This guide was created by Gary Klein, Willamette University, who graciously agreed to my adapting it for Washington State University.
Nielsen Segmentation & Market Solutions (previously known as Local Market Audience Analyst)
Nielsen Segmentation & Market Solutions (also known as "Nielsen SMS") provides current estimates of consumer oriented information at either a National, State, Metropolitan or County level that can be laid out into an Excel spreadsheet, maps or charts, as you deem relevant for your needs. You can also create your own customized area of geographic concern by pulling together any combination of selected states, metro areas or individual counties.
Please note that Nielsen SMS will NOT run smoothly on smartphones nor tablet devices. You should use either a desktop or laptop computer with a diagonal screen size of at least 11 inches for this database to be fully functional.
Some examples of the types of data that reside inside the Nielsen SMS database include:.
- basic demographic data (sex, age, race, income, education)
- psychographic profiles (people with a thrifty orientation towards minimizing expenditures)
- consumer attitudes (preferences for organic foods VERSUS preference for locally grown foods)
- media exposure (degree to which they watch television by cable VERSUS television watching via satellite service)
- product/service usage (adults who frequently take domestic airline trips, VERSUS adults who frequently take international airline trips)
- personal purchases/consumption (looking for any intersections between people who drink cognac AND households that own a hybrid vehicle)
- lifestyle activities across the USA (adults who went to a stage show or concert at a casino VERSUS adults who stayed at a bed & breakfast)
Using a series of questions that lead you through pre-defined workflows, the Nielsen SMS software guides you in creating customized reports for your unique marketing situations such as:
- uncovering areas of opportunity within a specific geography
- evaluating demographics to estimate the size of market potential
- analyzing existing demand
- creating density reports of a specific consumer characteristic
- comparing locations for their similarities & differences of demographic/lifestyle/attitudes/media patterns.
Examples of some of the consumer patterns that are analyzed by this unique and complex warehouse of several thousand questions about behaviors, mindsets, activities and hobbies, including:
# of adults that have been actively gardening (flowers or vegetables)
# of adults that have used quick service restaurants 10 or more times in the past 30 days
# of adults who bought more than $500 of sports equipment in the past 12 months
# of adults that own a pet, other than a cat or a dog
# of adults that drank any domestic light beer in the past 30 days
# of adults who used a smartphone in the past 30 days to to access movie listings either through an app or through the Internet
The thousands of different questions that are contained within Nielsen SMS actually come from 3 different sources. The database is designed for you to enter a keyword about your concern, and you will be offered a variety of questions to use, based on the exact word you type.
- This query system has some benefits, as well as creating some problems. If you want to glance at one batch of 3,600 questions used by this database, then you need to click here to open up an Excel spreadsheet showing you the full text of each question from one particular source:, what category each question is under, and whether the data is compiled at the Adult level, or at the Household level. Unfortunately, Kantar Media/SRDS/Nielsen does not currently offer a spreadsheet version showing all of the questions covered by this database.