The Influential Americans® Now Included in MRI Study of the American Consumer

New York, January 3, 2005 — For the first time, data on The Influential Americans® will be included in the fall 2004 release of Mediamark Research Inc.'s Survey of the American Consumer.

Identified by GfK NOP (NOP World) through over 60 years of research, consumers in the Influentials® segment are the one in ten Americans who tells the other nine how to vote, where to eat and what to buy. In addition to amplifying a marketer's message, Influentials can increase the effectiveness of marketing plans. They are the people who start and continue the word-of-mouth conversations that lead to broad acceptance of a new brand, product or service.

Decades of GfK NOP research show that involvement in local social, cultural and political activities is a powerful predictor of which Americans have broad influence in the complete sense of the word. They are trendsetters, market multipliers and consumer activists—both advocating on behalf of brands they love and speaking out about products and services that fail to deliver on their promise. Marketers who wish to become part of today's word-of-mouth conversation are learning to develop strategies for marketing to Influentials, and this new data from MRI will allow for much more robust market and media planning than has ever been available before.

The Influentials segment is a small but persuasive segment of the population that leads social and marketplace trends, shape public opinion and generates the buzz that increasingly drives consumer behavior. And now, the proprietary battery of questions used by GfK NOP to identify the Influentials segment has been added to the MRI national survey, which is based on 26,000 annual interviews with a nationally representative sample of adults selected on a strict area probability basis, and includes in-depth media usage as well as product and brand preferences. This new intelligence adds considerably to the knowledge based GfK NOP has about the Influentials segment, both in the US and around the world, based on its tracking of this important segment in other syndicated research services such as Roper Reports® US , Roper Reports® Worldwide, Gfk NOP's weekly telephone omnibus, and the qualitative and quantitative research GfK NOP conducts for its clients.

"Reaching and selling the nation's opinion leaders is a must for marketers," said Kathi Love, President and CEO of MRI. "But determining exactly who these Influentials are and what magazines they read, programs they watch or radio stations they listen to has always been a challenge. Until now. By including questions that identify Influentials in Mediamark's in-home, in-person interviews with American consumers, we are able to provide detailed insights into this segment's demographics, media usage, product purchase and attitudes."

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