Your Target Market

Published: Jun 23, 2016
Last Updated: Aug 13, 2019
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Survey of Household Spending - Statistics Canada
Raw data in table form from the Survey of Household Spending (SHS). This general resource provides information on household spending by demographics. Report includes detailed information on Canadian spending patterns, household equipment, and housing conditions. Also includes the ability to view data from British Columbia only; click on "Add/Remove Data".

  • The average household expenditure on various expenses by province or in Canada as a whole. Compare changes over last few years.

Library Resources

Access to the following sources may be available through your local public or academic library. For information on how to obtain a library card, and for additional information on using libraries in BC, please visit our Getting Access to Library Resources page.

Vividata (formerly "Print Measurement Bureau")
Includes information on Canadians' usage of over 3500 products and services. Information includes demographics, attitudes, media consumption, retail outlets, frequency of usage and brands used. UBC affiliates and in-person library patrons can learn more about the resource here.

  • Includes industry specific details by province and major Canadian cities broken down by data such as:  martial status, family size, net income, and language spoken.PMB Category Reports - PMB 2011 Spring Study. Information on the personal buying preferences of Canadians with regard to specific industries. Focus

How to access: Check your local public or academic library to see about access. If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

While you can search this website only some Canadian libraries provide full-text access to the market research reports on industries and demographics for North American industries. They can range from 50 to 400+ pages in length, and contain charts, tables, and graphs, and key facts. has varied industry coverage and includes US and international information.

UBC Psychology Research Guide

Sometimes it can be useful when researching consumer behaviour and other marketing topics with psychological dimensions to consult article databases in that research area. This is an online guide to print and online resources about psychology in the UBC Library collection. UBC affiliates will have access to all the resources listed. 

  • Rothschild, J. (2016). The logic of a co‐operative economy and democracy 2.0: Recovering the possibilities for autonomy, creativity, solidarity, and common purpose. The Sociological Quarterly, 57(1), 7-35. Retrieved from PsycINFO online.

"Over the past 30 years, the collectivist‐democratic form of organization has presented a growing alternative to the bureaucratic form, and it has proliferated, here and around the world. This form is manifest, for example, within micro‐credit groups, workers’ co‐operatives, nongovernmental organizations, advocacy groups, self‐help groups, community and municipal initiatives, social movement organizations, and in many nonprofit groups in general. It is most visible in the civil society sector, but demands for deeper participation are also evident in communities and cities, and the search for more involving and less bureaucratic structures has spread into many for‐profit firms as well."

  • Aranda Ogayar, M., Pedrosa Ortega, C., Garcia Marti, E., & Antequera Solís, J. M. (2011). In search of a well done management: Co-operatives, strategies and stakeholders. Proceedings Of The Annual International Conference On Business Strategy And Organizational Behaviour (Bizstrategy 2011), 36-40. Retrieved from PsycEXTRA.

"The characteristics of today's markets make it increasingly difficult to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage over the time for companies, for what it is necessary to innovate in ways of management and government to be competitive. An example of this reality is the co-operation among co-operatives. From this structure, we will study how to implement innovations in the organization to better manage the company."

  • Crowley, N. (2010). The changing role of the co-operative in the natural foods market. CSAS 2010 Paper Abstracts. Retrieved from PsycEXTRA.

"To survive as an organization many co-ops have had to change their practices to remain viable in their changing local market, these changes have had to be strategic and carefully negotiated to meet the needs of their members and shoppers. This ethnographic study shows how one natural foods co-op in the Upper Midwest deals with the struggle between market demands and the stated values of the co-op."

Public Opinion Polls

Roper Center for Public Opinion
Preserves the data from polls conducted by many leading survey organizations for the use of researchers, students, and journalists. Includes a section on how to analyze polls. Only for those affiliated with UBC.

Links to Canadian, U.S. and international polls. Includes polls on consumer goods.

Primary Research

Sometimes doing your own market research is the only way to learn about your potential customers. If this is the case, you may need to conduct focus groups, interviews, surveys, or some other form of data collection. But before you commit time and energy to this kind of research, be sure to try the sources listed in this section.