Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Marketing to your target demographic

One particularly revealing passage may surprise some readers about how well-refined political campaigns have become in their research and determining our political leanings and distastes from seemingly superficial tastes. This enables them to "micro-target" messages to numerous niches, which is what is invisibly going on right now and will continue through Nov. 4.
Read about it at Top of the Ticket, the LA Times politics blog.

Speaking of marketing niches, take a look at the Community Tapestry data at ESRI.
Community Tapestry, ESRI's market segmentation system, classifies U.S. neighborhoods into 65 segments based on their socioeconomic and demographic composition. Segmentation explains customer diversity, describes lifestyles and lifestages, and incorporates a wide range of data such as demographic, business, and market potential data.
Type in a zip code. Type in the zip code of everyone you know! It is more entertaining than Tarot.

They are very good at their specialty, gathering and interpreting information. They glean all this from publicly available records and leased magazine subscriber databases.

In 2002, they acquired CACI Marketing Systems, of ACORN market segmentation fame. CACI may also sound familiar to people who followed the events at Abu Ghraib.
CACI International Inc. could be barred from future federal contracts, following revelations that Army officials hired prison interrogators for Iraq from CACI using a computer services contract that the Interior Department administered.
But it looks like the high-stress interrogations were done by the part of CACI that ESRI did not buy. Whew.

Information gathering is a murky business.

1 comment:

  1. Neal Stephenson and Frederick George wrote a fascinating and unjustly ignored novel about just this stuff, called Interface. Well worth reading in an election year, if you haven't yet.

    ReplyDelete