Who shows up when New York throws a party? Mobile Analytics in Action

Paul-Tyndall Who shows up when New York throws a party? Mobile Analytics in Action
Paul Tyndall, Vice President, Mobile Analytics, Environics Analytics

Understanding who is attending large gatherings and events presents excellent opportunities for many businesses. If you had deep insights about attendees, you could effectively match sponsors with events, you would know the foods that attendees would want, and you would be able to identify the promotions that would resonate.

The problem has been that there is no great way to collect visitor data at large gatherings and events. They are often too big and unwieldy for intercept surveys to deploy cost-effectively.

To address this gap, we can use big data and technology in the form of mobile location data and analytics. MobileScapes is a tool that opens a range of marketing possibilities by getting at deep insights about event attendees. MobileScapes leverages anonymized, permission-based mobile location data collected from smartphones that are observed within an area of interest. These same data can also be used to estimate the likely home ZIP+4 codes for the holders of those observed devices which in turn allows us to connect other datasets to provide deeper insights on behaviors, media preferences, social values and more.

As an example, let’s use New York’s famous New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. Is the event full of families with kids or overrun by young singles looking to party? Those may be reasonable guesses, but even if they’re correct, what percentage of crowd do they account for?

With so many people pressed into Times Square to watch the annual ball drop, traditional methods can’t adequately answer these questions—but mobile analytics can.

Paul-Tyndall Who shows up when New York throws a party? Mobile Analytics in ActionOnce you geofence the location of the event, you can begin to understand who’s in the crowd. In the spirit of a world-class and diverse celebration, there were visitors from all 50 states in attendance, including visitors from as far away as Honolulu and Fairbanks, AK. After New York City residents, the second largest proportion of visitors came from the Miami / Fort Lauderdale area, followed by residents from Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Paul-Tyndall Who shows up when New York throws a party? Mobile Analytics in ActionBy looking at the distribution of visitors through the lens of PRIZM® Premier, the popular segmentation system developed by Claritas, we get meaningful insights about the New Year’s Eve revelers. For instance, the Midtown Mix social group—which consists of mostly younger, urban renters who tend to be single, university-educated earning midscale incomes in white-collar or service jobs—were overrepresented.

Within this social group, the Connected Bohemians segment had the most significant presence that night, accounting for roughly 10 percent of the total observed attendees. Connected Bohemians represent the nation’s most liberal lifestyles. Its residents are a progressive mix of tech-savvy, young singles, couples, and families ranging from students to professionals who are quick to check out the latest movie, nightclub and microbrew.

Looking at the demographics of the attendees, we find several interesting characteristics. The average household income of the crowd was 31 percent higher than the national average. It’s also worth noting that a large number of attendees were of Puerto Rican, Cuban or Asian origin.

By integrating insights from our SocialValues database, we can understand the psychographic characteristics of the attendees. For example, attendees indexed high for “Attraction to Crowds” and “Sexual Permissiveness.”

In the past, marketers would need to guess who was at the party, but with this information, they can produce quantifiable business cases for their campaigns, optimize them and target their messages. These types of insights could be used to understand how to more effectively promote the event in the future, inform potential sponsors and determine what kinds of activities to include.

That is a lot of data, with the right technology, distilled to the required insights to help grow your business, with just a few clicks – all from one little party.