MySeniorCenter Fun Facts

Monday, April 3rd, 2023

You may have heard the terms wallet share and penetration rate. Or maybe Googled the difference between Nielsen's television ratings and shares after watching your favorite show. In all cases (with some nuances), they mean the percentage of available consumers purchasing or engaged with any particular product or content. It's how businesses measure themselves against their peers.

In this issue of Fun Facts, we're going to explore a Senior Center version of those metrics we call Market Reach. It's the percentage of available Seniors in any given area who attend their local Center. We haven't looked at this topic directly since pre-COVID and a lot has changed since then, including how we decided to calculate the reach numbers. In previous years, our formula inflated the potential pool of seniors in a Center's coverage area if that Center drew from a wide number of zip or postal codes. This time around, our formula is more sophisticated and only includes those Seniors who could reasonably be expected to attend their Center based on distance traveled.

This new approach yielded so much interesting data, that we decided to break it up over two Fun Facts issues. This month we're going to look at broad trends in Market Reach, and next month we'll drill into characteristics of those Centers whose scores vary from the average market reach.

Welcome to...Fun Facts
Market Reach - Round One


Reach Out and Touch

For 2022, the overall market reach across the MySeniorCenter Network of 1800+ Centers in the US and Canada was


When you dig a little deeper, there are some interesting trends that are worth highlighting. The first is the market reach by geography. To illustrate this, we broke up the US and Canada into four, roughly equal areas based on population. The graph below shows the reach for each of these areas as well as the top ten (actually 11, since there was a tie for 10th) states/provinces with highest Reach metrics.

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In order of highest market reach, those pins represent: MA, WY, VT, AZ, ND, IA, CT, MI, UT, and, in a tie for 10th, WI and TN. All of those places had an average market reach greater than the North American average.

A Barrow in the Marketplace

Overall geography is one thing, but there are other factors at play. One of those is what's known as the 'metropolitan status' of the community. You can read more about how those designations are defined in the section on the left called 'Metropolitan Status'.

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The lower the population density, the higher the market reach. Rural Centers have a reach that is far above the Network average.

Reach Out of the Darkness

Beyond geography and the metropolitan status are some other census attributes that we analyzed, like racial mix, education achievement, and senior poverty level. None of those led to any significant differences in market reach. The one piece of information in the census data set that seems to have the strongest relationship with market reach is income level. Importantly, that's NOT the income level of the Center participants, but rather the income level of the community in which the Center is located.

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We probably need further analysis by a social scientist to make total sense of those numbers, but the interesting takeaway for us was that the reach numbers were almost the same at the high and low-ends of the economic scale for 2022.

Artificial Life in the Market

As we saw at the top of this issue, the overall market reach across the Network was 12.98%. We assumed those numbers would be influenced by community factors, and we've seen that geography, metropolitan status and economics all contribute to attendance at the Center. But, assuming a Center offers what the population wants, there are still human beings involved, and we all make decisions based on conveniences like weather and distance. For instance, we know through spot checks that attendance at Centers is lower on rainy and snowy days - but weather is an inconsistent factor. Distance, however, is consistent, so we ran a distance calculation to figure out the reach for participants who live various distances from the Center. While there were certainly some outlier locations, the general trends were very obvious.

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The closer a person lives to the Center, the more likely it is that you'll reach them.

Next Month

We'll continue this theme next month but look more closely at the profiles of Centers with high and low market reach scores. We'll see what sort of services they offer as well as their mix of activities.