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As the Flu Virus Spreads, MaxPoint Identifies Most Concerned Cities across the U.S.
[January 31, 2013]

As the Flu Virus Spreads, MaxPoint Identifies Most Concerned Cities across the U.S.

RALEIGH, N.C. --(Business Wire)--

As the flu virus spreads across the U.S., MaxPoint, the company that helps retailers and brands drive local in-store sales with its innovative Digital Zip® technology, announced its latest Interest Index, which reveals the cities most interested in flu-related remedies. Huntsville, Alabama tops the list of cities most concerned by the epidemic, closely followed by Knoxville, Tennessee and Greensboro, North Carolina. Utilizing these insights, advertisers can tailor hyperlocal digital campaigns to the right neighborhoods, thereby maximizing in-store purchases of flu-related products - from facial tissues and chicken soup, to antibacterial spray and over-the-counter flu drugs.

As of January 5, 47 states had reported widespread geographic flu activity. Boston and New York City have even gone so far as to declare citywide health emergencies. Despite these developments, these two cities didn't make the top 10 when it came to consumer concern surrounding the virus, highlighting how crucial it is for advertisers to dive deep into neighborhood and audience data - rather than depend on assumptions - when building their campaigns.

By analyzing billions of in-store purchases and online data points, MaxPoint found that the 10 cities most interested in all things flu-related are the following:

1. Huntsville, AL
2. Knoxville, TN
3. Greensboro, NC
4. Greenville, SC
5. Des Moines, IA
6. Rochester, NY
7. Birmingham, AL
8. Boise, ID
9. Augusta (News - Alert), GA
10. Milwaukee, WI

To further help retailers and brands find the right shoppers for their products, the Interest Index layered additional levels of data to determine that neighborhoods within Huntsville, Alabama - the city most concerned about the flu - differ in their preferences for generic and brand-name products. For example, the Darwin Downs, Nolan Hills and Rainbow neighborhoods show more interest in generic products, while the West Huntsville and Windsor Manor neighborhoods tend to purchase brand-name remedies fortheir flu symptoms.

Shopper Profile

Shoppers purchasing flu-related items in the top cities tend to share certain characteristics. On average, these shoppers are 36 years old, own their homes, and make between $50,000 and $60,000 per year. Most of these shoppers have at least a high school education and have children. The similarities go well beyond basic demographics. A closer examination reveals that those concerned with the flu also search for similar subjects online and make comparable in-store purchases.

Interest Data in Action

Using the data from this Interest Index, MaxPoint ran several digital advertising campaigns, including the following:

  • A global pharmaceutical company with a diverse healthcare portfolio - including pharmaceuticals, eye care products and vaccines - wanted to drive adults over the age of 65 to select pharmacy locations to receive flu shots. Using MaxPoint's hyperlocal advertising approach, the company achieved 164 percent lift in awareness of its flu vaccine at participating pharmacies.
  • A manufacturer of analgesics wanted to increase brand awareness and drive sales of its products. By running digital ads with MaxPoint, the manufacturer achieved 3 percent sales lift in mass merchandise stores.

"Flu activity is heightened across nearly every state in the nation right now, making this a great time for advertisers to promote products that appeal to flu-ridden and flu-fearing shoppers," commented MaxPoint COO Gretchen Joyce. "By targeting these shoppers on the neighborhood level, brands advertising flu remedies can find the most-qualified consumers for specific products, thereby increasing in-store foot traffic and purchases."

About the MaxPoint Interest Index

Using its unique Digital Zip technology, MaxPoint analyzes billions of data points consumed by neighborhoods across the United States such as: offline point-of-sale data, social media, videos, music, local Web pages and online magazines. For the January Interest Index, the company scored each neighborhood across hundreds of online topics related to consumers' interest in the flu virus, including pneumonia, flu shots, body aches, flu remedies and urgent care centers. In addition, MaxPoint evaluated neighborhoods' purchases of flu remedies, such as facial tissues, hand sanitizer, chicken soup, TheraFlu®, Tylenol® Cold and Flu Severe, and cough drops.

About MaxPoint

MaxPoint's retail advertising platform drives in-store traffic for retailers, brands, and multi-location business owners. The company's Digital Zip® technology delivers the most effective and scalable hyperlocal neighborhood-level online campaigns. MaxPoint can pinpoint qualified customers interested in purchasing a product with more precision than using traditional zip codes, ultimately offering accurate neighborhood-level targeting with national reach and local results. Founded in 2007, MaxPoint has offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin, Bentonville, Cincinnati, and Raleigh. For more information visit, follow us on Twitter (News - Alert) @maxpoint_int, and subscribe to the OnPoint blog.

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