Business intelligence agency CACI have updated their Acorn product, which uses data such as lifestyle surveys and public sector information to put every UK household into one of 62 demographic categories.
It says that “Acorn is used to understand consumers’ lifestyle, behaviour and attitudes” as well as “to analyse customers, identify profitable prospects, evaluate local markets and focus on the specific needs of each catchment and neighbourhood.”
The infographic belows shows how CACI put the data together:
The implications for brands should be immediately apparent, but does the data hold up?
The short answer is yes. I punched in my own postcode and it immediately came up with a pretty incisive summary of the area I live. I put in a relative’s postcode and again the categorisation was pretty accurate. When you put in postcode, you can then click through to a variety of subcategories such as family types, work, and most interesting to us at The Wall, digital.
The digital subcategory allows you to see if a variety of indices – internet buying, internet frequency, household technology, and smartphone ownership. Far from the data being overwhelming, it is incisive, fascinating, and frankly a bit addictive.
You can also browse across categories to see the areas such people live in, or look at demographic groupings based on certain characteristics. For example, here is a graph of internet use frequency across the categories:
From a business point of view, if a brand knew the type of person they wanted to target, using the Acorn tool could certainly help them design the most appropriate digital ad for the desired audience. For example, brands and advertisers could see if advertising online was appropriate to the demographic depending on the level of internet frequency, whether they shopped online, and what type of technology (down to the smartphone type) that demographic uses. They could clearly target certain geographical areas based on this data too.
Disappointingly the interface is little clunky meaning it takes a few minutes to get used to using it (but when you generate the data it’s very easy read and analyse,) and that there does not seem to be an easy way to export the data, for example into a CSV, in order to compile an external report. You also have to sign up before you can start playing around.
There is little doubt though that information such as this is very powerful, particularly when used in conjunction with advert targeting tools already available from Google, Facebook, and Twitter, and that in Acorn CACI have built a robust, usable and accurate tool for analysing it that could be of serious benefit to brands and marketers.