It’s always going to take some level of risk to find out if a product will be successful. With smart (and free!) research tools you can elminate some of the guesstimating when trying to launch a product or service into new markets without having to invest major bucks. With these free market research and forecasting tools, you can determine if the opportunity exists, how to position the product or service, or what demographics make up the key consumers in the area.
American Fact Finder is a great start for searching U.S. census data. With the ability to filter through demographic features this is a great start to get a free. A tip would be to import some of the key data points into excel or Google Data Studio to help visualize or see trends over the years.
2) Census Quick Facts
Census Quick Facts provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more.
3) Claritas MyBestSegments
Claritas SegmentationSolutions provides researchers with tools to understand an area’s lifestyle traits, habits, and characteristics.
You can start with their zipcode look up tool to get a sense of household income, composition, age and ethnicity
Esri’s Tapestry Segmentation tool is another great example of a unique way of breaking down an area’s demographic. Their Tapestry Data break information into Lifestyle Segmentation which is classifies the US population into 67 market segments while providing a comprehensive lifestyle snapshot.