The United States has long been a collection of regions, characterized by often sharp differences in demographics and behavior, and often not particularly aligned with state boundaries. From a marketing perspective, these regional differences can be significant and should be accounted for in campaigns in order to maximize effectiveness. Retailers should pay attention to regional distinctiveness in determining product mix, promotional strategies, and even in some cases, store layout.

Panorama is a truly geo-demographic segmentation system that is more than up to the task of identifying regional characteristics. Using our Snapshot API, we generated a database at the county level of the dominant Panorama segment, then filtered only those which occur as the dominant segment in more than one hundred counties. The map is interesting as it shows the broad regional characteristics using only the dominant demographic segment. The pattern is largely rural and small town America, since most metropolitan areas are more diverse while often having regional characteristics.

The main patterns in the east run east-west in bands, with Off the Beaten Path in the north, followed by Hollows and Hills, Classic Dixie, and Gospel and Guns. The three dominant regional “flavors” of the west are Tex-Mex in the south, Great Plains-Great Struggles in the central plains and Great Open Country in the northern plains and the interior Pacific northwest. Mixed into the northern belt are the remnants of the industrial Midwest – Enduring Heartland and Faded Industrial Dreams, largely differentiated by how much of the manufacturing core remains.

Rural America is certainly not monolithic, and marketing should be attentive to the regional differences in demographics and outlook. Panorama provides an excellent analytical platform in both urban and non-urban areas for location-based analytics and programs.