Beyond Demographics

How well do you know your customers? Of course there are basic demographic and psychographic data, but there’s a lot more to know: where they live, where they shop, what they read and who they are friends with. And once you know all this, what do you do with it? Create mammoth Excel spreadsheets, two inch binders of data? Or create a media and marketing strategy that zeros in and targets only those profitable customers? I’ll take a spoon full of the first and gallons of the last, please.

There are several companies that can provide consumer data, such as Claritas PRIZM (try the zip code locator for fun), down to the type of liquor you drink. Customers are divided into group by location and placed into one of their 66 segments.  For example, I’m a #19 “Home Sweet Home”.  Although I don’t buy collector’s items online (maybe my husband does?), I do order from, read Macworld and drive a VW Passat! How is this helpful? This information, coupled with primary research, online analytics and years of experience can give you the perfect balance of customer insight.

So if you are VW and want me to buy the new Tiguan, you’ll also need to know I watch NCIS repeats endlessly, but DVR the rest of my shows (that’s right, I’m a time shifter!). Ah, what’s a media planner to do? It’s a balancing act between understanding your target audience and finding innovative ways to reach them in this ever-changing media landscape.