When it comes to marketing, businesses often target different types of consumers based on their behaviors, preferences, and characteristics.
It's essential to conduct thorough market research to identify the various types of customers that are relevant to your business. Develop marketing strategies that cater to each segment's unique needs and preferences, ensuring that your messaging and offers resonate effectively with all potential customers.
While there isn't a universally agreed-upon classification, here are five common types of consumers that marketers often consider:
- Loyal customers
- Impulse buyers
- Price-sensitive consumers
- Innovators and early adopters
- Angry customers
These are consumers who have a strong attachment to a brand and consistently choose its products or services over competitors. They are often repeat purchasers and can become advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth and contributing to brand loyalty.
Marketing for these types of customers must be:
- Personal and specific to their history with your brand,
- Collaborative to help support both your brand and your customers' growth,
- Prioritized within your marketing plan. Don’t mistake the fact that they’re loyal as people you don’t have to cater to. Loyalty can be lost quickly if you begin to neglect them and this will lead to customer churn.
Impulse buyers make purchasing decisions on the spot, often driven by emotions or immediate needs. They are attracted by promotions, discounts, or compelling visuals and are more likely to make unplanned purchases.
Marketing for these customers may look like this:
- A time-sensitive campaign around specific events and/or products.
- Adding a related products section on high-demand items.
- Offer product samples or demos.
Price-sensitive consumers prioritize cost savings and are willing to compare prices across different brands or products. They often seek out sales, discounts, and value deals, and their purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by pricing strategies.
As it says in the name, a marketing campaign for this consumer will include:
- Creating specific discounts around high-demand products.
- Offer perks and discounts that reward loyalty.
- Prioritize communication to catch pain points and concerns early on to maintain justification of pricing.
Innovators and Early Adopters
These consumers are enthusiastic about trying new products and technologies before they become mainstream. They are often the first to embrace new trends and innovations, making them crucial for early product adoption and creating buzz around new offerings.
These type of customers often create good loyal customers too. You can market to these types of customers by:
- Offering behind-the-scenes opportunities to reward loyalty.
- Creating exclusive opportunities to act as beta testers in exchange for other collaborative opportunities.
- Producing specific newsletters or other updates to keep these customers up to date about changes to your company and/or product.
Marketing to and managing angry customers is absolutely crucial to your own success. While it's uncomfortable and not always an easy problem to solve, turning an angry customer into a satisfied one can actually enhance customer loyalty.
This type of marketing requires a combination of empathy, effective communication, and problem-solving skills. Here’re a few ways to approach this situation:
- Remain calm and composed. In conflict, people will expect you to meet their energy (which will escalate the situation) but the reverse also works; if you remain calm and composed, the customer is likely to calm down to meet your energy too. Then acknowledge their frustration and validate their feelings. Let them know that you understand their concerns and that you're committed to resolving the issue.
- Give the customer an opportunity to express their grievances. Listen actively without interrupting, and ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand their perspective.
- Offer a sincere apology and assume responsibility for the issue, even if it wasn't directly your fault. Taking ownership of the problem can build trust and show your commitment to finding a resolution. A genuine apology can go a long way in diffusing the situation and showing that you take their concerns seriously.
- Work with the customer to find a solution that addresses their concerns. Depending on the situation, this could involve offering a refund, replacement, discount, or other forms of compensation. Ensure the solution is fair and aligned with the customer's expectations.
- Clearly communicate the steps you'll take to resolve the issue. Be transparent about the process, timeline, and any actions you'll be taking.
- Follow up with the customer to ensure that they are satisfied with the outcome. This demonstrates your commitment to their satisfaction and provides an opportunity to address any lingering concerns.
Why you should target all types of consumers
Leaving out a type of customer from your marketing tactics can have several potential consequences for your business:
Decreased Relevance: Neglecting the needs and preferences of specific customer types, your marketing messages may become less relevant to a portion of your audience. This can result in lower engagement, reduced interest, and decreased conversion rates.
Loss of Market Share: Focusing only on a subset of customers can lead to increased competition from other businesses that are targeting the neglected customer segment. This can result in a loss of market share to competitors who effectively cater to a broader range of customers.
Negative Perception: Customers who feel ignored or left out by your marketing efforts might develop a negative perception of your brand. They may view your business as uninterested in their needs, which can harm your reputation and make it difficult to regain their trust.
Unbalanced Brand Image: Neglecting a specific customer type could result in an unbalanced brand image. For example, if you only target price-sensitive customers, your brand might be perceived as offering low-quality products without premium options.
Inefficient Resource Allocation: When you focus on a narrower customer segment, you might allocate your marketing resources inefficiently. By diversifying your marketing efforts across different customer types, you can ensure a better allocation of resources and a more well-rounded strategy.