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Joint BRASS and GODORT program
June 18, 2001
San Francisco, California


Consumers Into Customers:
(Mostly) Commercial Sources For
Demographics, Geographics, Expenditures, and Lifestyles

Wendy Diamond
California State University, Chico



American Demographics Magazine. http://www.americandemographics.com Monthly.

This marketing trade journal covers demographics and other consumer segmentation issues. Current issues are available on at the web site and the journal is full-text in many databases.

American Generations: Who They Are. How They Live. What They Think. By Susan Mitchell. (New Strategist Publications). 3rd edition. 2000.

This reference book describes five generations (Millenials, GenX, Baby Boom, Swing, WWII) in terms of topics like attitudes, labor force, education, income, spending, etc. Data is compiled from numerous federal agencies and the General Social Survey of the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center.

American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns. (New Strategist Publications). 1999.

This reference title compiles statistical data on consumers in topical categories covering a range of consumer products and highlighting significant trends such as travel, moving, and retirement.

American Men and Women: Demographics of the Sexes. (New Strategist Publications). 2000.

This reference book reports statistics on men and women covering the categories of attitudes, education, income, labor force, living arrangements, spending, etc. Data is compiled from numerous federal agencies and the General Social Survey of the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center.

Annual Retail Trade Survey. (U.S. Census Bureau.) Annual.

Provides detailed statistical coverage of retail store activities. Data elements include sales volumes, per capita sales, gross margins, inventories, inventory/sales ratios, and gross margin/sales ratios. No brand name information is reported, but it provides an essential benchmark for other market share data. The Survey is published monthly and cumulated annually.

Best Customers: Demographics of Consumer Demand. By Cheryl Russel and Susan Mitchell. (New Strategist Publications). 1999.

This reference book examines "spending patterns by the demographic characteristics of households." Based on data from BLS' 1997 Consumer Expenditure Survey (plus some unpublished reports), the book presents an overview of trends and spending figures for 300 individual products and services. More up-to-date data is available at http://www.bls.gov/csxhome.htm.

Consumer Expenditure Survey. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.) Frequency varies. http://www.bls.gov/csxhome.htm

Consists of two surveys -- a quarterly interview and a daily diary -- designed to collect information on the expenditures of Americans correlated with incomes and other demographic factors. The unit of measurement is "consumer units" not "households", and this should be taken into account when comparisons are made to Census data. See also Best Customers and Household Spending .

Consumer USA 2000. (Euromonitor International). Annual.

This reference book provides data on over 300 consumer product sectors (food and drink, household cleaners, leisure, cosmetics, appliances, etc.) Data elements include market volume, market value, per capita volume and per capita value and also include some socio-economic indicators, such as education, household characteristics, advertising, cultural indicators, travel and tourism, and personal finance. Auxiliary features are key manufacturers, brand share and a narrative overview of trends.

Dismal Scientist. http://www.dismalscientist.com

Allows users to key in a zip code and retrieve demographic, socioeconomic, and real estate profiles.

Editor and Publisher Market Guide. (Editor & Publisher). Annual

Provides demographic and market data for over 1,600 cities in the U.S. and Canada that have daily newspapers. Market ranking tables give disposable income, high school graduation rate, cost of living index and retail sales information. Other features include ethnic breakdowns, shopping malls, tapwater quality, types of retail establishments, principal industries, college enrollments, military installations, etc.

Household Spending: Who Spends How Much on What. (New Strategist Publications.) 5th edition. 1999.

This title is based on unpublished data from the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey. Originating from the same source as Best Customers, this titles offers demographic and regional information about consumers of various product categories. Chapters include "Spending Trends", "Spending on Food and Alcohol", "Spending on Apparel", "Spending on Entertainment", etc.

Lifestyle Market Analyst. (Standard Rate and Data Service). Annual.

Defines customers according to demographic, geographic and lifestyle factors. LMA provides access to hobbies and activities enjoyed in certain regions and by certain populations.

MediaMark Reporter. MRI. Annual. http://www.mediamark.com/

This cd-rom database provides lifestyle and buying habits data on purchasers of specific consumer products. Data is reported in demographic categories, such as age, race, gender, income, region, etc.

Regional Economic Projections Series. (NPA Data Services.) Annual. http://www.npadata.com/src/reps.htm

The print volumes provide historical and projected demographic data for U.S. regions, states, cities, economic areas, metropolitan areas, and counties. Online services and cd-rom versions of the dataset are also available.

Right Site http://www.easidemographics.com

Provides free demographic analysis and selected "quality of life" information for specific localities. There are a number of useful ready-made reports that require only online registration. For instance, "ring studies" provide demographics within the circumference of a designated location. More detailed information on census tracts and media markets is available for a fee. The site is currently using 1990 census data.

Simmons Choices II (formerly Simmons Study of Media & Markets).

This cd-rom profiles product users by demographics, media use and psychographics. It uses statistical sampling to let the user build customized cross tabulations, rankings and graphs according to specific search parameters. Other Simmons Market Research publications include: National Consumer Survey (including lifestyle and psychographic measures), Kids Study, Teen Study, Hispanic Study, Online User Survey, etc.

Survey of Buying Power & Media Markets. (Special issue of Sales & Marketing Management magazine.) Annual.

"The reference guide to American purchasing influence". For metropolitan areas, media markets and counties, reports retail sales in designated merchandise lines (e.g. general, sporting goods, gasoline, clothing, etc.) Includes proprietary measures of disposable income as represented by effective buying income (EBI) and buying power indexes (BPI).

Sourcebook of Zip Code Demographics. (CACI). Annual.

Provides population change, population composition, income, and spending potential for 20 product and service categories for all U.S. zip codes. Data covers 80 demographic variables, the number of business firms and employees, and Acorn (r) lifestyle segmentation. Current edition include 2000 updates plus 4-year forecasts to 2005. The companion title Sourcebook of County Demographics has detailed data for counties and summary data for MSAs and DMAs. Both volumes are combined in a cd-rom called Sourcebook America; CACI also offers online databases and custom reports. See http://demographics.caci.com/.

VALS Survey. SRI Consulting.

The Values and Lifestyles Survey (VALS) is a market research tool that offers psychological-demographic correlations enabling the marketer to assess how self-perception, motivations and values impact buying decisions. The survey questionnaire is available at http://future.sri.com/VALS/VALSindex.shtml.
NOTE: The survey results are not published as a whole but must be purchased on a customized basis (this is useful as an example of a market research tool).

Wise Up To Teens: Insights into Marketing and Advertising to Teenagers. By Peter Zollo. (New Strategist). 2nd edition. 1999.

This book is based on syndicated research from Teenage Research Unlimited's Teenage Marketing & Lifestyle Study. Chapters discuss trends and report data on topics such as products and brands, media, activities and interests, advertising and promotion, teen social hierarchy, etc.

You Are Where You Live. (Claritas.) http://yawyl.claritas.com

Enter a zip code and retrieve a basic version of lifestyle cluster data from Claritas' extensive PRIZM system.


bulletMarketing.gov: Tools for Success
Joint BRASS and GODORT Program, ALA Annual Conference, June 18, 2001



Disclaimer: This publication has been placed on the web for the convenience of BRASS members. Information and links will not be updated. Posted 30 August 2001.