Quirky nomenclature and greater granularity: how Nielsen and Roy Morgan are changing the data game

This week, data specialists Nielsen and Roy Morgan both unveiled new data segmentation approaches that will see the insights they provide take on a more granular form.

And in a rather uncharacteristically quirky move, both organisations have given their respective strategies somewhat interesting monikers.

On Nielsen’s side of the data divide, we have ‘geoTribes,’ a portmanteau that houses a collection of 15 tribes segmented in accordance to their age and financial situations.

Robert Dommett & Associates (RDA Research) developed this segmentation strategy by drawing on geospatial information, behavioural data and market research.

The geoTribes website explains that this information can be used “to create tailored content marketing and customer engagement, based on the personal values profiles of the segments,” and founder Robert Dommett believes this will be particularly useful to media owners in the Kiwi context.

“In introducing the 2014 geoTribes to New Zealand, media owners will be able to enhance monetisation by using the segments to give a deeper understanding of their audiences’ needs and motivations,” he said in a release from Nielsen. “Planners and marketers will use geoTribes to build more effective audience-driven strategies. They can integrate local area marketing with media planning, market research and database profiling through an underlying needs framework.”

And rather than relying on a static Excel spreadsheet, the system incorporates interactive online mapping tools that allow the user to view a segment—or segments—independently.  

“Unlike other segmentations, it can be activated for brands or locations quickly and easily,” says Kate Terry, Nielsen’s regional director of consumer and media insights. “You can analyse the segments through CMI databases or explore geographically through geoTribes online mapping tool. It’s a tremendous opportunity to understand consumers at a person-level, from career-orientated crusaders to those with more Slender Meanz.”

The geoTribes segmentation will be in the New Zealand market, aligned with Consumer and Media Insights (CMI), from August 2014.

In a similar move, Roy Morgan has also unveiled a new data segmentation strategy, which employs an equally quirky approach to its nomenclature.

By coupling the Greek word—often used in DNA analysis—for a curved three-dimensional shape with the Latin word for people, Roy Morgan has unveiled to Helix Personas, a data segmentation tool that provides detailed customer and audience profiling.

“The name Helix reflects the product’s ability to understand the DNA of New Zealand’s consumers,” said Roy Morgan’s head of business development Howard Seccombe in a release. “Over the last few weeks, as we’ve demonstrated Helix Personas to some of our clients, a number have remarked that it’s like the ‘eHarmony of big data’: a unique, powerful way to link data sets together at a deep, psychographic and behavioural level.”

The approach, which has already being used in Australia, segments the population into 51 discrete personality profiles across seven communities.

According to a Roy Morgan release, Helix Personas provides “a detailed psychographic and behavioural segmentation of the population” by giving users an easily accessible cross-section of the nation’s households.

Helix Personas can lock onto a certain house and let the user know the likely age of the occupants, the income range of the breadwinners, the household status, purchasing habits and intentions of both parents and children, preferred media and brands in the home, and the interests and hobbies that residents might have.

Seccombe says that this provides a multi-dimensional (hence helix) view of the consumer, which can better enable media owners to tap into the target market. 

“From media planning to sales and product development, Helix Personas can be used in many different ways,” he says. “By integrating their existing databases with Helix, businesses will gain unprecedented insights into their customers’ media consumption, brand preferences and purchase intentions. Armed with this knowledge, they can then focus their marketing campaigns straight at the bull’s eye instead of taking an expensive scattergun approach.”

While both Nielsen and Roy Morgan have trumpeted the significance of launching data segmentation tools in New Zealand, this isn’t a first for the nation.

As far back as 2010, New Zealand Post launched Genius, a data segmentation tool that uses more than 1,000 data variables (including household value, household composition, lifestyle and geo-demographic categories) and divides New Zealand into nine clusters and 36 segments, each with distinct characteristics (and some rather entertaining tags like ‘Rice & Shine’, Joe & Joanna Bloggs’ and ‘Meat and Three veg’). It can also differentiate between urban and rural areas and the segmentation can also be customised for individual organisations to incorporate their own data.

At the time of Genius’ release, New Zealand Post targeted communications analytics manager Susan Needham described it as “the most exciting thing to happen in the New Zealand data space for years”.

Much like Roy Morgan and Nielsen, she also differentiated Genius from existing segmentation models and similarly emphasised the depth of information that the platform could provide from data built from sources such The New Zealand Lifestyle Survey (unique to this product), Census data, BNZ MarketView and other proprietary New Zealand Post information, as well as other commercially available data sources such as PropertyIQ house valuations. 

In the four years since New Zealand Post launched its system, the data game has however changed quite significantly. Today, there are more ways to accumulate data faster than ever before, and it has become rare to sit through a conversation with marketing professional without hearing the buzz phrase ‘big data’ dropped numerous times. And given the importance placed on data that is not only accurate but also accessible to the average person, it comes as little surprise that both Nielsen and Roy Morgan are looking for new ways in which to present the piles of information they store in their respective vaults.        

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