As we have grown in the marketing industry, we’ve started gaining more and more information about consumers. Data about consumers and habits is continuously collected and in turn, our marketing strategies have become more and more complex.
In regards to who we are targeting, we started with the general market; this includes all consumers old enough to purchase your product. It was all about casting a wide net, getting the best reach and frequency you can get for your buck. As soon as people start coming into the store, shopper marketing begins, with slashing prices on items or creative displays to draw attention. Technology has since shifted the battle for active shoppers outside of stores, and within the last few years, we have begun to hone in on what these shoppers do leading up to the purchase and have developed new ways to stay in front of them. As we began to collect information and looked at habits over time, we also started getting more targeted and created the in-market consumer. In-market consumers and active shoppers sound very similar but let’s take a closer look at how they differ.
Examples of potential in-market consumers:
- For automotive, this would include people who are in the position to buy a car, have equity in a vehicle, have an aging vehicle, or are near a lease term ending.
- In other consumer goods and services, it may include purchase patterns like the new iPhone launching or targeting a geolocation affected by storms, leaving structures in need of repair.
Examples of active shoppers:
- Visitors to your website or a retail location
- Visitors to related 3rd party websites e.g. cars.com, manufacturer website, or Edmunds.com
- Researching related materials e.g. watching YouTube on related products
- Requesting information or submitting a lead
This begs the question… what do we do with all this information?
You may have noticed but these two segments are in different stages of the purchase cycle, therefore goals for your marketing should be different. General and in-market consumers need to be converted into active shoppers first. The aim for these consumers may be something as simple as driving them to your website or asking questions about your product or service.
Considering the different objectives, your potential in-market consumers might respond better to certain messages than your active shoppers. The in-market and general market will be more easily swayed by the product they buy. They want to know if the product is healthy, does it have good gas mileage, or is it fulfilling a need? Active shoppers will be more persuaded by the details in the shopping process. Details might include ease of purchase; think Amazon one-click buying, while other details may include the viewability of your product in-store, the packaging, value, or variety available.
If you can, separate the content for each and give it a try! Show off the new safety or technology in your products instead of a high discount. Consumers might not fully understand the value of your product yet and you could even scare them with a price. Save those deals and savings for the active shoppers.