Ever wonder why you get certain junk mail from certain catalogues or stores and not others? Why you get on certain political mailing lists? Why certain products are in your grocery store but not the same chain store across town?
The answer is something called demographic data mining, whereby everything about you – income, education, tastes in music and sports – is compiled and aggregated by ZIP code. The leader in this field of micromarketing is a company called Claritas, which I think is part of the A.C. Neilsen family of snoops.
Claritas breaks the American people down by ZIP code into 66 different categories, ranging from “Upper Crust” and “Winner’s Circle” to “Mayberry-ville” and “Shotguns and Pickups.”
You can find out where you fall, or rise, by going to http://www.claritas.com/target-marketing/nielsen-claritas-demographic-widget.jsp and then clicking on the “ZIP code lookup” tab.
My ZIP code consists of five different groups. OK, they aren’t that different, because they are labled: “Blueblood Estates,” “Movers and Shakers,” “New Empty Nests,” “Upper Crust” and “Winner’s Circle.”
Through no fault of our own, we seem to best match the demographic character of “Upper Crust.” I’m not complaining.