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MC 7043 Strategic Communication Campaigns: Target Market Research - Simmons Insights

Simmons Insights

Users should only use Chrome or Safari browsers for accessing Simmons Insights.

There are three research tools included in Simmons Insights. See the tabs above for more details.

  1. Crosstab - find specific insights on a target (aka, people you want to study), or compare variables on multiple targets (default research tool)
  2. Quick Reports - create reports that provide an overview of your specific target (better suited to the novice user)
  3. Brand Catalyst - compare up to three personas with MRI-Simmons-defined key insights via visually appealing widgets and infographics

If you have any questions about using Simmons Insights, email your subject specialist librarian.

Crosstab is the default Simmons module. Crosstab lets you find specific insights on a target (aka, people you want to study), or compare variables on multiple targets. Note that different "studies" provide different datasets:

  • Simmons Adult Study (NHCS): demographics, purchase behaviors, lifestyles, psychographics (attitudes, perceptions, preferences, etc.), and media usage for US adult (18+) consumers.
  • Simmons Connect: all NHCS data plus additional data on consumer digital behaviors (e.g., smartphone, tablet, and computer usage). 
  • Simmons NCS (National Consumer Study) Adult Study: brings consumer targets to life with vivid and complete profiles, including lifestyles, attitudes, brand preferences and media use. The high quality, nationally representative study is the result of a comprehensive, continuously fielded survey of approximately 25,000 U.S. adults, including over 7,500 English- and Spanish-speaking Hispanics.
  • Simmons Digital Life Study (formerly New Media Study): provides insights into Americans' use of mobile phones, social networking, instant messaging, blogging, gaming, social tagging/bookmarking, online video/audio and dozens of other traditional and emerging media channels 
  • Simmons MME (Multi-Media Engagement) Study: Measure media engagement across seven global engagement dimensions: inspirational, trustworthy, life enhancing, social interaction, personal timeout, ad attention/receptivity, and overall engagement.

Tip for Building your Crosstab:

  • Add products (and other activities) to the "Columns" and demographics to the "Rows". This is not required, but the resulting Crosstab report is easier to interpret.

How to Build a Crosstab Report:

Quick Definitions of the Crosstab Report Elements:

  • Sample: The number of people surveyed who meet both the column and row criteria.

  • Weighted (000): Expressed in thousands, the projected number of adults (18+) in the U.S. who meet both the column and row criteria.

  • Vertical %: Percent of the column reached by the row.

  • Horizontal %: Percent of the row reached by the column.

  • Index: The likelihood of the target to meet a specified criterion, expressed in relation to the base, where 100 = average. (Index can be applied either column to row, or row to column)

Quick Reports will provide an a selection of reports that provide an overview of your specific target. 

Quick Reports are available in the drop-down menu under the "Essentials" tab on the menu bar. To access all the reports, change the study to "Simmons Connect" from the study drop-down menu. 

  1. Use Smart Search to build the target.
  2. Once you have combined the desired items, use the icons to add the combination to either the "Base" or the "Target".
    • If you don't select a base, "All Adults" will automatically be added to the base.
  3. Then select the Quick Report that you want to run, and click the arrow to run it.
  4. The report will populate.
  5. Within the tool palette on the left, there is an option to export to Excel all the underlying data for each Quick Report.
  6. The Dashboard button will bring you back to the Quick Reports main screen. "Clear All" removes the base and the target and returns you to the main Quick Reports screen. 

How to Create Quick Reports for Target Audience Research:

Quick Reports include:

  • Demographic Profile: age, gender, income, etc. *
  • Segmentation: "consumer types" in key lifestyle areas (food, retail shopping, technology adoption, economic outlook, etc.) *
  • Remainder of Quick Reports are related to the media usage habits of the target **
    • Time Spent Composition **
    • Digital Activity Profile **
    • Reach; and Incremental Reach Builder **
    • Media Activity Across Platforms; and Across Activities **
    • Simultaneous Using While Watching TV**
    • Digital Day in the Life **
    • Social Media Activity Profile **
    • Channel Category **
    • Website Visitation **

* available across all Simmons studies

**only available for the Simmons Connect study (use the drop-down menu to change the study)

Brand Catalyst is available in the drop-down menu under the "Catalyst" tab on the menu bar.

Brand Catalyst uses Smart Search to create up to three personas, compared side by side, with MRI-Simmons-defined key insights via visually appealing widgets and infographics.

Brand Catalyst is an easy to use brand strategy and predictive segmentation tool. This is a great starting place, especially for new Simmons users. Using advanced psychographics, intent, category preferences, and brand and product consumption patterns, Brand Catalyst allows the user to analyze the data first before tackling the more advanced skills of building the Crosstab Reports.

Includes 3 key modules:

  • Explorer: Pre-formatted Simmons insights that highlight unique opportunities for customer retention, prospect acquisition, and category growth.

  • Reporter: A deep dive across over 200K consumer attributes to quickly assess how personas are differentiated from each other.

  • Creator: Automated clustering of a persona into segments, using underlying consumer psychographics to test differentiated offerings and messaging.

Upon entering Brand Catalyst, you will be in Explorer mode. Refer to the side tool bar to see the other modules: Reporter and Creator.

How to Use Brand Catalyst for Target Audience Research:

How to Build a Crosstab Report:

How to Create Quick Reports for Target Audience Research:

How to Use Brand Catalyst for Target Audience Research:

Detailed Introduction to Simmons Insights (29 mins)

Highlights of this video:

5:50 - Overview of the layout of Simmons Insights; How the Smart Search works; Building your Crosstab 

12:45 - How to run the "Crosstab"; Overview of features in the Tool Palette

19:15 - How to build "Quick Reports"

Brief Introduction to Simmons Insights (5 mins)

Make sure to cite any data retrieved from Simmons Insights. You'll want to indicate the study, the survey year, and a description of the data that you retrieved (which will include the target, base or the description of your variables). A few examples are below.

Crosstab results (from the Simmons NHCS Adult Study):

MRI-Simmons (2019).  Spring 2019 NHCS Adult Study 12 Month [Ground coffee/brand most used by consumer demographics - age, gender].  Retrieved from Simmons Insights,

Quick Report - Demographic Profile (from the Simmons Connect Study):

MRI-Simmons (2019). Spring 2019 Simmons Connect Plus [Target/Download or listen to podcasts in the last 7 days] [Demographic Profile]. Retrieved from Simmons Insights,


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