Can a person’s ZIP Code indicate his or her demographic profile?
Increasingly, the answer is yes – especially if that person lives in a “Super ZIP.” Residents of Super ZIPs are among the most wealthy, well-educated groups in America, with a median household income of $120,000 and 70% of adults holding college degrees, according to the Washington Post.
More than one-third of Super ZIPs lie in the Washington, D.C. metro area, as the map below shows.
Yellow highlights indicate the nation’s Super ZIPs, most of which fall in the Boston-Washington corridor and are especially prevalent in the nation’s capital. Photo source: The Washington Post
The Changing Face of ZIP Codes and Neighborhoods
ZIP Codes and neighborhoods are increasingly either lower income or higher income, rather than somewhere in the middle – a change from a generation ago.
“People of widely different incomes and professions commonly lived close enough [in the 1970s] that they mingled at stores, sports arenas and school. In an era in which women had fewer educational and professional opportunities, lawyers married secretaries and doctors married nurses. Now, lawyers and doctors marry each other.” (“Washington: A World Apart,” The Washington Post)
In 1970, 65% of families resided in middle-income neighborhoods. In 2010, that figure had dropped to 42%.
Some sociologists claim that as neighborhoods become either affluent or low income, the wealthy are increasingly isolated from the problems of the working poor. Photo source: American Enterprise Institute
School Districts by ZIP Code
One result of socioeconomic stratification by ZIP Code is that more and more, better school districts and school attendance zones are clustered in wealthier ZIP Codes.
A study (based on Maponics school data) by the online real estate search engine Redfin showed that home prices in school attendance zones with top performing schools are often hundreds of thousands of dollars more expensive than homes that fall in school attendance zones with lower performing schools.
In some areas, it may be cheaper to send your child to private school than to find housing in a school district with better public schools, says a Brookings Institution study.
Learn More About the Demographics of ZIP Codes with Maponics Data
Maponics Context Demographics projected onto Maponics ZIP Code Boundaries reveal population statistics segmented by ZIP Code. Syncing these two Maponics datasets gives analysts meaningful insight into populations within a prescribed area: the median household size, median household income, ethnicity breakdown and other data points.
Context Demographics synced with School Boundaries offer additional information about the people within particular school districts and school attendance zones across America.
Interested in learning more about the patterns revealed through data? Subscribe to the Maponics blog.
In this age of digital marketing, is direct mail dead?
Not according to the Direct Marketing Association, which reports response rates 10 to 30 times higher for direct mail over traditional email.
To boost those rates even higher, direct marketers are increasingly using geographic data. Information about locations, particularly when used in conjunction with specific details about the people within those locations, enable the kind of segmentation and relevance of message that can edge up your ROI.
Segmented Mailing Lists Are More Targeted
Blanket mailings – coupons, fliers and postcards sent to everyone in a particular area, regardless of how likely they are to be interested – are usually a poor method of customer acquisition.
To increase the likelihood that your target will engage with your message, direct marketers use lists segmented by age, gender, race, education, income and other characteristic data.
For example, with the right location data, a direct marketer could learn that folks in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin, TX, tend to have bachelor’s degrees, enjoy a reasonable amount of disposable income and are often raising families. This helps marketers determine which type of promotions make the most sense for this neighborhood.
Mailings about family events are likely to resonate in family-friendly Hyde Park, Austin, TX. Photo source: austinhydepark.org
Targeted Mailings Are More Relevant
The outcome of effective segmentation is sending relevant offers to the right people, which, in turn, means your marketing is more likely to generate results – and less likely to annoy recipients.
Imagine you are a retired grandparent getting fliers for the newest “skinny jeans.” It’s clear that the business reaching out to you does not care who you are as a person – and now, they’ve lost your goodwill, making it much less likely you’ll purchase from this business in the future.
More Segmentation Means Less Cost
Segmentation of target audiences and relevant offers helps save money in three ways:
- Segmentation helps to minimize postage and number of mailings because the target audience is smaller for well-segmented lists.
- Organizing direct mail campaigns by carrier route earns postal discounts, which lowers marketing costs.
- Segmentation also means more efficient tracking, measuring and monitoring of the mailing campaigns and leads to better business decisions.
Maponics provides industry-leading boundaries for Neighborhoods, ZIP Codes, Carrier Routes and Canadian FSAs. For lifestyle and behavior information, Maponics Context™ Demographics products offer insight from both Census/ACS and Nielsen PRIZM Lifestyle Segments.
Direct mail lists organized by ZIP Code or neighborhood, especially with the insight offered by demographic data, are more likely to achieve higher ROI. Photo source: The Baltimore Sun
Direct marketing companies like infoUSA, Melissa Data and Pitney Bowes use Maponics’ data. See our direct marketing customer use cases.
In fact, our ZIP Codes and carrier route boundaries are so accurate and easy to integrate that the US Postal Service refers companies looking for ZIP Code maps directly to us.
To talk about how you can leverage geographic data to increase your direct mail ROI, contact us.