Your Target Market

Published: Mar 12, 2012
Last Updated: Jun 27, 2016
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A Word On 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.

British Columbia Survey of Household Spending 2010 (xls)
The data from this release came from the 2009 Survey of Household Spending conducted by Statistics Canada. The Survey of Household Spending is carried out annually across Canada in ten provinces. The purpose of this survey is to obtain information about household spending, dwelling characteristics, as well as household equipment.

What you'll find: The average household expenditure in British Columbia on technology, particularly entertainment and communications.

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".

What you'll find: The average household expenditure on communications technology by province or in Canada as a whole. Compare changes over last few years, and visit the Analysis section to see how technological changes have affected overall spending.

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.

Business Source Complete / Business Source Premier
Created by Ebsco, this database contains quarterly reports on major industries in 175 countries, including Canada. Includes Datamoniter company profiles, market research reports, 5-year forecasts and SWOT analyses, as well as information on industry trends, forecasts, outlooks, competitors, how to run a specific business, and much more. Contact your local public or academic to determine if you can get access. UBC affiliates and in-person library visitors can learn more about this resource and how to access it here.

Start here: Bray, K. (2012). Taking A Look At Custom Manufacturing. Pharmaceutical Processing, 27(5), 14.

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.

Start here: PMB Category Reports - PMB 2011 Spring Study. Information on the personal buying preferences of Canadians with regard to communications and other technologies. Check for relevant data under the Computer, Phones & Internet, Business, and Home Electronics headings. 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.

Start here: Browse research in the Technology & Media category.

FP Markets - Canadian Demographics
This publication updates key census variables at the municipal level to the current year. It also includes psychographic data as well as economic and retail trade estimates. In addition to census data, FP Markets also includes data for PSYTE categories or "clusters" of characteristics (age, income, ethnic origin, neighbourhoods, dwelling types, buying preferences and other data derived from the census and consumer surveys).The Canadian version of PSYTE classifies Canadians according to 65 clusters of characteristics. This is the version used in FP Markets. If the cluster descriptions fit your target market, you may find the PSYTE data in FP Markets a useful supplement to other data in your report. Follow this link for more information on PSYTE® Canada Advantage Cluster Descriptions.


To find more information on demographics, try entering the phrase “demographic data” and your city name into the search box of any popular search engine such as Google or Bing.