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Geography Lesson

Comcast Spotlight—the ad- sales division of the nation's largest cable operator—recently completed the system-wide deployment of a Web-based market-profiling and -reporting system developed by Southern California-based SRC.

The new tool is designed to give field sales teams and advertisers in Comcast's more than 70 markets faster and more comprehensive access to zone-specific marketing information. Cox Media will roll out the SRC system in May.

For Comcast, SRC integrates data from sources including Polk, InfoUSA, Experian/AGS Demographics, Audit Bureau of Circulations, MOSAIC segmentation and National Cable Communications' CableTrack into a central server that SRC hosts and maintains. SRC's software then provides market-intelligence reporting and mapping for specified zones.

By generating color-coded maps, SRC can pinpoint for a cable company exactly where the greatest concentration of desired consumers is, broken down by such factors as age, income, usage and lifestyle. Then, Comcast and Cox, both of which offer zoned local advertising, can show clients exactly where their spots belong.

Comcast has charted data through computers for a while, but the SRC system is the first time the process has become Web-based and easily accessible by the members of the company's sales force nationwide. “We've fully deployed the application, and it's in every one of our markets,” says Comcast Spotlight SVP/Managing Director of Sales Hank Oster.

Before adopting SRC, Comcast Spotlight used a stand-alone desktop demographic profiling system installed in 10 regional offices. The regional offices, in turn, were responsible for producing requested reports for local ad salespeople across multiple Comcast markets—a cumbersome task.

“Comcast has 3,200 salespeople they needed to enable, and they couldn't do that with a desktop power-user tool,” says Olivia Duane-Adams, SRC co-founder and EVP of marketing.

Nicole Buie, Cox Media director of research and sales development, thinks the new SRC tool will give Cox an advantage.

“For local clients, having mapping functionality really differentiates us from broadcast and helps clients understand why cable should be the foundations of their buys.”