In old direct marketing parlance, marketers asked, “East or west of the Mississippi?” This was how they segmented customers and prospects. Segmentation by demographics is important, but in today’s landscape, marketers have to do much more in terms of understanding their audience than simple geographic segmentation. They need to be sure they’re delivering a relevant message to their audience every time. The Basics Let’s begin with the most straightforward type of segmentation: demographic. Demographic information probably is the most common type of information gathered from your customers, consisting of basic information such as name, address, phone and metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Their address and MSA, of

By Hallie Mummert Hurricane Katrina is easily the largest natural disaster to hit the United States in the last century. With the death toll at 1,200 and counting, an estimated $200 billion in damages, and more than a million people displaced—only the Great Depression can rival this social impact—obviously it will take years for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to recover economically and spiritually. While the focus of business reporting in the days immediately following the storm centered on oil, steel and shipping, other industries suffered losses, too. Meanwhile, the oil business, for one, was able to get back in action rather quickly. That

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