Business Research:
Conducting Market Research

Market research involves finding information about the potential consumers for a particular product or service. This may involve finding competitor and/or industry information.


Using UMUC Library Databases for Market Research

You can use business databases such as ABI/INFORM Complete and Business Source Complete to conduct market research. Depending on your research topic, there are many different terms that may be useful for your searches. These terms include:

brand choice consumer research marketing strategy
brand loyalty customer loyalty product acceptance
brand preferences market research product choice
consumer attitudes marketing research product introduction
consumer behavior market strategy target markets

For your research, you may want to combine some of these terms and/or search for variations of the terms.

For example, searching for "market* research" -- with an asterisk at the end of market -- will find documents that contain the phrase market research as well as documents that contain the phrase marketing research.

So to find documents that discuss research regarding people who buy gluten-free products, for example, you could search for ("market* research" OR "consumer research") AND ("gluten free" OR gluten-free)

Keep in mind that you may need to try many different search terms to find useful information. For example, if you wanted to conduct market research related to sneakers, you might need to search using some synonyms/related terms, such as tennis shoes, athletic shoes, running shoes, etc. -- or you might need to use a broader term, such as footwear.

Information about trends related to your topic may be useful for your research. You can search for documents that discuss trends by searching in relevant UMUC Library databases for [your topic] AND (trend* OR forecast* OR predict*).

It may also be useful for your research to find sales data -- but be aware that such data may not be widely available. You can search for available sales data in relevant UMUC Library databases by searching for [your topic] AND sales, but you should also search the free Web for sales data since these may appear on a company's website, etc.

Note that, whether you're searching in UMUC Library databases or on the free Web, your search results may sometimes include mentions of market reports or data compilations from market research firms such as Forrester Research, Frost & Sullivan, the Gartner Group, etc. Such reports are generally quite expensive; many cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to even tens of thousands of dollars. That being the case, the full text of such reports are not generally available in any library research database, and the UMUC Library may not be able to obtain the full-text reports for you via our DocumentExpress interlibrary loan service. But press releases and other documents that discuss these reports -- documents that are often available from UMUC Library databases and/or posted on the free Web -- may be useful for your research since such documents often summarize key findings from the reports.


Finding Market Research Information in Print Books

There are numerous print books available in catalogUSMAI, the UMUC Library catalog, that discuss how to conduct market research. These include:


Finding Market Research Information in E-Books

You can find information about conducting market research by entering the following in the search box on the E-Books tab on the Library's home page:

"market* research"


Market Research Resources on the Free Web

There are many resources on the free Web that can be used to find data for conducting market research or for learning more about how to conduct market research.

To find demographic and/or psychographic information, see Finding Demographic or Psychographic Information.

Other useful sources include:

  • Export.gov 
    This site, managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, contains links to various market research-related resources, such as a step-by-step guide to conducting market research.
  • Market Research Essentials 
    This site, affiliated with the American Marketing Association, provides links to numerous resources related to conducting market research.
  • MarketingCharts 
    This site allows users to search for marketing-related data by topic or by date.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration 
    This site lists steps in conducting market research and provides links to additional sources of information.

E-Mail Us | 240-684-2020
855-655-8682, opt. 6, x22020

Chat Hours:
Mon-Thurs: 9am-9:30pm ET
Fri: 9am-7pm ET
Sat: 11am-4pm ET
Sun: 4pm-9pm ET


Tell us how we're doing.