Note: While these questions are specific to Nielsen PRIZM, they generally apply to Nielsen P$YCLE and Nielsen ConneXions as well.
"Nielsen MyBestSegments" is based on a "lifestyle segmentation" system called Nielsen PRIZM. PRIZM®, which was originally created over 30 years ago, classifies U.S. households into one of 66 categories based on Census data, leading consumer surveys and compiled household files, and other public and private sources of demographic and consumer information.
PRIZM operates on the principle that "birds of a feather flock together." It's a worldwide phenomenon that people with similar cultural backgrounds, needs, and perspectives naturally gravitate toward one another. They choose to live in neighborhoods offering affordable advantages and compatible lifestyles. That's why, for instance, many young career singles and couples choose dynamic urban neighborhoods like Chicago's Gold Coast, while families with children prefer the suburbs which offer more affordable housing, convenient shopping, and strong local schools.
PRIZM is updated annually to reflect the latest available demographic and consumer information. "Nielsen MyBestSegments" provides a scaled-down version of the complete PRIZM system. Only a handful of the consumer spending, lifestyle and demographic data available through PRIZM at the ZIP Code level was used to create this ZIP Code look-up program.
"Nielsen MyBestSegments" is an abbreviated, online version of Nielsen's lifestyle segmentation systems. The aggregated information provided is based predominantly on Census data and supported by Nielsen survey data. Accordingly, the information should be interpreted as a general characterization of the population and its lifestyles, not as an exact analysis. At the heart of Nielsen segmentation is the adage "birds of a feather, flock together."
For more exact analysis, PRIZM is available at Household, ZIP+6, and ZIP+4 levels.
To receive more detailed information about how to utilize Nielsen Segmentation for more effective marketing strategies call: 800.234.5973 or contact us.
If you do not feel that the segments shown accurately or completely describe your neighborhood, you should be aware that the program only displays up to the top five PRIZM segments within a ZIP Code, although as many as 20 segments or more may actually be present. Also, only PRIZM segments to which at least 5% of a ZIP's households belong are displayed. It is possible that you live in an area of the ZIP that belongs to a segment which didn't have a high enough concentration of households to appear on the distribution list. This is why the demographic and lifestyle profiles for a ZIP Code's PRIZM segments may seem inconsistent with your specific neighborhood.
Additionally, PRIZM is not intended to predict with absolute certainty how every neighborhood's household lives or what they buy or don't buy, rather it is used to assess the likelihood that a certain type of behavior or purchasing preference - drink diet soda or go skiing, for instance - would be found in higher concentrations within that neighborhood versus another. This increases a marketer's chances of locating the best potential consumers for their products and allows them to make advertising and product distribution decisions more efficiently.
"Nielsen MyBestSegments" was created at ZIP Code level, which typically consists of 2,500-15,000 households. To increase the precision of the system, PRIZM coding is also available at smaller geographic levels, for instance, Census block groups (typically only 250-500 households) and Postal ZIP+4s (about 6-12 households). Levels of geography that encompass fewer homes are much more precise than the ZIP Code level assignments. In addition, Household and ZIP+6 levels are also available.
If you were unable to locate a ZIP Code in "Nielsen MyBestSegments," you should be aware that the program contains only residential ZIP Codes that include a minimum number of households to protect privacy. Additionally, although the program uses the most current annual ZIP Code roster, the Post Office changes, adds and deletes ZIP Codes without notice, which accounts for other missing ZIP Codes.
If you don't know your area's ZIP Code, you can look up ZIP Codes using the USPS web page ZIP look-up.
PRIZM TV profiles are obtained using two rolling years of GfK MRI data so there's always a lag time between when programs are taken off the air and when they are removed from the survey and measurement data used with PRIZM. When "Nielsen MyBestSegments" is updated, the TV listings will be updated. Business users can access more recent ratings data from Nielsen Media (for television viewers) and Arbitron (for radio listeners) by PRIZM Segment.
To put the country's marketplace into perspective: today, there are more than 313+ million people living in more than 118+ million households located in over 200,000 neighborhoods, or Census block groups, across the country. Companies use this information to break through the country's crowded marketscape and understand, locate and reach their customers better. They use it to determine what type of advertising to create and where it should appear, where to put new stores, what kind of merchandising and products to put in their stores, etc.
The median income represents the mid-level point between the highest and lowest incomes of the segment's residents - meaning 50% of the segment's households earn more than the median and 50% earn less.
In 2012, the current median income for all U.S. households is $49,581 and about 30% of U.S. households earn $75,000 or more annually. This income data was originally derived from aggregate census data (the census NEVER releases data on individual households) for the geographic areas that are assigned to a specific PRIZM Segment. Nielsen updates income data using information from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) for higher levels of geography, which is then applied to the original census data at smaller areas.
If you would like more information on how your business can use segmentation, please call 800.234.5973 or email.