The Sonar Geo-Demographic System


Marketing your business is a science not an art. When you are looking to increase the number of enquiries that you bring in a good model to follow with any sort of marketing is. Following this model means that you should define your target market first, then create a message appropriate to that market before deciding on which media to use. It is vitally important that you get this the right way round. Even a poorly crafted message on a leaflet going to the right people will get a better response than an expertly crafted message going to the wrong people. This fact sheet explains our approach of how we can help you target the right people. Those that are more likely to buy.

What is the targeting system

The system that we use is called Sonar. This is a unique and powerful segmentation system that classifies all households and residents in the country according to the type of neighbourhood in which they live. Individuals are organised into six broad lifestyle groups and four wealth groups using a number of different data sources including

  • Census data
  • A postcode classification of wealth
  • A postcode classification of consumer activity
  • Land registry data on house prices and sales activity

The sources were examined and key variables that would provide maximum discrimination were chosen to build the classification. A number of different statistical techniques were tested and selected and Sonar is the outcome.

The Sonar Breakdown

There are 6 broad lifestyle groups; this is the first character of a two character Sonar Code. They are:

  • Group A – Young Singles
  • Group B – Young Families
  • Group C – Families
  • Group D – Mature Families
  • Group E – Empty Nesters
  • Group F – Retired

They are then organised into 4 quartiles representing wealth; this is the second character of the Sonar code:

  • Group 1 – Affluent
  • Group 2 – Comfortable
  • Group 3 – Less Comfortable
  • Group 4 – Struggling