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Customer Analysis

Who do you want to have as your customers?  What age group(s)?  What income
level(s)?  What characteristics would the perfect customer have?

Answering these questions helps you to identify your 'target market'.  Finding out how much of your target market is in the area your business will be located in, helps determine your market potential.

To determine the number of people who fit your target market in a specific area:

Chamber of Commerce or Economic Development websites for your city may provide information on demographics & market characteristics:

Salisbury Chamber of Commerce - See links to the Chamber's Directory of Members as well as the 'Business & Government' category that includes a number of resources.  Provides a concise overview of Salisbury in Facts & Figures.

Maryland Economic Development Partners

Other sources for demographic information:

Survey of Buying Power and Media Markets
Ready Reference HF 5415 .S88 2003-04
*Ask for this title at the Reference Desk (users will need to present their Gull Cards)

Maryland State Data Center

ChooseMaryland.org:  Data Center

Missouri Census Data Center - click on Maryland and then search for zip & county data

The Right Site (EASI Demographics) - After a free registration process, users are provided access to ring studies, quick reports, maps, and more.

Salisbury University: The Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Accountability

U.S. Census Bureau: American FactFinder

U.S. Census Bureau: County Business Patterns; Zip Code Business Patterns; Metro Business Patterns - data on establishments per county, zip code, or metro area

Finding customers who are interested in or need your product or service:

American Demographics

Best Customers:  Demographics of Consumer Demand
Reference HC 79 .C6 R87 2005

This book will help determine the best target market for a particular product or service.  Data for each product/service includes:  average spending, indexed spending, and market share of spending by age, household income, household type, race, region of residence, and educational attainment.  Each table is accompanied by test identifying the best and biggest customers, analyzing spending patterns, describing spending trends for the product/service over the past few years and predicting future trends based on the nation's changing demographics.

Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
American Demographics, a well-known magazine title that provides demographic information, is provided in full-print in this database. 

Off-campus, sign in using your Gull Card barcode and last name.  Choose Salisbury University as the campus and then click the log in button. 

  • Click on 'Advanced Search' at the top of the screen.
  • In the first search box, use the pull-down menu to select 'Publication Name' and type American Demographics.
  • In the second search box, use the pull-down menu to select 'All Text' and type in a search term that describes your product or service (ex. weddings).

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe
Off-campus, sign in using your Gull Card barcode and last name.  Choose Salisbury University as the campus and then click the log in button. 

  • From L-N's front page, click on the 'Business' category on the left tool-bar.

  • On the next screen, click on the link to 'Directories'.

  • From the 'Source' pull-down menu, select American Marketplace.

  • Enter search terms in the search box such as a specific data item (teenagers, generation X, etc. OR a product or service name such as bicycles, weddings, etc.)
  • Choose a date or a year going back at least 2-5 years.

Use networking to make connections or to complete survey analysis on a particular target group.  For example:  if no data can be found on who would be interested in astronomical devices in the Salisbury area, you may want to check out Salisbury University student organizations or Salisbury area organizations so that you can survey their members or speak to them face-to-face.  You may also want to talk to Science professors at Salisbury University and ask for assistance.