The Wealthiest ZIP Codes in America | Experian

Via: Experian



The Richest Zip Codes in America in One Map; Jeff Desjardins; In Some Blog entitled Visual Capitalist; 2015-08-11.

Navigating the New Digital Divide | Deloitte Digital

Kasey Lobaugh, Jeff Simpson; Navigating the New Digital Divide; a whitepaper; Deloitte Digital (Deloitte & Touche); 2015-05; 22 pages (landscape); landing.
Teaser: Capitalizing on digital influence in retail.

tl;dr => up-and-to-the-right; lots of listicles & best practices; it’s all contingent on category; it’s all good.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What we learned
  • Drilling down
  • Simply measuring channel sales misses the larger trend
  • Consumers use digital very differently by category
  • In-store shopping has digital at its core
  • How can retailers evolve?
  • Measure for measure
  • Analysis methodology
  • Related materials
  • Contact us


  • Retail in 2014 was $4T.
    • 6.5% online
    • 93.5% offline
  • Thesis claims
    • online (digital) is not a separable “channel”
    • omnichannel (messaging & measurement) is not the answer.
    • the answer is…
      • holistic consumer lifesycle management
      • SEO
      • Social
  • Definitions
    • Digital Influence Factor => percentage of in-store sales “influenced” by any online device or activity
    • Mobile Influence Factor => percentage of in-store sales “influenced” by a mobile device (i.e. a handset-phone.)
  • Definitions
    • Low-Frequency Shopper => fewer than three trips within a quarter (three months).
    • [Normative] Shopper => 4, 5 or 6 trips within a quarter.
    • High-Frequency Shopper => more than seven trips within a quarter.
  • Advice is given
    How Can Retailers Evolve?
  • Methodology
    • Survey, self-attestation
    • N=3,016
    • adults, US
    • responses reweighted by census demographics
    • 2014-11-21 -> 2014-11-26
    • 2015-01-13 -> 2015-01-20
    • p=0.9



  1. Simply measuring channel sales misses the larger trend
  2. Consumers use digital very differently by category
  3. In-store shopping has digital as its core


of the consumer in the product purchase & use  lifesycle.

  1. Find inspiration
  2. Browse and Research
  3. Select and Validate
  4. Purchase and Pay
  5. Return and Service


  • [Consumers] Following their own paths
  • Getting Personal [with messaging to consumers]
  • Buying Online, Picking Up In-Store (BOPUS)



Via: backfill

Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

, , , , (Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project); Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms; In Their Blog; 2015-01-09; landing, questionaire.

Via: backfill


Universe of Social Media

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Not Mentioned
  • Google+
  • Google (Mail?)
  • Tumblr
  • Yahoo (Mail?)


Site Adult Internet Users Adult Population
Facebook 71% 58%
Twitter 23% 19%
Instagram 26% 21%
Pinterest 28% 22%
LinkedIn 28% 23%


  • omnibus surveys
  • Nicole Ellison, Cliff Lampe, School of Information, University of Michigan.
  • telephone interviews
    • English & Spanish
    • wireline, N=1,002
    • wireless, N=1,001
  • Princeton Survey Research Associates International
  • 2014-09-11 -> 2014-09-14.
  • Confidences
    • 95% confidence
    • Total Population, N=2,002
      • ± 2.5%
    • Internet Users, N=1,597
      • ±2.9%


Social media users among all adultsFrequency of social media site use

Facebook users

Instagram users

Among online adults, the percent who use Pinterest

Twitter users


Percent of online adults who use the following social media websites
Percent of online adults who use the following social media websites
% of online adults who use the following social media websites, by year
Among all American adults ages 18+, the percent who use the following social media sites
Frequency of social media site use
More people use multiple social media sites
Percent of users of each particular site who use another particular site
Among online adults, the percent who use Pinterest
Among online adults, the percent who use LinkedIn
Twitter users
Instagram users
More people use multiple social media sites
Facebook users

Sheryl Connelly, Ford Motor Company

Formal: Title: Manager of Global Trends and Futuring, Ford Motor Company
Significant press cycle 2012-2013; SEO
Also noted herein.

Sheryl Connelly (Ford Motor Company); 10 Trends That Could Change World; adtechevents; On YouTube; 2013-11-13; 46:52 (Sheryl starts at 8:00).


  • Trends vs Fads
  • Parable of blue jeans as lower class clothes vs high fashion
    contra the styles of blue jeans that we see today (colors, acid washed)
  • Future Studies
    • A degree program in TX
    • A degree program in HI

In the Q&A

  • Scenarios
  • Generational Cohorts
  • Method
    • STEEP Categories
    • Generational Cohorts
    • Trends (vs Fads)
  • Method of research:
    • Read a lot
    • Start with syndicated studies if you don’t know the area
    • Pattern recognition in speculative pieces implies “a there there.”
    • Come up with a point of view, look for evidence.

Forcing & Shaping Categories


  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Political
  • Social
  • Technological

The Trends

  1. Population Trends towards 10 Billion humans
  2. Something
  3. Aging Population
  4. Dependency Ratio (a derivative of aging)
    • BRICs
    • China old
    • India very young
  5. Something
  6. Urbanization
  7. Global Talent Shortage
    • inequality
  8. Recession for Men, Future for Female
    • Jobs lost in 2008 were “men’s jobs” (construction, finance)
    • Jobs staying or increasing were “women’s work” (health care, etc.)
  9. Information addiction
    • Low trust in government, media, etc.
    • Time poverty
    • Status
      • ostentatious displays of wealth aren’t revered any more
      • In the Know
      • Not the smartest, but In the Loop
    • Physiological
    • Information Overload, analysis paralysis, paradox of choice
  10. Something

Sheryl Connelly; Confessions of a Futurist; TEDxRVA 2013; 2013-07-19; 18:33

  • Futurism reports in to Strategy reports into Marketing.
  • The career path is through Art, Graphics Arts, Design; or maybe Business-MBA & Law.
  • Despite the degrees
    • You don’t need a degree in anything special, just the “critical thinking”
    • Marketing will hire anyone.
  • Something about a midlife crisis at 34, from the births and a child’s death.

Why Ford’s Sheryl Connelly Has Nearly Everyone’s Dream Job; Dale Buss; In Forbes; 2012-04-16.


  • Faith Popcorn, Megatrends

Via: backfill

The Economics of Advertising and Privacy | Catherine Tucker

Catherine Tucker (MIT); The Economics of Advertising and Privacy; In Something (draft preprint submitted to Elsevier), 2011-11-19, 10 pages.


One of the new realities of advertising is that personal information can be used to ensure that advertising is only shown and designed for a select group of consumers who stand to gain most from this information. However, to gather the data used for targeting requires some degree of privacy intrusion by advertisers. This sets up a tradeoff between the informativeness of advertising and the degree of privacy intrusion. This paper summarizes recent empirical research that illuminates this tradeoff.


  1. Introduction
  2. Does consumers’ distaste for ‘intrusiveness’ matter empirically?
  3. How can and do firms respond?
  4. Future Directions
  5. References


  • Harms are asserted
    1. price discrimination [Acquisti, Varian 2005][Fudenburg, Villas-Boas, 2006]
    2. annoyance, especially from retargeting [Turow 2009]
    3. privacy regulation entrenches monopolies [Campbell, Goldfarb, Tucker 2009][Evans 2009]
  • <quote>For example, in the diapers example it is unlikely that there would be a direct effect on the price paid by the mother as a result of the exposure to the ad, since diapers are largely bought offline and manufacturers are not easily able to match a cookie on a computer to a real-life offline customer.</quote>
  • “Results” marshalled as “evidence”
    • theoretical results via reasoning (clausal, syllogistic, etc.)
    • theoretical results via simulation
    • experiments in lab settings
    • interviews, self-attestation
    • something about a large database of actual campaigns <quote>data from a randomized field experiment conducted by a US-based non-profit organization (NPO) to optimize its advertising campaigns on Facebook. <snip/> to raise awareness of its work improving education for women in East Africa</quote>
  • Industry responses
    • more accurate retargeting
    • content targeting contra (personalized) retargeting
    • more obtrusiveness; e.g. self-start video, audio, floaters, roadblocks, interstitials
  • Claims
    • retargeting campaigns are less effective than unpersonalized campaigning (because of reactance, etc.)
    • no tradeoff between personalization and ad effectiveness; softened: not necessarily a tradeoff between … citing EU cookie & privacy laws as paradigm.
    • European cookie & data laws imply 65% reduction in the influence banner ads have on purchase intent relative to non-EU web sites promoting the same [Goldfarb, Tucker, 2011]


  • more research
  • stop retargeting;
    • else stop retargeting but retain the benefits of retargeting
    • else mitigate reactance (by various techniques)
    • else give the appearance of control over personal data
  • regulation, government regulation; data use restriction
  • self-regulation via privacy policy specifications
  • not only online, but QR codes in print, and addressable TV & Radio (e.g. Sirius, TiVo, Generic DVR) are in scope of regulation too


  • Coasian solution of Posner
  • disutility [expressed as ...]
  • information theory
    • asymmetric information
  • reactance
  • signalling [theory]
  • social advertising


  • Coasian solution of Posner => intellectual property law; vest “ownership rights” in data about that owner.
  • Reactance => <quote>‘Reactance’ describes a process where consumers resist something they find coercive by behaving in the opposite way to the one intended, which is in this case not finding the ad appealing </quote> . [White, Zahay, Thorbjornsen, Shavitt 2008][Boehm 1966][Clee, Wicklund 1980][Brehm 1989][Lohr 2010].


  • A. Acquisti, S. Spiekermann (2011, May). Do Interruptions Pay off? Effects of Interruptive Ads on Consumers’ Willingness to Pay. Journal of Interactive Marketing.
  • A. Acquisti, H. R. Varian (Summer 2005). Conditioning prices on purchase history. Marketing Science 24 (3), 367–381.
  • B. Anand, R. Shachar (2009, September). Targeted advertising as a signal. Quantitative Marketing and Economics 7 (3), 237–266.
  • A. R. Beresford, D. Kuebler, S. Preibusch (2010, June). Unwillingness to pay for privacy: A field experiment. IZA Discussion Papers 5017, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • J. W. Brehm (1966). A theory of psychological reactance. Academic Press, New York.
  • J. W. Brehm (1989). Psychological reactance: Theory and applications. Advances in Consumer Research 16, 72–75. eds. Thomas K. Srull, Provo, UT.
  • G. R. Butters (1977). Equilibrium distributions of sales and advertising prices. The Review of Economic Studies 44 (3), 465–491.
  • J. D. Campbell, A. Goldfarb, C. Tucker (2010). Privacy Regulation and Market Structure. SSRN eLibrary.
  • E. Chamberlin  (1933). The Theory of Monopolistic Competition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • M. A. Clee, R. A. Wicklund (1980). Consumer behavior and psychological reactance. The Journal of Consumer Research 6 (4), pp. 389–405.
  • M. Culnan, P. Armstrong (1999, Jan-Feb). Information privacy concerns, procedural fairness, and interpersonal trust: An empirical investigation. Organization Science 10 (1), 104–115.
  • D. S. Evans (2009). The online advertising industry: Economics, evolution, and privacy. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 23 (3), 37–60.
  • D. Fudenburg, J. M. Villas-Boas (2006). Volume 1: Handbooks in Information Systems, Chapter 7: Behavior Based Price Discrimination and Customer Recognition, pp. 377–435. Emerald Group Publishing.
  • M. Fusilier, W. Hoyer (1980). Variables affecting perceptions of invasion of privacy in a personnel selection situation. Journal of Applied Psychology 65 (5), 623–626.
  • A. Goldfarb, C. Tucker (2011a, May). Online display advertising: Targeting and obtrusiveness.
  • A. Goldfarb, C. Tucker (2011b). Search engine advertising: Channel substitution when pricing ads to context. Management Science 57 (3), 458–470.
  • A. Goldfarb, C. E. Tucker (2011c). Privacy regulation and online advertising. Management Science 57 (1), 57–71.
  • B. Hermalin, M. Katz (2006, September). Privacy, property rights and efficiency: The economics of privacy as secrecy. Quantitative Marketing and Economics 4 (3), 209–239.
  • K. Hui, I. Png (2006). Economics and Information Systems, Handbooks in Information Systems, vol. 1, Chapter 9: The Economics of Privacy. Elsevier.
  • J. Johnson (2009). Targeted advertising and advertising avoidance. Mimeo, Cornell
  • R. E. Kihlstrom, M. H. Riordan (1984, June). Advertising as a signal. Journal of Political Economy 92 (3), 427–50.
  • A. Lambrecht, C. Tucker (2011). When does retargeting work? Timing information specificity. MSI Working Paper 11-105 .
  • S. Lohr (2010, April 30). Privacy concerns limit online ads, study says. New York Times.
  • N. K. Malhotra, S. S. Kim, J. Agarwal (2004). Internet users’ information privacy concerns (IUIPC): The construct, the scale, and a causal model. Information Systems Research 15 (4), 336–355.
  • R. A. Posner (1980). The economics of privacy. Technical report.
  • A. Sherman (2011, October 31). Cable TV tries to catch up with interactive ads. San Francisco Chronicle.
  • S. E. Taylor (1979). Hospital patient behavior: Reactance, helplessness, or control?
    Journal of Social Issues 35 (1), 156–184.
  • C. Tucker (2011a). Social Advertising. Mimeo, MIT .
  • C. Tucker (2011b). Social Networks, Personalized Advertising, and Privacy Controls. Mimeo, MIT .
  • J. Turow, J. King, C. J. Hoofnagle, A. Bleakley, M. Hennessy (2009). Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and Three Activities that Enable It. Mimeo, Berkeley.
  • T. White, D. Zahay, H. Thorbjornsen, S. Shavitt (2008, March). Getting too personal: Reactance to highly personalized email solicitations. Marketing Letters 19 (1), 39–50.

Via: backfill

Diffusion of Innovations | Everett M. Rogers

Everett M. Rogers; Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition Paperback; Free Press; 5th Edition; 2003-08-16; 576 pages; kindle: $25, paper: $13+SHT; earlier editions kindle: $24, paper: $0.01+SHT.

Table of Contents

  1. Elements of diffusion.
  2. A history of diffusion research.
  3. The generation of innovations.
  4. The Innovation-decision process.
  5. Attributes of innovations.
  6. Innovativeness and adapter categories.
  7. Diffusion networks.
  8. The change agent.
  9. Innovation in organizations.
  10. Consequences of innovations.


Individual Decision Life Cycle Model

  1. Knowledge
    … of the innovation.
  2. Persuasion
    i.e. forming a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward it.
  3. Decision
    to accept or reject.
  4. Implementation
    … of the innovation.
  5. Confirmation
    i.e. seeking reinforcement of the decision from others.

Mass Adoption Life Cycle Model

  1. innovators,
  2. early adopters,
  3. early majority,
  4. late majority,
  5. laggards.


Via: backfill

Growth Hacking

So, um, what is it?  Sounds buzzy.


  • Definitions:
    • Demand generation marketing.
    • Ad copy writing.
    • Ad campaigning.
    • Buzz generation.
    • Affiliate marketing.
  • Exemplars
    • How to get users.
    • How to write a perfect Craigslist posting.
    • How to post on Airbnb.
    • How to use unique email & domain names to track email campaigns.
    • How to use 1×1 transparent gif media to track & retarget users.
  • It’s cool to be “a startup” and to be “a hacker,” and “sustainable” is neato as well;
    here the marketers adopt the mantle to ply the craft.
  • This is one of those slippery concepts of subtle suchness that only the most refined thinkers (the originators) can define it, utter its premises in correct & true form.


(alphabetical order)

To wit:


Promotions & Popularlizations

(archaeological order)

  • Brad Nickel; Does Growth Hacking Require Cheating?; In ClickBrain; 2013-06-28.

    • Attributes of Growth Hacking
      • is a movement
      • is like marketing, but
        • different
        • better
        • modern
    • Aaron Ginn
      • is the guruproponent
      • he sells seminars against the concept.
    • <quote>growth hacker (noun) – one who’s passion and focus is pushing a metric through use of a testable and scalable methodology. – Aaron Ginn</quote>
    • <quote>growth hacker (noun) – one who’s passion and focus is pushing a metric through use of a testable and scalable methodology. – Aaron Ginn
      Growth hacking appeared as the modern way in the age of Web 2.0 to reach a market and distribute an idea. Instead of classic marketing which typically interrupts your day, a growth hacker uses “pull”; he or she understands user behavior provides value immediately to persuade. A growth hacker wraps messaging into the fabric of the lives and thoughts of users. A growth hacker will leverage across disciplines, pulling in insights from behavioral economics and gamification, to find the right message to pull in users.</quote>
  • Gagan Biyani; Explained: The actual difference between growth hacking and marketing; In The Next Web (TNW); 2013-05-05.

    • Viral Acquisition
    • Paid Acquisition
    • (paid, owned, earned)
    • Call Centers
    • Sales Teams
    • Content Marketing
    • E-Mail Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • A/B Testing
    • Analytics
  • Sean Ellis (Qualaroo); Are Marketers Now Required to be Engineers Too?; In Startup Marketing; 2013-01-11.
  • Sean Ellis (Qualaroo); The Risks of Growth Hacking and How to Build Authentic Sustainable Growth; In Startup Marketing; 2012-10-05.
    Mentions: References Chen’s 2012-04 blog post; reacquires the concept as “his”
  • Sean Ellis (Startup Marketing); Stacking the Odds for Authentic Growth; at Startup Marketing; 2012-10-03; 17 slides embedded.
  • Andrew Chen; Growth Hacker is the New VP Of Marketing; In His Blog; 2012-04-27.

    • References Ellis’ 2010 Startup Marketing piece as paradigmatic & definitional.
  • Sean Ellis (Qualaroo); Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup; In Startup Marketing; 2010-07-26.

Internet Trends 2013 | Mary Meeker, Liang Wu @ KPCB

Mary  Meeker, Liang Wu (KPCB); Internet Trends 2013; At D11 Conference; 2013-06-29; 117 slides.


  • Gee Whiz!
  • Tempest & Teapot
    • Ms. Meeker was once an “analyst” producing “analyzed true facts” for a bank-brokerage in service of promoting the industry sector at large as a place to do the M&A.
    • Now she is at a venture firm and (by definition) she’s talking their book.
    • Intuition, insight and viewpoint have replaced components of the previous work product.


Perception becomes reality: Is the Volt an electric car?

One learns so very much about marketing complex technical products in the three month sales cycle of a Volt … What got answered in the research/sales process and what didn’t and what got met with silence. There’s a few Bob Lutz quotes rattling around the trade and enthusiast press which are super-duper instructive here, but they’ll only make sense once one has taken delivery.

I’ve had the following conversation like about five or six times so far in the journey:

I got a Volt.
Really, it’s electric, right?
[as in: but, um you always ever owned V-8 vehicks right?]
Uh, yeah, it’s mostly electric.
[as in: keep it short, it's a social situation]
What’s the range?
About 35 miles.
That’s pretty risky isn’t it? I mean, what do you do when you’re out of juice?
There’s a gas engine, you just drive it. I did that last week.
Really? I’ve never heard of this.
it varies a bit after that.
Oh, so it’s not like a Leaf then?
Yup. The gas engine takes over. In fact, I don’t bother to charge at work. Too pesky with all the pure battery folk in a panic to get home.
Is that what they call a hybrid?
blah blah blah series-parallel hybrid blah blah blah lead with the battery, follow with the engine to make up average power but not till ~70 mph blah blah blah
[the laugh here is that last bit is right out of the GM media campaign 2010, it's good patter]
Interesting, what’s the 0-60?
it’s pretty much straight home after that.

There’s this rule of thumb in marketing somehow that one must recite simple messages over and over and over. Everyone knows this but then you learn it again and again in the trade. And then once again because you get so steeped in the process that you can’t begin to see the concerns of the prospects who aren’t really listening to you anyway.

Short Messages:

  • The Volt is just a car, drive it like one.
  • It’s not a toy. Use it as you would a family car.
  • You buy this car and you buy freedom. Enjoy that.

I got endorsed by the focus group: “Dad, this car is way cool. I want it.” age 14.5

[I now have a problem when that focus group element hits 15.5. Kids these days love their computers and this machine is way full 'o computers. Maybe the ELR will get built and I can trade up.]

The “range anxiety” concept is accurate, precise and honest. But it’s a fancy enough term that it reminds me that it’s a problem I didn’t have before, so entering into a situation that buys that problem, owns it and solves that problem is a wash. And bathing is … um, um, cough, a good idea. But it must offer some other benefit. Faster, cheaper, bigger, rougher are a thing, and in that, you can’t beat coolness.

The charging cord is not really a demonstrable symbol of freedom.  The leash aspect has to be argued away somehow.  As in “if you don’t want it, don’t use it.”  They have some of this simplicity in the brand campaigns, but it’s totally overdriven by blaring angry self-righteous EV culture.

The success recipe here has to be:

  • hide the sanctimony
  • hide the save-the-planet stuff
  • hide the entitlement
  • hide the tech policy stuff
  • hide the job subsidy stuff
  • hide the accounting cost basis stuff
  • hide the acronyms unless they’re in the frat, know the secret handshake and are a serious serious policy wonk.

To wit: AC AEV AEV-100 AEV-300 ANL BEV BSC CAFCP CAISO CARB CDFA CEC CHAdeMO CMAQ CPUC CVRP DC DGS DMV DOE DRIVE EERE EPIC EREV ETP EV EVSE FCEV GEELA GOBIZ HCD HEV HOV HVIP ICE I-HIB L1 L2 L3 LCFS LG LMC LMP MAP-21 NAIS NEMA NEV NGO NREL NRG OPR PACE PEV PEVC PHEV PV SAE SAE-J1772 SAE-J2929 SGC SOC TCO V2G VA VMVSS WGB WOT ZEV. I read all this stuff just to figure out if I could own this vehicle, they’re all real places, orgs, standards, programs or concepts. Most of ‘em are irrelevant. A few matter. The ones that matter aren’t colocated & separated from the irrelevant ones. Everyone is a policy wonk and an expert in their own affairs so all this stuff gets interwoven in arbitrary ways. Such is the magic of social proof.

I still have worries & questions. But most aren’t directly related to owning & operating the voltec technology in a “daily driver” vehicle, not really.  The car “just works”  It’s the stuff around it that’s pesky: the smartphone apps don’t work, for-pay nav is expensive & confusing, for-pay radio is expensive, confusing and wow is it expensive on any cost basis you choose to measure, and getting into the fine world of residential L2 charging is a longer process than one might imagine, etc.

Marketing the Chevrolet Volt

There is only one real marketing idea for these vehicles at this stage:

  • I can have one and you can’t.
  • I can experience things that you can’t.
  • I can go places that you can’t.
  • I have freedom and you are tied down.


The usual “benies” fall under a “you’re selling sanctimony” conceptualization of the product:

  • Green => overall environment, progressive politics, act locally think globally.
  • Cost => low cost, budget-constrained.
  • Savings => tco opex savings, fuel savings, energy savings.
  • Efficiency => doing more for less, using less, needing less.
  • Reliability => nobody expects cars to fail, but three, five or seven “nines” of reliability?

You can’t talk about any of this stuff at a cocktail party, or the water cooler, not for very long anyway. To achieve these ends: don’t drive, drive less, drive a small car, carpool, take public transit, walk, let your fingers do the walking (make a phone call).  Oh, and eat vegan, bathe less, flush less and attend more church; and stay off the sauce; and stop beating your wife.  Else buy a small car they make in the millions of units over production runs spanning decades.


  • Jim Holder; Electric tech on small cars “nonsensical”; In Autocar; 2013-01-15.
    • Bob Lutz
      • The outburst is oriented at promoting Via Motors; it’s wise marketing.
      • Genre: “my last baby was ugly, but my next one is going to be beautiful”
      • His product doesn’t exist yet; it’s a Chevy Silverado HD aftermarket conversion with 402bhp 4.3-litre V6 + Li battery for 40 miles priced at 2x the original Silverado (“like a Volt but in a truck shape” unclear how much GM/Volt tech he was able to license).  Disassembling this product isn’t the point here.
    • Quotes
      • “Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course, and we shouldn’t forget that the Volt and sister car Opel Ampera are the world’s best-selling electric car, but the truth is that even then it’s not meeting sales expectations, and that’s because most customers don’t want to pay out a major expense for the technology to make minor savings.”
      • “Frankly, unless that customer is philosophically, religiously or economically affiliated to buying an electric vehicle, then they can’t be convinced. The first two types of buyer will buy whatever’s built, but the latter is a harder case. The obvious answer is to electrify as big a vehicle as you can, because that’s where the fuel and running cost savings make the most sense.”
      • “If I had my time again at GM then I would have started with the Cadillac Escalade for the range-extender technology, and brought the Volt in later. The more gas-guzzling the vehicle, the more economic sense of electrifying it. Car companies need to get their minds on that: electrifying an Opel Corsa that uses virtually no fuel anyway and then lumping a huge premium on it to cover the battery costs is nonsensical. Why bother? It uses virtually no fuel anyway.”
    • And there is a really cool (hpotoshopped) product image in the articleElectric tech on small cars "nonsensical"
    • Requoted
  • Staff; Why The Chevy Volt Is Attracting Wealthy Buyers; In AOL Autos; 2011-10-04.
    Teaser: The average household income for owners of the extended-range hybrid is $175,000

    • The article is built around a presser & press relations quotes & totes from GM
      • the average income of Volt buyers is $175,000 a year.
      • 20% of Volt buyers are owners of luxury cars
      • 20% coming out of Toyota Prius.
    • Bill Visnic, senior editor for
      • “The Volt appeals to an affluent, progressive demographic, It’s rare. It’s hard to get one.”
      • “It’s the same reason that people buy the really rare exotic cars: Because other people can’t have one.”
      • He seems to appear in the article purely for the appearance of balance.
    • Rob Peterson, communications director for GM
      • (his words, paraphrased inline in the article) “About 20% of people who buy a Volt trade in a luxury car, and another 20% trade in a Prius. The people purchasing Volts now are early adopters, who are comfortable taking risks.”
      • (quoted with attribution in the article) “They tend to have a higher income level as well. It’s more of a lifestyle of taking risks and trying to be first that got them into that upper echelon in the first place.”
      • “The Volt has comparative drive train dynamic to some luxury vehicles.”
    • Jim O’Donnell, BMW of North America President
      • Quoted from 2010-08, a quotes & totes with AOL Autos.
      • He seems to appear in the article purely for the appearance of balance.
      • “We are very impressed with the Volt … it’s surprising that they didn’t make it a Cadillac instead of a Chevy.”
    • And there is a really cool product image in the article
    • Editorial license
      • The AOL editors chose to add “whopping” in front of $175,000.
      • “That the Volt is attracting the fat-wallet brigade is not all together surprising.”
      • “No wonder the wealthy are buying them.”
    • See also notes Informal Polls of Volt Owner Demographics

Egocentric Categorization and Product Judgment: Seeing Your Traits in What You Own (and Their Opposite in What You Don’t) | Liad Weiss, Gita V. Johar

Liad Weiss and Gita V. Johar; Egocentric Categorization and Product Judgment: Seeing Your Traits in What You Own (and Their Opposite in What You Don’t); In Journal of Consumer Research; 2013? (ahead of print); pp. 1543-1559; The University of Chicago Press; URL



(the authors)


Previous research finds that consumers classify in-group (but not out-group) members as integral to their social-self. The present research is the first to propose and find that consumers also classify owned (but not unowned) objects as integral to their personal-self (Experiment 1). Consequently, consumers judge product traits (e.g., masculinity) as consistent with their own traits (assimilation) if they own the product, but as inconsistent with their own traits (contrast) if they interact with the product but do not own it, even when owning the  product is non-diagnostic of its properties (e.g., following random ownership assignment; Experiments  2-4). For example, less creative consumers who enter a drawing for an iPhone may judge it as less creative (assimilation) if they win the product, but as more creative (contrast) if they do not win the product. Individual and situational moderators of these effects are identified, and their  theoretical and substantive implications are discussed.


Informal Polls of Volt Owner Demographics | age & income distribution

Average Age of Volt Owner; In GM Volt Forum; 2012-09-28.
Results & commentary:

  • N=121
  • Duplicate poll
  • Seems like different people are answering this one than the previous one
  • Notable self-identification statements (quotes)
    • “I am 27″
    • Bought mine when I was 29, 31 now.”
    • “We own two Volts: my wife is 58, I an 57.”
    • “I’m 24, and I consider myself an elite — usually people my age don’t earn enough money to want to spend the kind of money a Volt costs.” [cite; Again a trust funder or drug dealer?  Age 24 is just out of college, but mere 2-year "new college grad" income history.  A low-end lessee?]
      Range Percent Count
      0-21 1.65% 2
      21-29 7.44% 9
      30-39 22.31% 27
      40-49 24.79% 30
      50-59 26.45% 32
      60+ 17.36% 21

If You Own a VOLT what is Your Age?; In GM Volt Forum; 2012-09-28.
Results & commentary:

  • N=450
  • GM Volt readers willing to respond (obviously).
  • Points made, claims asserted, insights imputed into the results (of course they are insulting, it’s an open thread on an enthusiast forum; permalink citations omitted)
    • Young people live in apartments; have lower salaries; do not have secure access to plugs.
    • Is flat across the monied 30-60 demo buckets.
    • People 40-50 are too busy to bother with polls.
    • People over 60 avoid computers or don’t know computers enough to read GM Volt or do the poll.
    • People in their 60′s who avoid computers will also avoid buying a Volt, for that very reason.
  • Notable self-identification statements (quotes)
    • “Canadian Volt owner of 63″
    • “We (56-60) are the “moonshot” generation. A lot of groundwork for today’s technology came from NASA and the space race. It drove me to be an Engineer. The engineering in the Volt drove me to own one.”
    • “I’m a 34 yr old male conservative catholic voting for Romney/Ryan and I fully intend on the Volt being my next vehicle (hopefully very soon)!”
    • “I’m also in that group that you were talking about (59).”
    • “I’m a 72-year-old guy who loves the technology of my 2013 Volt. I’m one old-fart who isn’t afraid of computers!”
    • “I’m 31. Nothing to do with politics. I’m not even registered to vote. I’m just sick of spending $400/month on fuel and sitting in traffic while people in the carpool lane fly by me.”
    • “Another conservative Catholic and Romney/Ryan suporter here. I am 71, my wife is 65.”
    • “I’ve been in the computer/networking field for 15 years now (I’m 33).”
    • “My wife and I are both 60.”
    • “I’m 25 but driving my Volt you’d guess I was 80.”
    • “Baltimore Volt owner – 17. Purchased it myself” [cite, I don't believe it; He's either a trust funder or a drug dealer.  Where is a kid of 17 going to get $50K for a vanity car?  And why not get a chic magnet Camaro or a 'vette?  Pics or it didn't happen]
    • “I was 30 when I purchased it and now I’m 31″
  • Beyond 60 is “last car they’ll ever own” crew (Crown Vic’, Impala, etc.).
    Head Result Count
    15-20 0.42% 2
    21-25 1.67% 8
    26-30 7.10% 34
    31-35 13.36% 64
    36-40 13.15% 63
    41-45 12.94% 62
    46-50 13.99% 67
    51-55 12.32% 59
    56-60 11.90% 57
    61-65 6.89% 33
    66-70 4.18% 20
    71-75 1.04% 5
    76-80 0.84% 4
    81-85 0% 0
    86-99 1% 1

Volt buyers make $175k plus a year? And don’t need the tax credit?; In GM Volt Forum; In GM Volt Forum; 2011-12-02.
Result & commentary:

  • N=407
  • Poll defined in response to some guy, Congressman Kelly PA (who?) bitching about the “rich” Volt owners; something about the average annual income of a Volt buyer is $175,000 and they don’t need a tax credit.  Source uncited
    • “Isn’t this Kelly guy the same Chevrolet car dealer who fired an employee for trying to see a Volt?” cite
    • The backstory seems to be around this
    • They closed his dealership, he’s vocal and in Congress.
  • The thread devolves into R-vs-D politics in the contemporary national mode: Fox Business, their own twisted logic, the Republicans, middle class, the top 1%, job creator, small business owner, etc.
  • Statistically improbable phrases: robust estimator, outlier, gaussian, normal, median, average.
  • Some allegation that it’s well known that Suburban purchasers have higher income than Escalade purchasers.  No citation. That’s one take on the folklore: Suburban is for understated utility beyond the minivan, the Escalade is for urban flaunting showoffs.
    Income Percent Count
    $0k-$50k 10.81% 44
    $50k-$70k 12.04% 49
    $70k-$90k 16.46% 67
    $90k-$110k 15.48% 63
    $110k-$130k 11.30% 46
    $130k-$150k 8.11% 33
    $150k-$170k 6.63% 27
    $170k-infinity 19.16% 78

“We Know Who You Are and We Know Where You Live”: The Instrumental Rationality of Geodemographic Systems | Economic Geography | Jon Gross

Jon Gross; “We Know Who You Are and We Know Where You Live”: The Instrumental Rationality of Geodemographic Systems; In Economic Geography; Vol. 71, No. 2; 1995-04; pages 171-198 (29 pages).

Jon Gross
Department of Geography
University of Hawai’i
Honolulu, HI 96822
(circa 1995)


This paper provides a critique of geodemographic systems, sophisticated marketing tools that combine massive electronic data bases on consumer characteristics and behavior, segmentation schemes and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Responsible for a “revolution” in marketing research, geodemographics represents a strategy to exercise rational knowledge-power over everyday life.  This critique examines the strategic implications of each component of geodemographics, including electronic surveillance and the erosion of privacy; GIS, spatial inference, and the representation of social space; and segmentation and construction of consumer identity.  The paper concludes with remarks about the role of the consumer in geodemographics and the potential for tactical resistance to this strategy.

Key words: marketing, surveillance, privacy, segmentation, GIS, consumer identity.


J.D. Gross; “Marketing the new marketing: The strategic discourse of Geodemographic Information Systems”; In J. Pickles (editor), Ground Truth: The social implications of geographic information systems; Guilford Press, New York; 1994-12-07; 248 pages; kindle $20.


M.F. Goodchild; “GIS and geographic research”  In J. Pickles (editor), Ground Truth: The social implications of geographic information systems; 1994; pages 31-50.

Michael F. Goodchild; Commentary: GIScience ten years after Ground Truth; 2004, est.; 12 pages; standalone or perhaps an intro to a larger work


Data Brokers, Aggregators, Products

  • Donnelly Marketing Information Services (DMIS)
  • American Demographics, a magazine
  • Claritas, Inc.
  • National Planning Data Corporation (NPDC)
  • United States Postal Service, Zone Improvement Plan (USPS ZIP)
  • Potential Rating Index for Zip Markets (PRIZM)
  • Compass, Claritas
  • Precision Marketing, Claritas/NPDC
  • Equifax Infomark is a GIS
  • Equifax MicroVision segmentation (targeting)
  • National Data Systems, owned by Equifax
  • Dataman Information Systems, Inc.
  • Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
  • Footwear Market Insights
  • NFO Research Inc.
  • NPD Crest
  • Simmons Market Research Bureau
  • Stanford Research Institute (SRI) Values and Lifestyles System (VALS)
  • Business Geographics, a magazine
  • Strategic Mapping, company and/or a data product
  • Polk, Totalist (“total list”) is a listing of 95% of all U.S. households
  • National Demographics and Lifestyle (NDL), Lifestyle Network is a listing of consumers from point-of-purchase and postpurchase warranty cards
  • National Decision Systems, Equis, is a database
  • Donnelly Marketing Information Service (DMIS), DQI is a database
  • Lotus Marketplace (halted)
  • United States, Bureau of the Census
  • United States Postal Service
  • National Change of Address Masterfile
  • Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Mail Preference Service
  • Electronic Funds Transfers
  • United States Postal Service (USPS), ZIP+4
  • Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER), developed by the United States Census Bureau & Geological Survey for the 1990 census; generates thematic maps of census data
  • Mapping Science Committee of the National Research Council (NRC)
  • National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), a proposal by the NRC
  • Pinpoint Ltd. Britain with the (UK) General Post Office
  • Simmons Market Research
  • National Family Opinion Research
  • Gallup, an opinion poll consultancy
  • TRW Information file

Privacy & Consumer Advocates

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Computer Professionals for Social Responsibilities
  • Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
  • Stop Junk Mail Association
  • Privacy International
  • Louis Harris & Associates, a polling consultancy
  • Gallup, a polling consultancy
  • InfoScan
  • A.C. Nielsen
  • Arbitron
  • Mediamark Research Inc.


  • Privacy Act
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act
  • Right to Financial Privacy Act
  • Cable Communications Act
  • Video Privacy Protection Act

Segmentation & Data Products

  • NDL Focus
  • ZIP+4
  • PRIZM (Potential Rating Index for Zip Markets) from Claritas
  • PRIZM-The Next Generation
  • ClusterPLUS from Strategic Mapping
  • MicroVision from Equifax NDS
  • Kidsbase from R.L. Polk
  • Totalist from R.L. Polk
  • VALS (Values and Lifestyles System) from Stanford Research Institute (SRI)
  • Information File of TRW (the credit records)
  • GeoVals (GeoVALS)
  • VALS 2+ (Actualizers, Fulfilleds, Achievers, Experiencers, Believers, Strivers, Makers, Strugglers)
  • Panel surveys by InfoScan, A.C. Nielsen, Arbitron, Mediamark Research Inc.
  • Delinquency Alert System by Credit Bureau Inc.

Activism & Resistance

  • A little vague here …
  • Consumers make their own meaning (out of purchases induced by the marketers)
  • Renounciation of subjectivity & abandonment of meaning [Beaudrillard]
  • Diversionary tactics, opportunistic gaming [de Certeau]
    • but this may be illegal
    • but this may be impractical
  • Something about The Situationist: multiple identities, filling out forms with false information, creative acts of deception blah blah blah [that's like a 18 yro's affectation of rage against the machine & the man though isn't it?]


  • Crt => “current resident”


This was a journal article pushed out in 1995 (eighteen years ago) working off of primary concepts in the early ’90s (twenty three years ago).  The paper could have been written in right here 2013.

A lot of the paper is generalized bitching that these systems can be/could be/might be used for some sort of vague unspecified harm, namely “control.”  Generally though the complaint is that they are used for marketing.

Goes with the postmodernist contrarian territory…

  • Foucault, Panoptican
  • Foucault, disciplinary society
  • privileged subject position (Gross, 1994)
  • “Capturing Customers”
  • “Surveillance Society”
  • “The Panoptic Sort”
  • Critical Studies
  • “Information Conglomerates”
  • “segmentation schemes”
  • “infopreneurs” origin Clarke, 1988.
  • “dataveillance” origin Clarke, 1988.
  • “bureaucratic society of controlled consumption” Lefebvre, 1971.
  • “new modes of domination that have yet to be studied” Poster, 1984.
  • “enactment oif knowledge-power over social space” (de Certeau, 1984 & Matles, 1992)
  • Donna Haraway (cyborg)
  • “construct a more efficient reality in a god-like manner”
  • “technical propaganda,” Jacques Ellul
  • Max Weber
  • “you are what you buy” Piirto 1991
  • “science” of synchographics,” Larsen 1992
  • “loss of sense of place”
  • home is a “consumption cottage”, Puttnam 1993
  • reified models of the social sciences
  • Daniel Bell, 1973
  • Baudrillard 1985
  • de Certeau 1984

Conclusion & In Summation

  • “The terrain of social life has been systematically territorialized by capital and state for the purpose of efficient profit and administration, and marketing sciences are able to occupy a position from which to exercise surveillance and control over the field of consumption.”
  • “Geodemographics, for example, is only possible because of the administrative geographics of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the U.S. Postal Service, and various media monopolies, and there is increasing complementarity in function between public and private bureaucracies as the state ventures into the business of government and as commerce seeks to administer the lives of consumer-citizens.”

Sounds really bad.  Maybe things will change in twenty years from 1995 after all this has been brought to light?