PRIZM CE: A New Segmentation Product for Canada

By Nora Parker

Interview_Jan_Kestle Ed. Note: Last week, Environics Analytics announced a new segmentation product for Canada that incorporated psychographics. The product will be marketed in the US by Claritas. Although very busy with the release of new product, company president Jan Kestle took a few moments to update us regarding the product, answering a few quick questions.We do expect to take a more in-depth look at the product in the months to come, so please stay tuned.

Nora Parker (NP): How does PRIZM CE differ from other products targeting Canadian customers, and what are those other products?

Jan Kestle (JK): There are a few major differences:

  • Links to social values data: We're the first to create a full geodemographic view of consumers: from the familiar demographics and behaviour, to our innovation, how they think - their hearts and minds.And it links all of this to the places they live, shop, and tune in on TV or other media.We still target based on the demographic characteristics and purchase behaviour; with Social Values, we can help users tailor messages to consumers in a way that resonates with how they view the world; and then we can tie into their behavioural characteristics by knowing which activities they engage in, which media they consume and which other products they buy...and where they do all of these things.
  • Link to Claritas's PRIZM NE: This allows marketers to develop integrated, continent-wide marketing programs where appropriate.We've identified where lifestyles are common on both sides of the border: in 16 of our 66 segments.Of course, Canada is a distinct market, with 50 of 66 segments unique.
NP: What were the key challenges in creating this product, in terms of including "social values" in a "geo-psycho-demographic" product for Canada?

JK: It's always a challenge to break new ground.The main challenge was to identify the right way to integrate this new type of information and create something meaningful for marketers.We tried many different solutions, and with the richness of Environics Research's Social Values data we think we have a winner that means actionable social values data.

NP: How will this product make life different for marketers targeting Canadian consumers?

JK: The ability to really understand your target market is the main difference. As we've gone through the exercise of naming and describing the PRIZM CE segments, the impact Social Values had surpassed even our expectations! With this information, the ability to really see who your target is, how they think, and then know where to find them promises smarter, more efficient marketing programs.

The other thing is that marketers can only realize the potential from a great product like this with proper consultative support from Environics Analytics staff.We've assembled the most experienced team in geodemographic market analysis in Canada, led by one of the world's foremost experts, Dr.Tony Lea.Let's face it, this is a specialized area.It's not realistic for most marketers to become experts...that's why we're here: to ensure clients get the most value out of these powerful tools.
Biography for Jan Kestle
Founder and President of Environics Analytics, Jan Kestle directed the development and launch of PRIZM CE.With thirty-five years experience in the Canadian information industry, she is considered an expert in using statistics and mathematics to help solve businesses challenges.In the 1990s, she pioneered integrating geodemographic tools into customer relationship management solutions.While serving as President of Compusearch from 1994 to 2000, Jan oversaw the development of several Canadian segmentation systems--including PSYTE, PSYTE U.S., and Financial PSYTE.She has held executive positions with such leading information companies as Compusearch, The Blackburn Group and The Polk Company.After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Western Ontario, Jan worked for 19 years at the Ontario Statistical Centre, where she developed an expertise in the Canadian census and its applications in marketing and social research.In November 2003, she founded Environics Analytics, in partnership with Environics, establishing a new marketing services company based in Toronto.

Published Tuesday, September 21st, 2004

Written by Nora Parker

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