JOUR 3400: Strategic Communication Theory and Research - Consumer Profiles

Resources to build consumer profiles

Consumer Profile Research in Business Databases

Contains consumer lifestyle reports.

  • On the first screen accept the license agreement.
  • Try searching by broad keyword in the search box at the very top right of the site home page (something like "sports" or "baseball")
  • OR, from the "Countries & Consumers" dropdown menu choose "Consumer Trends & Lifestyles" ; then use the "Analysis Finder" (select All Analysis / USA from drop-downs then click the Go button)
  • OR, choose a category under the "Search Tree" and click the Go button ; then on next page search for a broad topic like "sports" then click the "Now choose Geographies" button toward the bottom.
  • Video: how to find consumer lifestyle reports in Passport GMID (for international but the principles are the same)

Contains a Business Environment section that has reports on factors that affect industry, such as consumer behavior and demographics.

  • The home page goes to US Industry Reports. Search for a broad topic such as "sports" and then click open reports about that industry. You will see tabs across the top of the report that say Products & Markets, Competitive Landscape, etc. which will give you info about audiences within that industry.  These are the audiences for magazines on that subject as well.
  • Also click "US Business Environment Profiles" at the upper right of the home page, under "Industry Risk Ratings." On the search box on that page, try searching again by your keyword, or browse the Consumer Behavior or Demographics categories.


  • A source for reports & data on American demographics. Browse the Topics or Datasets.
  • The All Things Census section contains articles and analysis on census methods and findings.
  • Check out Pew's Generation Next website on Millennials if you need to prepare a psychographic profile on this demographic group.


The U.S. Census Bureau's State & County QuickFacts page is useful for finding basic demographics on the American population. Click the tab for USA QuickFacts or Select a State to see more regional figures.

  • The Bureau's American Factfinder tool allows searching for more census tables by topic and geographic criteria.  Try the Guided Search, or use Advanced Search and select from the drop-down menus provided.
  • Census Reporter is a useful tool from the Knight News Challenge, designed to "make it easier for journalists to write stories using information from the U.S. Census bureau."


To download reports, requires creation of a personal username & password (using email address).  This is NOT required to merely open and view reports in the database.

TO CREATE A PERSONAL ACCOUNT (FOR DOWNLOADING REPORTS):  after clicking the ALICE catalog link to the Mintel home page, register and create a FREE account using your email address.  When asked, accept the license agreement.  From then on, you must use that login to DOWNLOAD REPORTS from Mintel. Just reading reports will work WITHOUT a personal account.

Provides comprehensive market research reports and consumer profiles.

  • To browse reports, click on "Reports" and then choose USA, then a report category such as "Lifestyles"
  • Or choose Theme and Demographic categories under "Category Overview"
  • Can also try a keyword search with broad terms, such as sports, parents, etc.


MRI is free for OU students, faculty & staff to use after creation of a personal username & password.

BEFORE FIRST-TIME USE: after clicking the ALICE catalog link to the MRI home page, register and create a FREE login using your email address.  When asked, accept the license agreement.  From then on, you must use that login to access MRI (still begin with the ALICE catalog record at the Mediamark Reporter link above).

Provides survey data on consumer lifestyles, including the media and products they consume.

  • Click on the Mediamark Reporter link above; when ALICE record opens click the "Connect" button.
  • Log in with the name/pswd you created.  Click "Mediamark Reporter." Accept the license agreement.
  • Double-click on one of the most recent Product report under "Choose a Report Volume." [Example: Fall 2012 Product]
  • Then choose a product category to the right under "Choose a Report." 
  • Use the three boxes on the left to choose the consumer group you want to look at. The report is on the right. Scroll to see all of it.
  • Click "Change Report" or "New Database" to start over.
  • Note: you could use the search box on the MRI front page, searching for a broad term that matches your targeted demographic group (beer, sports, etc.), however, a search may not produce good results, so for many cases, a browse of the categories as described above might work better.

Keep in mind that Mediamark provides raw data only, leaving the interpretation of that data up to the user. 

Resources for help finding & using MRI data:


Allows the creation of customized maps and reports using various data sets such as U.S. Census demographics and consumer lifestyle profiles.