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July 17, 2014

Esri Tapestry Segmentation System Provides New Insights into America's Changing Population

As highlighted in my recent posting on SAP (News - Alert) combining with geospatial solutions specialist Esri to help their respective customers get an enriched context for enabling a better understanding of customer behaviors, understanding demographics is increasingly important for enterprises of all sizes. Indeed, for many initiatives knowing who and where the customers are and how their profiles are in the midst of change is critical. For companies in the U.S., the announcement from Esri that it is out with the next generation of its acclaimed Tapestry Segmentation system is important news.

How so?

Ten years of analyzing events, like the housing boom of the early 2000s and its long-term impacts on the U.S. population, are reflected in this release. Using the location-based intelligence delivered within the Tapestry market segments, retailers, marketers, nonprofit workers, and government organizations can gain crucial insights through identifying and targeting the best customers and prospects. As Esri sayd, it customers can, “Save money by marketing to the right people and knowing where to spend resources in order to serve those most in need.”

For those unfamiliar with Tapestry, it provides accurate, structured classification of U.S. neighborhoods based on proven segmentation methodology and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. The system combines the who of lifestyle demography with the where of local neighborhood geography. In short, it is a comprehensive tools for obtaining a realistic and consistent view of the entire American landscape. Its customers can see where important changes are taking place and where population has stayed the same.

The value of trend spotting

As Tapestry highlights there has been substantial change in the U.S.  Trends include reduced incomes, lower home values, and an increasingly diverse population. In addition, there is a steady shift in household types from traditional to nontraditional families and an aging population which can be seen in how Tapestry profiles these changes in 55 U.S. cities in their Esri Story Map app.  I also encourage you to see the interesting infographic  on each personality type in the system.

Just as a tickler, here are some findings from the system which can provide very granular data down to the local level and has been enhanced by the growth of segmentations.  Here’s what’s changed since Tapestry was first introduced:

Hispanics are found in a number of segments; however, in new Tapestry, due to growth and diversity in the Hispanic population, there are 2 segments that are specifically Hispanic– Valley Growers and Barrios Urbanos – differences are their time living in the U.S. and locations (urban vs rural).

Seniors are becoming more segmented due to the aging of the Baby Boomers and older, active seniors who are living longer. Differences are age, affluence, and physical abilities. New segments in this group are Senior Escapes and Golden Years.

Singles segments have increased (12 vs 17) and are scattered throughout Tapestry. They differ by age, affluence, locations, and interests. Laptops and Lattes, Metro Renters, Trendsetters, Old and Newcomers, Retirement Communities, Social Security Set, are among the segments from previous Tapestry. New segments include Hardscrabble Road, Metro Fusion, Set to Impress, Golden Years.

Millennials segments are found in the singles and younger married groups. Metro Renters, Metro Fusion, Set to Impress, Trendsetters, are among the old and new segments with populations of Millennials.

"Tapestry segments reflect both the stability of gradual change in a maturing population and the impact of big events like the Great Recession," said Catherine Spisszak, data products manager at Esri. "Though many segments are new in order to depict this change, most segments remain the same so users can easily transition to the next generation of the system."

We keep hearing about the value of big data and the need for enhanced context. Everyone wants to know as much as possible about demographics and psycho graphics as mapped against geography in order to be smarter in their target marketing as well as more responsive/opportunistic with select  communities. Esri provides not just geospatial big data, but the foundation on which to build enhanced context-rich customer profiles.  

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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