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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.

Consumer Lifestyles, Trends and Attitudes

These resources provide psychographic information about consumers.

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

  • DemographicsNow: MosaicUSA Consumer Segmentation and Simmons National Consumer Study

Use DemographicsNow to get Mosaic 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 segements. 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 

Demographic, lifestyle, product usage & media data based on survey of over 27,000 consumers. Note: The database is limited to 20 simultaneous users. If you experience an "at capacity" message, please try using the database at another time.

Create a Mediamark University Internet Reporter Account: To use Mediamark you must create an account using your Bentley email address. 

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.

Nielsen Segmentation & Market Solutions (Neilsen SMS)  replaces the Local Market Audience Analyst (LMAA) database. Nielsen 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.

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.

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

Technology-related topics. Includes statistics, trends and analysis of how consumers think about, buy, and use technology. Please Note: Forrester requires a special username & password - contact the Reference Desk 781.891.2300 or

* Database 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.

The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) from the BLS measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socializing.

  • American Time Use: Who Spends How Long at What, 2nd ed. (2010)
    Location: Reference Desk HD69 .T54 A46  2010 

Presents the details about how people spend their time. Includes some unpublished data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey.

  • American Attitudes: What Americans Think About the Issues that Shape their Lives
    Location: Reference Desk HN90 .P8 A527  [Click to view in catalog]

Reveals what the public thinks about a variety of topics by the demographics that shape perspective (sex, age, race, and education). 

  • American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns
    Location: Reference Desk HA203 .A635 [Click to view in catalog]

Presents data on attitudes, education, health, housing, income, labor force, living arrangements, population, spending, time use, and wealth. This edition of The American Marketplace contains attitudinal data from the 2010 General Social Survey. The chapter on time use examines data from the 2009 American Time Use Survey. Also included are up-to-date income and labor force data and 2010 census data profiling the Asian, black, and Hispanic populations. Data in the spending chapter reveal how spending patterns are changing.