Cool Tools: Helping you find consumer data

Last Updated: April 27, 2017

The SBA poll revealed that many prospective entrepreneurs are struggling to find the consumer data that they need to create effective business and marketing plans. That's why this blog includes a few of our favourite sources for consumer trends and demographic information.

Local Information

Community Information Database (CID)  |  This free resource offers users access to socioeconomic data for communities across Canada. Use the business registry to find out the types of businesses your community already supports.

BC Stats | Full of useful information, the BC Stats website is a great place to start to get to know your consumers. For regional information take a look at the Community Facts page, where you’ll find detailed reports on the income, employment, family size and general make up of BC Communities. For a broader view you can access Socioeconomic Profiles by region.

Statistics Canada  |  Pay particular attention to the Market Research Handbook, a comprehensive source for socio-economic statistics. The handbook includes profiles of key industries, including the small business sector, as well as of consumers in all the provinces and in 45 major cities across Canada. The Spending Patterns in Canada page is another valuable resource.

News sources

Regularly check news sources like Canada Newswire & Marketwire for stories on consumer trends. Watch in particular for polls by banks. They often track consumer spending.

Global trends  |  An independent trend firm, scans the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and business ideas and shares them online. To keep a pulse on what is up and coming globally keep an eye on this site.

MarketingCharts  | Based in the United States, this online publication features articles on up-to-the-minute consumer trends.

For more tips and resources for customer research visit the SBA guide to Customer Analysis and check out our industry specific Accelerator Guides.

The best source

The best source for consumer data is always the consumer. If your product is going through a trial or test phase, be sure to solicit as much feedback as possible. Surveys are a great way to collect information about your target market. There are several online survey tools available. SurveyMonkey and Zoomerang are just two examples. Take a look at the SBA Tools page for more inexpensive web resources to help you get started.

PHOTO CREDIT: The people by Smif, created July 12, 2007. Made available under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic licence.