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Marketing Research Guide

These resources will help you investigate starting a new business or research marketing opportunities. There are three sections: Demographic and Economic Information; Industry Information; and Competitors. All of these sites are free but be aware that some include links to reports or other sites that are not free.

When you use information from one of these sources (or any other source) be sure to make a note of the source and include that information in any report or presentation.

Demographic and Economic Information

This is an excellent gateway to economic and population census data. Data are available for download, in customizable tables or in thematic mapped. The site provides access data from the Decennial Censuses, the Economic Censuses, and the American Community Survey.

Monthly compilations prepared for the Joint Economic Committee by the Council of Economic Advisors and provides economic information on prices, wages, production, business activity, purchasing power, credit, money and Federal finance.

Provides timely access to the daily releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.

More than 70 agencies in the United States Federal Government produce statistics of interest to the public. The Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy maintains this site to provide easy access to the full range of statistics and information produced by these agencies for public use.

A rich collection of Ohio demographic, industry, and economic information. Much of the data is provided at the county level, including population, housing, income, employment, and business indicators. Includes a nice, detailed area on "site selection."

Statistical tables that summarize data from most government and some nongovernment sources. Major subject areas include: population, vital statistics, education, law enforcement, employment, energy, agriculture, and banking, finance, and insurance. Publications listed are in portable document format (PDF) for the 1995 edition through current edition.

A free mini-version of My Best Segments, this web site offers a glimpse at the top market clusters by zip code. Can help get a sense of the lifestyle types in a particular area.

Industry Information

Searchable database of 6,000 association web sites. These sites can have useful trade and industry information, though some associations restrict research reports to members only.
Look for national-level associations.

Offers labor economics and statistical data including characteristics of the labor force (employment, unemployment, employee benefits, earnings, productivity, etc.).

A guide to some free and many pay-for resources for more than 400 industries. Links to trade associations, publications, and research firms that address subjects such as industry overview, issues, trends, and outlooks.

"The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. This official U.S. Government Web site provides the latest information on plans for NAICS revisions, as well as access to various NAICS reference files and tools."

This federal agency offers a host of services and resources for small business owners, including a small business planner with tutorials, programs, and tools.


Links to local chambers of commerce throughout the United States.

From Verizon, search by keyword or business.

Find business, people, maps, directions, and more.