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About Market Research

Market research is about studying who buys or uses what, how much, how often, when, and where. Market research can focus on the purchasing behaviors of consumers in a specific geographic location, or it can describe the different types of consumers for certain products or services.

Suggested Resources

1. IBISWorld: Use the industry & specialized industry reports to learn about consumer characteristics for specific sectors. Open an industry report, then navigate to the Products and Markets, Geographic Breakdown, and External Drivers sections. You can also find U.S. Business Environment Profiles (such as Consumer Behavior, Demographics, Consumer Confidence, Disposable Income, etc.)

2. Entrepreneurship: From the home page, scroll to "Market Research" (in the "Plan" box). Browse the content in Recommended Resources and Websites. Also check out the sample business plans that highlight how real entrepreneurs researched and characterized their market opportunities (names have been changed).

3. Search for market overviews in the Wall Street Journal and the business section of the New York Times.

4. Beyond databases, a variety of other resources can support your market research, such as these websites and GIS-based tools.

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