SOURCE: Claritas Inc.

May 02, 2005 08:00 ET

Claritas Introduces Powerful New P$YCLE® Segmentation System

P$YCLE NE Offers Financial Services Institutions the Latest in Segmentation Technology; New System Creates the Most Efficient Financial Household Marketing Tool Ever

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 2, 2005 -- Continuing its leadership role in creating innovative segmentation systems, Claritas Inc. announced today the introduction of P$YCLE NE® (New Evolution), the latest and most advanced segmentation system available to the financial services industry. Under the redesigned system, P$YCLE NE classifies Americans into 58 consumer segments to help banking, investment and insurance companies better market their services to customers and prospects.

Based on the financial behavior of nearly 450,000 consumers, P$YCLE NE was created using the largest database of household-level consumer records of any financial segmentation system in the nation. While other companies rely on the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finance of fewer than 5,000 people for their models, P$YCLE NE reflects the real-world behavior of consumers from four national syndicated surveys: Claritas' Market Audit®, Insurance Audit™, and Convergence Audit®, as well as Mediamark Research Inc.'s annual consumer study. The result is the most efficient financial household-level target-marketing tool now accessible to financial companies.

"No other company in the world works with the amount of data that we do," said Claritas President & CEO Robert Nascenzi. "To create P$YCLE NE, we had access to the age, income and financial experiences of hundreds of thousands of Americans. The result will allow companies to serve the financial needs of U.S. households in all their diversity. It's a great achievement."

This is the third time in as many decades that Claritas has updated its P$YCLE system, a year-long process that has kept Claritas at the forefront of financial services marketing, Nascenzi said. "With the new system, marketers can integrate their own research data with the rich financial information from P$YCLE NE to create a single customer definition usable to everyone in their company. Financial institutions can tap P$YCLE NE to make a range of marketing decisions -- from customer acquisition and retention to cross-selling and media planning," he added.

Reflecting the ever-increasing diversity of the American consumer's financial behavior, P$YCLE NE increased in size from 42 segments in eight groups to 58 segments within 13 groups based on affluence and lifestage -- retaining just three segments from the previous system -- The Wealth Market, Comfortably Retired and Young Urban Renters. The 55 new segments include seven with high levels of income-producing assets, with names like Business Class, Savvy Savers and Family Fortunes.

Among the nation's newest financial segments are:

Family Fortunes, No. 7 - The members of Family Fortunes rank at the top in many financial categories: investing in futures and options, owning mutual funds and U.S. Savings Bonds, and acquiring first mortgages worth over $150,000. They need to. These 35- to 54-year-old suburbanites have more children than any other financial segment. With high incomes and expensive homes, they make a prime target for high-value life and homeowners insurance.

Annuity-ville, No. 13 - No place has more seniors, fewer children and a greater passion for fixed-income annuities than Annuity-ville. These upper-middle-class suburbanites living in established communities score near the top for staid investments like government securities, CDs and money market funds. Many members are preoccupied with preserving their wealth, and they boast high rates for having tax shelters, unit investment trusts and cash management accounts.

Home Sweet Equity, No. 17 - Upscale incomes, moderate assets and home-owning couples make this segment an attractive market for large-balance credit products. In Home Sweet Equity, many of the 45- to 64-year-old residents are tapping the value of their older homes with home equity loans, second mortgages and home improvement loans. With their well-paying blue-collar jobs, these traditionalists rank high for buying fixed-rate annuities and using credit unions and savings and loan associations.

About Claritas

Since 1971, San Diego-based Claritas has been the pre-eminent source of accurate, up-to-date marketing information about people, households and businesses within any geographic area in the United States. Its target marketing services are aimed at reducing the cost of customer acquisition and growing customer value. Claritas offers industry-leading consumer segmentation systems, consulting services and software applications for site analysis, advertising sales and customer targeting. Claritas is a division of VNU, a world-leading information and media company that includes ACNielsen, Nielsen Media Research, Spectra Marketing Systems and Scarborough Research, among others. To learn more about Claritas and VNU products and services visit their web sites at www.claritas.com and www.VNU.com.

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