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Why PRIZM Customer Segmentation Matters

Published Nov 25, 2020, 06:04 PM by Environics Analytics
More than ever, businesses and organizations must leverage customer segmentation tools to access a complete and actionable picture of Canadians.

Consumer segmentation systems like PRIZM continue to be necessary and effective, especially in our current environment, a period that represents unprecedented change affecting every aspect of our social and economic lives. Through conversation with partners and clients, we see a demonstrable need for organizations to access a reliable and complete picture of Canadians as we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us wonder what has changed and if that change is permanent. How have shopping behaviours and leisure activity changed? Will new habits like cooking at home continue or will people shift back to their old patterns?

Segmentation systems like PRIZM help us understand the extent to which changes in behaviour have taken place for different groups and subsets of the population. Now more than ever, businesses and organizations must leverage these data to understand what the new realities are and what kinds of services, marketing messages and monitoring are required to help us get our economy back on track.

The beauty of PRIZM segmentation

PRIZM classifies Canadian neighbourhoods into 67 lifestyle types at the 6-digit postal code level to offer businesses and organizations a single, comprehensive view of citizens, customers and consumers. It is simple, sophisticated and a valuable asset to data-driven marketers.


10 Benefits of PRIZM segmentation:

  1. Data that everyone can understand. PRIZM segments are illustrated and include nicknames and rich statistical descriptions. Analysts, marketers and executives can easily understand who their custom audiences, preferred customers and best potential prospects are.
  3. 100% privacy compliant. There is no personal information embedded in PRIZM. The data are created from aggregate and anonymized statistics and modelled to a six-digit postal code.
  5. 67 lifestyle types. Every postal code across the country is mapped to one of 67 unique segments, linking demographics, psychographics, shopping behaviour, leisure activity, media preferences and offering a comprehensive view of Canadian neighbourhoods at the postal code level.
  7. No customer data? No problem. Many organizations do not collect or have access to customer data. PRIZM captures behaviour, lifestyle and attitude data from a broad range of reliable sources to help marketers find and reach the right audiences.
  9. Have customer data? Enhance it. For organizations that do have customer data, PRIZM helps to fill the gaps. And often, there are gaps. Understand who your customers are, what they do in their spare time, how to communicate with them and how to reach them (and more of them) effectively.
  11. Understand the customers you don’t have yet. PRIZM provides a profile of every one of the approximately one million postal codes in Canada and helps you benchmark your market coverage. This includes understanding which consumers you don’t have and calculating market share and wallet share.
  13. Connect PRIZM data to other data. We work with many partners to connect disparate databases and big data sources to offer a complete view of customers, consumers and citizens – all at the neighbourhood level. Get a complete picture without having to do all of the data work yourself.
  15. Stop duplicating data. PRIZM leverages data from sources that already exist, including surveys, government sources, financial institutions and reliable partner data. Put your research dollars towards answering business questions and not duplicating data that exists and links to PRIZM.
  17. We live in an era of data-driven decision making. Organizations must use as much data as possible to understand their consumers and citizens and be sure that they’re doing everything they can to reach them effectively.
  19. Sample PRIZM data is available for free on the PRIZM postal code lookup.

Customer segmentation to understand the new normal

PRIZM has always helped analysts and marketers to get the right message, to the right people at the right time in the right channel. And this will continue. It will help us understand the extent to which changes of behaviour have taken place for different groups and different subsets of the population in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, by connecting PRIZM to mobile movement data we can answer questions such as:

  • Who is going back to shop, work and resume leisure activities?
  • Will people who started new shopping, cooking and other habits continue or go back to their old routine?
  • How quickly are various behaviours changing within different segments and in different parts of the country?
  • How to communicate different messages to different parts of the population based on their behaviours, preferences and attitudes?

Through the lens of PRIZM we're going to know what kind of tactics and messages can make a difference for businesses and other organizations as the economy rebounds and we try to return to some level of normalcy or what everyone is starting to call the "new normal".

Pictured below: An assortment of PRIZM Segment Illustrations

PRIZM-33   PRIZM-55   PRIZM Segment 03 Asian Sophisticates   PRIZM Segment 11 Modern Suburbia

PRIZM-47   PRIZM-32   PRIZM Segment 62 Suburban Recliners   PRIZM Segment 46 Patrimoine Rustique

Learn more about demographic data

Learn more about PRIZM segmentation

Learn more about mobile movement data

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