SOURCE: Claritas Inc.

May 02, 2005 08:00 ET

Claritas Introduces Powerful New P$YCLE® Segmentation System for Insurance Companies

P$YCLE NE Offers 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$YCLE NE® (New Evolution), the latest and most advanced segmentation system available to the financial services industry. Classifying Americans into 58 financial behavior segments, P$YCLE NE represents a significant improvement over other industry segmentation systems that largely rely on demographic data like age and income. With P$YCLE NE, insurance companies will now be able to predict a household's insurance activity, not just its income bracket.

Based on the financial behavior of nearly 450,000 consumers, P$YCLE NE was created using the largest database of household-level consumer records of any financial segmentation system in the nation. Whereas other companies rely on the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finance of fewer than 5,000 people for their models, P$YCLE NE reflects the real-world behavior of consumers from four national syndicated surveys: Claritas' Insurance Audit™, Market 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 insurance 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 financial experiences, demographics and lifestyles 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."

The assessment and rebuilding of the P$YCLE system, a yearlong effort, reflects Claritas' dedication to accuracy and innovation, which have kept the company at the forefront of financial services marketing.

With the new system, marketers can link their own research to the numerous financial market behaviors in P$YCLE NE, creating a brand-specific, single customer definition usable by every business unit in their company. Financial institutions can tap P$YCLE NE to make a range of marketing decisions -- from customer acquisition and retention to cross-selling and media planning.

Reflecting the increasing diversity of how Americans behave in the financial marketplace, the P$YCLE NE system increased in size, from 42 to 58 distinct segments. "Our modelers dug deep to differentiate America," said Candace Curls, Claritas Assistant Vice President/Insurance Practice Leader, and a Board Member of the Society of Insurance Research. "They paid special attention to two hot insurance markets: households with children and the large cohort of retiring boomers. And each segment can be described by its affinity toward specific insurance products, which is so helpful to insurance companies."

Among the nation's variety of insurance consumers, some of the more colorful segments are:

Golden Agers, No. 4 - One of the oldest financial segments, Golden Agers is a collection of over-65-year-olds who've amassed income-producing assets at the second highest level in the nation. These senior singles and couples, typically living in large suburban homes, tend to be fiscally conservative: They rank at the top for having corporate/municipal bonds, government securities, fixed-rate annuities and savings accounts. In addition, they're more than twice as likely as average Americans to own multiple annuities and long-term care insurance.

Big Spenders, No. 9 - The suburban Boomers who comprise Big Spenders are the ultimate financial jugglers. With teenagers at home and retirement looming, they've managed to craft both enviable lifestyles and fat portfolios filled with stock options, mutual funds, securities and bonds. Six-figure incomes help, but they also rank at the top for using home equity lines of credit and second mortgages. Big Spenders represents an attractive market for a range of insurance products: term life, auto, disability and long-term care coverage.

School Daze, No. 23 - A collection of large, suburban households, School Daze represents one of the nation's best markets for borrowing. These upper-middle-class families score near the top for having first mortgages, home improvement loans and auto loans. Being in their early childrearing years, they're also a prime audience for term life insurance, which they tend to buy from independent agents whenever a new child is born.

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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