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Consumers Into Customers:
(Mostly) Commercial Sources For
Demographics, Geographics, Expenditures, and Lifestyles
Powerpoint slides available
American Demographics Magazine. 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). 3rdedition. 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
Compiled by Wendy Diamond
“ Tools for Success”
2001 BRASS Program - ALA Annual, San Francisco
Expenditure Survey (plus some unpublished reports), the book presents an overview
of trends and spending figures for 300 individual products and services. More upto-date data is available at
Consumer Expenditure Survey. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.) Frequency
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.
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
Compiled by Wendy Diamond
“ Tools for Success”
2001 BRASS Program - ALA Annual, San Francisco
MediaMark Reporter. MRI. Annual.
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.
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
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
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 ®
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
Compiled by Wendy Diamond
“ Tools for Success”
2001 BRASS Program - ALA Annual, San Francisco
cd-rom called Sourcebook America; CACI also offers online databases and custom
reports. See .
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 selfperception, motivations and values impact buying decisions. The survey
questionnaire is available at
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.)
Enter a zip code and retrieve a basic version of lifestyle cluster data from Claritas’
extensive PRIZM system.
Compiled by Wendy Diamond
“ Tools for Success”
2001 BRASS Program - ALA Annual, San Francisco