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Fall 2005
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Community Vision Projects Can Help "Visualize" Customers

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Esri Community Vision defines core and developmental customers by integrating customer data with Esri demographic, market potential, and Community Tapestry segmentation data.

Knowing who their best customers are, what they buy, how to reach them, and where to find more customers like them is critical to the growth of all companies. Businesses that can answer these questions about their customers are much more likely to succeed than those that cannot. The more a company knows about its customers, the better it can serve them, keep them, and find more like them.

Esri's Community Vision projects are ideal solutions for companies that do not have in-house resources to perform valuable customer analyses, such as where the best store locations are or how to increase exposure to the right audience. Community Vision projects are designed and managed by Esri experts to help identify a company's core and developmental customers, as well as customer lifestyle and spending habits. Community Vision projects are delivered as a suite of interrelated reports, maps, and demographic analyses in hard-copy and/or PDF files.

A company's customer records are the foundation of each Community Vision project, along with Esri's segmentation system, Community Tapestry. (Community Tapestry is described in more detail in What Is Community Tapestry?) Segmentation operates on the theory that people with similar tastes, lifestyles, and behaviors seek others with the same tastes—"like seeks like." These behaviors are measurable and predictable and can be targeted.

click to enlargeThe first step in building a Community Vision project is to assign a geographic code (geocode) to each customer record. Address information in a customer database is necessary to begin the profiling process and to determine who the best customers are based on their geographic location and demographic characteristics. Next, Esri demographic and Community Tapestry segmentation data are integrated with the geocoded customer record. Based on the geocode that is assigned, demographic characteristics, such as population, type of households, race, age, and a Tapestry segmentation code, are appended to each record in the customer file. Adding this data to each customer record provides a detailed portrait of customers and allows Esri data analysts to create a Tapestry profile of these customers. This customer Tapestry profile is a summarization of the customers across unique Tapestry segments. Core and developmental Tapestry segments are identified based on this Tapestry profile. Core customers within the core Tapestry segment are those customers who make up the largest percent of current customers and have an above-average propensity to be a customer. Core customers are loyal and provide strong up-sell and cross-selling opportunities. Developmental customers within the developmental Tapestry segment make up a significant percentage of the market area, but do not have an above-average index to be current customers. Perhaps these households were not effectively reached with advertising or marketing campaigns. Developmental customers are important because they are present in large numbers in an overall market area and offer great potential for becoming loyal customers. Both customer types present separate, distinct marketing opportunities that must be specifically targeted with different messaging and promotions.

After understanding who the customers are, it's time to learn where they are located within the trade area. For example, using the core Tapestry segments that have already been identified, neighborhoods can be analyzed at the ZIP Code geography level to find similar high potential areas of core and developmental customers.

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Percentage of households in developmental Tapestry segments, Fairfax County, Virginia, by ZIP Code.

The next step is to understand the lifestyle similarities and differences of these groups: what they are like, how they spend their time and money, and what they like to do. Esri's data analysts can compare the Tapestry profile of customers to the Tapestry profile based on Market Potential consumer survey data to show what products and services they might buy or the types of activities that might interest them. This proprietary consumer survey database, created from consumer surveys conducted by Mediamark Research Inc., tracks the demographics, product usage, and media exposure of all persons age 18 and over in the contiguous 48 states. Esri's data analysts also use this survey data to identify the media that target customers read, listen to, and watch. This information is valuable to marketing departments that must develop messaging, create advertising campaigns, purchase media placements, and create promotions to attract these customers.

After validating the results of the analyses, Esri's analysts deliver an executive summary, conclusions, and interpretations of the analyses.

Community Vision projects can help organizations answer the "who, what, how, and where" marketing questions about their customers and prospects. Information from Community Vision projects can assist companies to select the best store locations and increase exposure to the right audience. It also helps them to make decisions about how to market to the most profitable customer segments, develop promotions with messages to attract those customers, and select merchandise preferred by them, thus increasing revenue.

For more information about Community Vision projects, call 1-800-292-2224 or visit

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