The Biggest Panel In The World: The U.S. Census At The 4As Transformation 2011 Conference

4as CensusThe Director of the U.S. Census bureau, Robert Groves, took to the stage at the 4As Transformation 2011 conference to discuss results coming from the 2010 census which will guide the understanding of “media connections” according to Groves.

With all the talk about digital, big data, real-time bidding, the 4As takes us back to what it considers a critical part of the metrics mix where, uniquely, the U.S. government goes door-to-door – by mail or via census bureau foot soldier – and figures out who lives in the U.S. and how. This is the biggest panel there is! 600,000 people in the U.S. were hired to perform the U.S. Census. Nielsen, comScore, etal. eat your hearts out.

Key demographic trends that Groves says will be coming from 2010 results include:

  • The Growth and Dispersion of the Hispanic Population – getting bigger and bigger all over.
  • The Diversion of the Asian Population – no longer just coastal.
  • Multi-racial population growing – It’s small but growth is nearly 50% across the country.

Also, like any good marketer, Groves revealed how his governmental organization approached communications planning. He said that were three keys which resonate in the digital world.

  • Good research beforehand
  • Real-time data was key which feeds the ability to respond and react their comms strategy.
  • Communicate across platform. Yes, the Bureau was on Facebook, too.

His favorite story:  in rural areas, the U.S. Census bureau pays people to drop off the census form to U.S. citizens. In a rural spot in northern Michigan, a 2010 Census employee walks a half mile and sees a log cabin to deliver the form. As she’s about to put the form on the cabin’s doorknob, she notices the form for 2000 hanging on the door.

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