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What is consumer analysis?

The objective of consumer analysis is to identify segments or groups within a population that have similar needs.

Consumer analysis can help answer questions such as:

  • Who buys the product or service? 
  • Where do these consumers live? 
  • What income levels are in the market?
  • What is the age pattern in the market?

Answers to these questions help identify target markets for specific products or services and advertising efforts.

How else can consumers be identified?

  • Demographic Segmentation: includes age, gender, income, race, marital status, education, occupation, home ownership, number in the household and age of the home.
  • Psychographic Segmentation: looks at the values, activities, interests, and opinions of the population, what we often call lifestyle.
  • Behavioral Segmentation: Divides the market by observable behaviors such as usage, purchasing decisions, and brand loyalty.

-from MIT Libraries' Marketing: Consumer Analysis Research Guide

Finding Consumer Info in Library Databases

Finding Data in the Consumer Expenditure Survey

To use the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data to identify the best marketing channels for a new product, follow these steps:

Understand the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data: The CE program provides data on expenditures, income, and demographic characteristics of consumers in the United States. The data is primarily used to revise the relative importance of goods and services in the market basket of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The survey consists of two components: the Interview Survey for major and/or recurring items and the Diary Survey for more minor or frequently purchased items.

Access the CE data: The CE data is available on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. You can also use the Public Use Microdata (PUMD) for more detailed analysis.

Identify your target market: Determine the demographic characteristics of your target market, such as age, income, and household size. This information can help you filter and analyze the CE data to focus on relevant consumer segments.

Analyze consumer spending patterns: Use the CE data to understand how consumers in your target market allocate their expenditures across different categories, such as housing, food, education, transportation, and health. This analysis will give you insights into the relative importance of various goods and services for your target market.

Identify potential marketing channels: Based on the consumer spending patterns, identify the goods and services that are closely related to your new product. For example, if you are launching a new fitness product, you may want to focus on marketing channels that are popular among consumers who spend a significant portion of their budget on health and wellness products.

Evaluate the effectiveness of marketing channels: Once you have identified potential marketing channels, use market research techniques to analyze the demand for groups of goods and services in those channels. This analysis will help you determine the best marketing channels for your new product, considering the preferences and spending habits of your target market.


Statista Consumer Outlook Video Tutorial