screenshot of the list.  


Housing     Housing topics include several different aspects. On this site, click on a black header to see an expanded list of subtopics as shown here.    Again you can limit your query to a specific geography -- from zip code to entire United States. Not all subtopics will be available for smaller geographies.




Business   As explained above, making topic and geography selections yields a table like this (screenshot) showing payroll for Wood County Industries by NAICS designation .

 American Community Survey   Intended eventually to replace the 10-year censuses, this source has the most recent federal government information about population and households by metropolitan areas like Cleveland and Detroit. A good starting place is the link to Fact Sheets  leading to an array of datasets for states and cities. Here you can enter a state and city name or zipcode. After viewing the basic facts, you can find more details by clicking on the more link.

·   Screen shot showing links to data options for cities and other geographies.

·    Click here for screen shot of Housing data (an excerpt) for the city of Toledo.

·    Here's a screen shot comparing Housing conditions in the US with those in Ohio over several years.   

Consumer Expenditure Survey     (Bureau of Labor Statistics)  Provides information on the buying habits of American consumers, including data on their expenditures, income, and consumer unit (families and single consumers) characteristics.

The American Marketplace   Marketing analysis of demographic and spending data based on government statistics.  Sections include: Education, Health, Housing, Income, Labor Force, Population, Spending, & Wealth. Search tip: In Lexis Nexis Academic, follow the Sources link on the left side navigation bar. Click Find Sources, enter American Marketplace into the search box and press OK Continue, enter one of the section terms (e.g. Housing) into the search box on the next screen, and press search.  Click here to see a screenshot of sample facts and analysis from American Marketplace. 

View Ad Videos

If your product occupies a specialty niche in a market with a lot of competitors, you might benefit from analyzing the marketing and communication strategies of those competitors for clues about how to differentiate your product from the the rest of the herd.

   Many Mintel product reports have clips of video ads. An example is the 2008 report on coffee.