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This guide features resources that students can use to learn about industries, research competitors,and understand markets.

Business & Economics Librarian

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Jennilyn Wiley
RBD Library
231 Mell Street
Auburn University, AL 36849-5606
Subjects: Business, Economics

Applications of Market Research

Market size is the measurement of the total volume of a given market.  These markets may be broken up by geography or customer demographics, but the goal here is to accurately estimate the size of a potential market opportunity. 

You will need to make some assumptions when estimating the size of a market; locating credible sources of market information will be vital.  

Market segmentation is the division of a market into different homogeneous groups of customers.  These groups should be:

  • measurable
  • accessible by communication and distribution channels
  • different in their responses to the marketing mix
  • durable
  • substantial enough to be profitable

Relying on quality secondary sources for valuable customer information will be critical as an entrepreneur, as you may lack the capacity for generating the primary data necessary to fully understand the marketplace.

Market share refers to the proportion of a market that has been captured by an individual firm.  It is a the measure of a company's performance relative to its competitors within a market.  

Firms do not have to report their market share positions, and high-quality analyses of markets is often difficult to find or prohibitively expensive.  Auburn University Libraries provides access to many sources of information that can help you assess existing markets as you build your business.  

Market Research Reports







Additional Resources

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.

Develop a consumer: 

  • 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.

Consumer Information


Databases for Finding News and Articles

Selected Journals


Consumer Behavior/Demographic Surveys