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Loving the detail you can get for free once you have a client's postcode
2011-04-02: I've just had the most fun I've had in a very long time, analysing a client's customer database.
Actually, most of my experience is in business to business marketing where customer demographics doesn't apply the same way as it does in consumer marketing, but this client's customers have a regional aspect to them, so I wanted to understand that.
First thing was persuading the client to put in the time to give me a download of all the customers' postcodes.
Then it was a simple matter of ordering them in a spreadsheet and working out the frequencies. Bearing in mind a postcode covers just a handful of houses, if we then work out the most popular postcode is, say, (I've changed the data so I'm not giving away my client's info) LN6 0SP, nowadays we can use Google StreetView to pretty much actually see the clients' house. You can all-but see them through their window sat watching telly.
Then, we can look at the income and habits of that client using UpMyStreet which provides a link between postcodes and the ACORN classifications. Collecting those we can work out the most common ACORN classification for our clients.
From there, we can extrapolate people's concerns .. if you live in a council terrace as a single parent you have different concerns to well off managers living in larger houses.
Once you know how to 'speak to' your customers' concerns, you can buy ads on Facebook to reach people by geography, age, sex, marital status, and interests.
Of course, you can follow people on Twitter by geography.
All, besides the Facebook PPC ads, for nothing. We really do live in amazing times.

By John Allsopp
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