The app launched for the Times' project “Mapping America: Every City, Every Block” is based on data from the American Community Survey estimates conducted by the Census. While it's not official census data, it is the first time estimates of this kind have been released for a five-year period. The estimates look at community characteristics from 2005-2009.
Sorting through the data map can clog up hours of time, but also provide a wealth of research information that can be put to use to drill down targeted messages.
Broken down into specific geographic areas searchable by zip codes, it shows the breakdown of ethnic groups. To go even further, percentages of each ethnic group living in a specific block area appears with a roll of the computer mouse.
Aside from ethnicity, the application presents household income distribution, home value, monthly rent, mortgage information, percentage of same-sex couples living in an area, and education levels.
While most marketers won't need to get as specific as block-by-block data, for a client looking to target a specific ethnic group with a local campaign the percentages can certainly be useful.
Data from the 2010 Census will begin rolling out on Tuesday, and is already expected that results will show continued growth among the Hispanic community – underlying the importance of outreach to this group by brands.
Just this week, PepsiCo announced it hired a corporate Hispanic communications AOR to enhance its outreach to this community. In 2011, more corporations and brands will follow suit.
Boutique agencies and large firms that can demonstrate the ability to deliver results in the Hispanic community, as well as other ethnic communities, will be presented with even more business opportunities.
Marketing and PR professionals know effective strategy is backed by solid research. The early previews of Census data and the forthcoming further detail on what is yet to come can provide the backbone to effective strategy for those willing to use it. The bottom line is that it makes good business sense.