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Consumers & Market Segments Research Guide

This Bentley Library research guide was created to provide a starting point for researching consumers and market segments.

Best Databases for Comprehensive Information

The comprehensive resources listed in this box are the library's "top" consumer research databases. They provide a mix of demographic and psychographic information, but don't forget to explore the other areas of this guide for additional information sources for consumer market research.

Tip: All market reports include information on consumer segments. Also, check the "Lifestyle" reports.

Registration Steps:

  1. Go to the Mediamark home page and click [Register].
  2. Enter your name and your Bentley University email address. A Bentley email address is required for proper authentication.
  3. After registering, you will receive a password validation email from You must click the activation link in the email within 3 days to activate your account and set up your password. (Please note that it can take a few minutes for the link to be scanned by Bentley's virus checker before you'll be able to click it).
  4. After clicking the activation link, you will be able to create your own password to access Mediamark University Internet Reporter. The password must be between 8-16 characters in length and have at least one alphabetic character and one numeric digit.
  5. After all these steps have been completed, proceed to Mediamark Reporter to begin using the database.

Mediamark Reporter Help:

How to Read a Mediamark Report
This one page PDF explains how to interpret data in a Mediamark report.

Mediamark University Internet Reporter Tutorial
This 15 page PDF document explains how to use the Mediamark University Internet Reporter.

How to Change Default Target Settings
This document provides instructions for adding ALL available targets to your default target settings.

How to Use the Mediamark database
This series of Video Tutorials is brought to you by Western Washington University librarian, Elizabeth Stephan. 

Mediamark Reporter/MRI+ User Guide Definitions
A guide to commonly used terms in the Mediamark/MRI+ databases.

Mediamark Survey of the American Consumer Questionnaires, Technical Guides and Codebooks
View the personal interview questionnaire, product booklet, technical guide (which includes methodology), and codebook (which lists all the variables that are measured and any associated disclosures or explanatory information) used for each survey.

Search Tip #1: Find Consumer Lifestyles information. In the top navigation bar, hover over [CONSUMERS] and click on [Lifestyles]. Under the [Analysis Finder] section, use the drop-down to select [Content], then use the [Choose a Geography...] drop-down box to select a country. Start with the Consumer Lifestyles Report for the country you've chosen, then explore the other data and analysis.

Search Tip #2: Look for consumer information in Industry Profiles and Category Briefings. There are a few different search options available on the main landing page: 

  • Use the Find Analysis box to quickly find relevant analysis by industry or topic. Use the drop-down boxes to pick an industry and geography.
  • In the top navigation bar, hover over [Industries] to select an industry, then use the various filters provided to narrow the search.
  • Use the Search Full Tree or Browse Tree options to find analysis using a vertical or horizontal tree. Select [Categories and Topics], click [Go], then follow the prompts to build a targeted search.

Use DemographicsNow to get MosaicUSA and Simmons National Consumer Study consumer segmentation information for a geographic area. Create summary, comparison or ranking reports for locations.

  • MosaicUSA Consumer Segmentation: The DemographicsNow database contains MosaicUSA consumer segmentation profiles. MosaicUSA describes/classifies American consumers in 71 types and 19 overarching groupings that share similar demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Get detailed information about the sociodemographics, lifestyles, behaviors and culture of consumers within each of the 19 groups and 71 segments. For an overview of MosaicUSA, take a look at the MosaicUSA Guide and the MosaicUSA Handbook.  Find the MosaicUSA profile descriptions in DemographicsNow:
  1. go to the Demographics Now database
  2. click on the menu icon in the top right corner 
  3. click HELP
  4. scroll down to view [Mosaic USA Details]. You will see links to the 19 MosaicUSA group profiles and the 71 MosaicUSA segment descriptions.
  • The Simmons National Consumer Study gathers information on the lifestyles, media habits and product/brand preferences of American families. More information about Simmons is available in DemographicsNow. 
  1. go to the Demographics Now database
  2. click on the menu icon in top right corner 
  3. click HELP
  4. scroll to Data Methodology Documents > Simmons Help Documentation. You can also learn about the study at

Nielsen Segmentation & Market Solutions (Neilsen SMS) provides demographic and consumer market segmentation data by geographic place (DMA, county, or state). Users can access pre-defined report templates to generate Pop-Facts Demographics Reports (Effective Buying Income; Pop-Facts Demographics; Pop-Facts Demographics By Age Race Sex;  Pop-Facts Demographics Trend;  Pop-Facts Executive Summary;  Pop-Facts Household Income By Age of Householder and  Senior Life) and Segmentation Reports (Consumer Concentration; Market Potential; Profile Ranking Index; Profile Worksheet;  Segment Distribution; Target Concentration; Target Segment Measures). Segmentation reports include PRIZM Social Groups and PRIZM Lifestage Group.

Tip: Check the Consumer Behavior handbook for consumer demographic data and analysis of consumer segments, spending and behaviors.   

*The TAPSCAN database is only available at the CMT (Center for Marketing Technology) in Morison Hall.

TAPSCAN provides detailed data about the lifestyle, shopping and media habits of specific demographic and geographic groups. Data is from Nielsen/Arbitron/Scarborough.


Additional Resources: Books

The following reference books are published by New Strategist Press.

Segmentation by Gender

Segmentation by Age/Generation

Segmentation by Income [See also the Consumer Expenditures tab]

Segmentation by Racial or Ethnic Group