What Does Sequester Mean? The Internet Wants to Know

exelate sequester

On March 1st, the United Stated began sequestration – an automatic 1.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. According to eXelate data, online dictionary searches for the word “sequester” skyrocketed, peaking on March 1 at over fifty times the normal traffic. Unfortunately, the dictionary definition probably left many people confused as well. Under political sequestration, money appropriated by congress that exceeds a cap set in the 2011 Budget Resolution is “sequestered” by the Treasury Department. Perhaps it’s time to add a new definition to the dictionary!

Where Would You Rather Be? A Closer Look at Travel

Geospatial intelligence is critical in the conversion of big data to Smart Data, for insight, context and analysis. As shown in MediaPost, we recently looked at travel preferences for people leaving the lower 48 states by examining over a million records from travel websites, and came across some fascinating spatial patterns. Take a look at the map below showing the most searched destination by county.

eXelate travel mapUS

Interesting patterns emerge instantly. The Caribbean and Hawaii are locked in a death struggle for tropical vacationers, with proximity deciding the victor. Mexico stands out as a hugely popular destination nationwide. Europe is a more frequent destination for those on the East Coast but is also popular nationwide in large urban areas. LA, San Francisco and Seattle all demonstrate that demography can override distance.

If you missed Asia, look closer at large urban centers, such as Houston and San Francisco.

exelate map nyc zip

This cursory look quickly demonstrates how important geospatial intelligence is to understanding your data. By providing context and clarifying motivations, a more nuanced media campaign can be crafted to reach the target audience.

Using the maX Index to find Spring Break Travel Trends

Marketers seeking to understand consumer demographics, interests, intent or branded segments according to user geography are now able to do so with eXelate’s maX Index, our market-level insights on segments that index high or low for any DMA or state. Based on eXelate’s unparalleled reach as well as our premium and syndicated audience segments, we are able to pull data from millions of unique user IDs and billions of transactions to tell if a specific geographic area is more or less likely to search or click.

For April, we pulled the top Spring Break Travel Trends. Some interesting finds:

  • People in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area are 4.27 times more interested in travel to Spain compared to others in the US
  • People in Manhattan are 4.28 times more interested in travel to the Netherlands than others in the US
  • People in Austin, TX are 2.61 times more interested in travel to Germany

Click here to download.

Were you surprised at the places these DMAs are likely to travel to? Read the full story and give your two cents at MediaPost.

March Madness Sees Spike in Travel Intent

March Madness has come and gone, leaving the Kentucky Wildcats the victors of the esteemed college basketball tourney. Kentucky took on the Kansas Jayhawks on April 2 to determine the national title following their defeat of the Louisville Cardinals and Kansas’ defeat of the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Final Four duked it out in New Orleans, so we decided to watch for spikes in travel to Louisiana. Here’s what we found:

Travel from Kentucky and Kansas to Louisiana spiked between March 24 and 30, peaking on the 26th.

We also saw a spike in college basketball-related behavior at the beginning of March as well as the beginning of April:

College basketball interest spikes in the beginning of March and April, then quickly recedes.

Interest recedes through the month of March then picks up again at the beginning of April, right before the championship game. Following the game on April 2, college basketball interest again dipped down.

Are you glad that all the madness of March is over? Or are you enjoying your bracket winnings?

eXelate Index: Spike in iPhone Intenders late August, early October

It’s no surprise that consumers are swayed whenever a major product or company has breaking news, and Apple is no exception. In fact, Apple seems to be the premiere leader of this trend, as one of the top players in the technological world. With the anticipation of what most assumed to be the iPhone 5 over the summer, techies were anxious to get their hands on Apple’s newest addition, and even more so when any news mentioning the phone was released.

On August 31st, in an incident reminiscent of a similar problem a year earlier before the iPhone 4 was released, an Apple employee left a top-secret prototype of the newest iPhone in a bar in San Francisco. Once the news broke, the spike of Apple iPhone intenders rose. Afterwards, the intenders stayed relatively steady as they waited for news of the newest phone’s actual release, to be announced sometime in late September/early October. Another spike in intenders occurs on October 4th, when Apple officially announced the newest iPhone at its special media event – not the 5 as anticipated, but the 4S.

The high spike in intenders continues and is even higher the following day, following the untimely death of Apple CEO and visionary Steve Jobs, whom we, in the digital media business, greatly admired and owe a great deal of gratitude.

Click image below to enlarge.

eXelate Index: Consumers intending to purchase Mini, SmartCar, are more likely to purchase Fiat

Fiat reintroduced its brand to the United States in March with the 500, a subcompact that will remain their main offering, even when they bring in the Alfa Romeo brand and larger cars. Although these lines may not be seen in the US until 2013, this plan will include opening about 25 more Fiat dealerships in the US, in addition to the 124 that are already open, by the end of this year. This will give the Fiat 500 an opportunity to further grow itself in the US market.

At eXelate, our analytics reported that people that are Mini,SmartCar, and Scion ‘Intenders” are far more likely than average to also be Fiat Intenders. That said, those people interested and searching for any of these brands will more than likely look at Fiat as a purchase option, as well. This is due to a couple different reasons.

People who are Scion, SmartCar, and Mini Indenders (as well as Honda, Toyota, and Nissan) have socio-economic characteristics that are similar to that of  Fiat Intenders. Intenders of Asian and European Cars have relatively similar socio-economic characteristics, and both are relatively different than intenders of US makes.

Depending upon required scale and desired ROI for Fiat, a variety of Nielsen PRIZM codes might be selected for targeting purposes. Some of the best examples include:

PRIZM – 04 – Young Digerati

PRIZM – 16 – Bohemian Mix

PRIZM – 07 – Money and Brains

PRIZM – 31 – Urban Achievers

While avoiding PRIZM codes such as,

PRIZM – 57 – Old Milltowns

PRIZM – 37 – Mayberry-ville

PRIZM – 20 – Fast-Track Families

PRIZM – 50 – Kid Country, USA

PRIZM – 51 – Shotguns and Pickups

eXelate Index: Interest in eReaders and TouchPads Spikes in August

Wikipedia recently updated the HP TouchPad article page as a result of the August 18, 2011 announcement that less than 7 weeks after the TouchPad was launch in the United States, Hewlett-Packard would discontinue all current hardware devices running webOS.

The post states:

“The HP TouchPad, if it were less expensive, could be an extremely strong, if slightly less polished, alternative to the iPad. But like other recently-released high-profile Android tablets, it’s determined to take on the champ. And just like those Android tablets, it’s hard to recommend over an iPad at the same price.”[8]

On August 16, 2011, it was reported that Best Buy had only sold 25,000 of 270,000 devices that it had in its inventory and was refusing to pay HP for the rest.[33] In Europe, the Touchpad was estimated to have sold 12,000 in its first month of release with sales slowing significantly in August. Industry commentators suggested that the lack of apps for the platform was hindering sales.[34]

On August 18, 2011, HP announced in a press release that it will discontinue all webOS devices and is considering spinning off its personal computer unit. HP stated that it would “continue to explore options for webOS”.[35] In addition to disappointing sales, poor hardware performance may have been another reason for HP management’s decision to discontinue the TouchPad.

On August 19, 2011, HP allowed retailers to sell all remaining stock at extremely low prices. In the USA, the price was $99 for the 16GB model and $149 for the 32GB model.[9] Large numbers of buyers acquired the TouchPad at “fire sale” prices.[36] Most brick-and-mortar retailers reportedly sold out their entire inventories within hours in the morning of August 20.[37] Online retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Best Buy, faced massive backlash from angry customers when they offered the tablet on their sites at $99 on August 22, sold out their inventories in record time (in case of Barnes and Noble, in less than an hour), and were forced to cancel many subsequent orders.[38]

On August 22, 2011 a fire sale similar to those in the U.S was held in Australian Harvey Norman stores. Although the event was not advertised and staff at many stores were not informed until midday, stores in several states were sold out within an hour.[39][40] Similar sales also started in the UK with several stores reducing prices at 6pm to match the US (£89 for the 16GB and £115 for the 32GB). Most sold out in minutes.[citation needed]

According to the eXelate Index data, we saw a spike too. There was a clear interest in eReaders (including TouchPads) during the dates mentioned.

eXelate Index: US Debt Crisis- Online Interest in Credit Card Offers Continues to Increase

As the nation remains in the grips of a debt crisis and as the prospects for a double-dip recession continue to worsen, it looks as though consumers are increasingly interested in their own personal debt as well.

Online interest levels in credit card offers have steadily and dramatically increased over the last week, having more than doubled in just the last seven days.

August 2011- Online Credit Card Interest