Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
For more resources and strategies, visit the following guides:
Target Market & Consumer Research
With any research endeavor, it is crucial to ask yourself as many questions as possible to ensure you are thinking critically about the subject. For target market research, consider not just the age, but the lifestyle, gender, household size, location, culture, and other factors that would influence their behavior as a "consumer". Alternate your focus between your client's "product" (i.e., your Career Services event) and the "consumer" (i.e., potential attendees): Who would go to X event? Would student Y attend? What might prevent them from attending? How could the ad or client accommodate or change this behavior?
As you research, look for data/information that answers these questions. If you have trouble finding data/information to support your theory, you may be asking the wrong questions, or are trying to shoehorn data to support an answer that you created from the start. Let the research process guide you to the answer rather than begin your research with an answer in mind.
Statista.com, by Statista, Inc. provides data on over 60,000 topics from over 18,000 sources, categorized into 21 market sectors. Statista.com provides quantitative data on media, business, finance, politics, and a wide variety of other areas.
Search data from the American Community Survey, American Housing Survey, three Annual Economic Surveys (Annual Survey of Manufacturers, Nonemployer Statistics), Decennial Census, Economic Census, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation, Population Estimates Program, Puerto Rico Community Survey
Statistical Abstract of the United States (census.gov)
Summary statistics on just about any topic (often for a range of years) - lacks detail to lower levels of geography (ie. counties, etc.) but is a good pointer to other sources. Covers up to 2012. Annual editions beyond this are now published by ProQuest. The latest edition is in the 1st floor Reference collection.
"The home of the U.S. Government's open data...Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more."
United Nations Statistics Division - Demographics and Social Statistics
Demographic Yearbook and other publications; Demographic and social topics; Statistical Databases; and more!
Pew Research Center
Nonpartisan, non-advocacy public opinion polling and demographic research. Depending on your research topic, check out the Social Trends page, U.S. Politics, Internet & Tech, or others. The Internet & Tech tab brings you the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, which has the latest research and infographics on social media, mobile, and other technology user information.