Programming for Patrons Who Love the Cold

Programming for Patrons Who Love the Cold

| By Fred Zimmerman, Product Manager, Analytics On Demand |

Analytics On Demand helps libraries achieve their strategic priorities by applying state-of-the-art data analytics tools, running on the highly-regarded Alteryx platform. Analytics On Demand blends data exported from the library ILS, in a simple spreadsheet form, with detailed household-level demographic and psychographic data from many sources to produce high-resolution maps and reports showing exactly who people are, what they are doing, and what they are interested in.

A key element is Experian’s ConsumerView™, which collects, aggregates, and analyzes information on over one billion people and businesses. The ConsumerView data used in Analytics on Demand assigns each individual household in the library service area to one of 19 so-called Mosaic groups and 71 segments. Each group or segment represents people who are broadly similar in terms of demographics, economics, lifestyle, and values.

An example segment is the segment ”Kids and Cabernet”, described as

… middle-aged couples with children living a wealthy, suburban lifestyle in their homes valued at more than twice the national average.

Their neighborhoods are havens for college-educated, white-collar professionals with well-paying jobs in the sciences, education, business and finance. This is a mostly homogeneous segment with a high concentration of whites and an above-average presence of Asians. All are upwardly mobile and trying to provide the best lifestyle possible for their children, and many have only recently settled in their exclusive communities.

All types of businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the world use these clusters to match needs with products and services.  All Analytics On Demand users have access to Experian’s so-called Segmentation Portal, which provides detailed written information on each segment. However, even this information is not necessarily precise enough to support targeted programming by libraries.

Enter the Experian Grand Index. This is a spreadsheet that contains relative values for each of the 726 variables that go into their 71 Mosaic (or demographic) segments. It is available to Analytics On Demand customers on request.  As the number of variables might suggest, it is a fantastic source of highly detailed information about almost every imaginable characteristic of each of the 71 segments.

For example, under “how we stay healthy”, there are for the relative propensity to participate in aerobics, backpacking, baseball, bowling, and more than 25 other sports.

Programming Aligned with Interests

I decided to mock up a programming activity keyed to the very cold winter weather that we have been experiencing at Gale’s headquarters in Farmington Hills, MI. I started by looking up the keywords “winter” and “ski” in the variable list in the Grand Index.   As you can see from the image below, there is a variable participation in downhill/cross-country skiing.

The right hand columns contain relative Index values for each of the 71 Mosaic segments. By selecting the row, pasting and transposing into another Excel sheet, and sorting the Index values by descending order, I was able to determine that the following are the top 10 Mosaic segments who most often participate in downhill and cross-country skiing (#1 at top).

  1. A03 Kids and Cabernet
  2. D17 Cul de Sac Diversity
  3. A05 Couples with Clout
  4. A06 Jet Set Urbanites
  5. G25 Urban Edge
  6. A01 American Royalty
  7. A02 Platinum Prosperity
  8. C13 Silver Sophisticates
  9. B09 Family Fun-tastic
  10. B08 Babies and Bliss

Unsurprisingly, half of these segments are in the wealthy Mosaic Group A, “Power Elite.”

Now, let’s take a look at the “like to ski” group using Analytics On Demand and some dummy data for Farmington Hills, Michigan. The Mosaic Profiles tab shows us that in our dummy data set of 3,000 patron addresses we find that the largest group, 514, are “Silver Sophisticates” (who are #8 among all segments in love of skiing), while 91 patrons belong to “Kids and Cabernet”, the single segment among all Mosaic segments that is most enthusiastic about skiing.

When we look at some basic demographic characteristics of the “like to ski” segments in the Patron Measures tab, we see that about 60% of these folks are considered “not likely” or “no” on presence of children.

From these figures it looks as if perhaps a broadly winter-themed event aimed at adults might be more likely to succeed than something aimed specifically at skiers of all ages.  We can then use the Analytics On Demand Marketing Action for Patrons app to create custom mailing lists to distribute flyers or e-mail announcements to.

Bonus:  Analytics On Demand for people who like watching the cold

Sports watched on TV: skiing

  • K40 Bohemian Groove
  • A03 Kids and Cabernet
  • R66 Dare to Dream
  • A05 Couples with Clout
  • R67 Hope for Tomorrow
  • J36 Settled and Sensible
  • B09 Family Fun-tastic
  • K39 Metro Fusion

Unfortunately, it turns out that our dummy data contains almost no-one who likes to watch TV skiing.

So we can probably rule out the “watch skiiing at the library” events!

Learn more about Analytics On Demand.

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