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Company & Industry Information: Marketing & Demographics

This guide will help you compile a company or industry profile, including locating SEC financial materials and demographic information.

Guide Contents

U.S. Census Population Estimate

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Market Research

Market research is used by businesses to make consumer-related decisions, such as whether to open a new store in a particular area, what product to produce, and even whether there is a market for the product at all. There are two types of reports:

  • Consumer reports provide data on the consumer goods market, profile current and potential customers, evaluate the competitive landscape, and analyze economic trends. The data in them is often gathered by surveys or focus groups.
  • Industry reports provide data on the manufacturing or production market for an industry, such as market size, market share, economic trends, and potential product or supply voids. They can be used to determine the market size and share of a particular company in an industry.

Doing Market Research

Online Market Information

American Customer Satisfaction Index

ACSI has major industry reports, consumer satisfaction comparisons by brand, industry, or sector; and national economic indicators. There is also a sister site focusing on the UK.


From the Small Business Administration, BusinessUSA contains information on starting a business, including market research and statistics.

What are demographics?

Demographics are characteristics of a group of people.  They include things such as race, age, marital status, educational attainment, and income levels.

In the business world, demographics are used in a variety of ways.  Many time businesses compile demographic reports for marketing purposes; they want to get to know their customers so they can tailor their marketing efforts.  Knowing the age, sex and income of their customers, for example, can assist businesses in deciding which new products or services to offer.  Researching demographic information can also help businesses decide to which geographic areas they would like to expand. 

Locating demographic information

American Fact Finder image

One of the best places to find demographic information is through the U.S. Census Bureau's American Fact Finder.  This database provides FREE access to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.  You can modify charts and reports, as well as create customized maps of demographic information.

Bureau of Labor Statistics image

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a wealth of demographic information concerning employment, pay and benefits, and consumer expenditures.  Charts, reports and maps can be downloaded and/or saved.

SimplyMap image

Another great resource is SimplyMap.  This database allows you to create custom reports and maps based on various demographic data. SimplyMap is restricted to those with a Drexel user ID and password.  It is also available to members of the Free Library of Philadelphia.