Birds of a feather   Leave a comment

Recently I saw an ad on TV with the initial message being “I am not a demographic.” As a marketing demographer, I was a little bothered by this.

Our vanity leads us to believe that we are very different from those around us. Smarter, more talented, wealthier, etc. We all feel that we are individuals and that we don’t behave like those around us. However, our nature draws us to forge relationships with others who share our interests. It’s really quite natural—we just have a hard time believing that we are anything like our neighbors.

Reality tells a different story. We do share commonalities with our neighbors. Take a look around your block (or cul-de-sac, or condo complex). Do you see mostly mini-vans and SUVs or do you see smaller sedans in driveways and parking spaces? Are there a lot of hybrids? Are there trucks or luxury imports? What about shopping? What about the value of your home? Is it comparable to those around you? How do your neighbors spend their weekends? Watching sporting events? Golfing, skiing, gardening, working?

I am a proud advocate and believer in lifestyle segmentation—in particular, PRIZMTM—and believe that when segmentation is understood and used properly, it can be a very powerful marketing tool. The thousands of pieces of data used to create lifestyle segments validate that “Birds of a feather flock together” theory. Keep in mind, everyone in a segment doesn’t every piece criteria used, but they do share many of the activities and characteristics with others in the group.

As marketers, we have the ability to use segmentation to target our campaigns to households that are likely to perform well for our product or service: helping us reduce waste and costs. Think about it, maybe you’re not like your neighbors, but aren’t they all alike?

For more information on PRIZM and lifestyle segmentation, visit


Posted September 7, 2010 by Dee Dern in Database Analysis

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