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Mediamark Lifestyle Data

Mediamark Research Inc. is a provider of national and local survey data relating to consumer lifestyle and purchasing habits. The Mediamark data is compiled annually using a double base methodology. That is, two years worth of survey data are utilized to create the results that are updated each year.

The Mediamark data are available in both the Cluster Analyzer for use with the PSYTE™ clusters and with the Demographic Analyzer. Each category of lifestyle data may be purchased individually or in bundles.

Lifestyle Categories

• Apparel
• Attitudes
• Automotive
• Automotive Aftermarket
• Cable
• Convenience Foods
• Demographics
• Expendable Income Spending
• Fast Food
• Financial
• Food & Drink
• Health & Fitness
• Home Electronics
• Home Improvements
• Insurance
• Juvenile & Baby
• Lifestyle
• Media - listen
• Media - read
• Media - watch
• Personal Care
• Personal Computing
• Pet Related
• Shopping Habits
• Sports
• Telephony
• Travel
• Video

Mediamark Survey Methodology

Sample Design:
Mediamark conducts an ongoing, comprehensive study of the adult population of the United States. This study, conducted continuously since 1979, surveys the demographics, product usage, and media exposure of all persons aged 18 and over in the contiguous 48 states.

Respondents are selected on a strict area probability basis. A computer list of 80 million plus households is merged with other sources necessary to construct a properly stratified sample. The sample is composed of three sections: a sample of metropolitan areas; non-metropolitan counties; and each of ten major U.S. markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Washington D.C., Cleveland, and Dallas/Ft. Worth. These markets are more heavily sampled to allow MRI to prepare reliable media and marketing estimates on a local market basis.

Sample Selection:
Within each of the three sample sections, a number of household "clusters" is selected. In rural areas, clusters are defined by the random selection of a single household address and consist of that dwelling and the several which follow in geographical sequence. In metro and suburban areas, each specific address is listed. Fieldworkers are instructed to attempt interviews at all households between the initial and final address in the cluster, including any unlisted or newly constructed homes that are in the sample.

One adult per household is selected to participate in the survey. Each listed household is predesignated with the sex of the prospective respondent. If the household does not have any adult member of the predesignated sex, then the available respondent is selected. This is done in such a way that men and women constitute, in effect, separate samples of randomly selected individuals.

The completed Mediamark sample consists of over 25,000 respondents. Each year the sample is completely redrawn, with 10,000 new respondents entering the survey every six months. 2,400 new clusters are selected yearly from a continuously updated master list.

Fieldwork is done in two waves per year, each lasting five months and consisting of approximately 10,000 interviews. Two different methods are used to question the respondent:

  1. First, a personal face-to-face interview is used to collect demographics and data related to media exposure (including magazines, newspapers, radio, television, cable and outdoor).
  2. At the end of the interview, the fieldworker leaves behind a self-completing questionnaire booklet covering personal and household usage of some 500 product categories and services and 6,000 brands.

Fieldwork is conducted by STAHLHEBER, a joint venture of Mediamark and LHK Partners Inc., Newtown Square, PA. Each fieldworker is thoroughly trained in interviewing techniques as well as in methods of gaining access to respondents and establishing rapport.

A wide range of techniques is used to elicit the full cooperation of respondents. Listed households are informed by mail ahead of time that they will be contacted by an interviewer. Up to six separate attempts are made to contact difficult-to-reach respondents. Households presenting language barriers are reassigned to specifically qualified interviewers, as are refusals and other unusual cases.

The personal interview takes, on average, 50 minutes to complete. At its conclusion the questionnaire booklet is presented and a $20 payment is offered as an incentive for its completion. The interviewer then makes an appointment to return at a later date to pick it up.

Sample Weighting and Balancing:
Resulting data is weighted to reflect the probabilities of selection inherent in the sample design and then balanced so that major study demographics match the most recent independent estimates. Weighting and subsequent balancing are accomplished within the male and female portions of the sample. The samples are then balanced on the following sets of population parameters:

  1. Top ten markets
  2. Balance of U.S. by MSA vs. non-MSA within census regions
  3. Age
  4. Household income
  5. Education
  6. Employment status/occupation
  7. Race within region
  8. Marital status
  9. County size
  10. Marketing region
  11. Household size

Each wave of fieldwork is weighted and balanced separately to the population estimates corresponding to the midpoint of the fieldwork for that particular wave. The independent sources of data are the U.S. Bureau of the Census and Marketing Statistics--Survey of Buying Power.

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