Study separates modern multichannel consumers

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 5, 2011

Study separates modern multichannel consumers

Marketers need an increasingly greater awareness of the differences in multichannel engagement levels between different types of consumer, according to a study by business analytics firm SAS and Professor Hugh Wilson of Cranfield School of Management in the UK.

The study found that, while the majority of marketers base behavioural targeting on customer segmentation by demographics, the explosion of online and offline channels now has highlighted new and often more successful ways to segment customers based channel preferences.

"Marketers need to develop single customer view that goes beyond marketing to touch every single customer facing department, from individual retail outlets to accounts payable," explained Dr Charles Randall, solutions marketing manager for SAS UK. "The ability to analyse all of the information about customer preferences and behaviour will ensure that targeted marketing strategies and the channels used, are relevant to the individual and more likely to have the desired impact."

In a recent study with market research company MESH Planning, more than 500 UK consumers were asked by SAS to rate their experiences of different brands across ten different channels. SAS used those results to develop six distinct customer profiles, as follows:

  1. Lifestyle junkie This group has a positive attitude toward brands and marketing in general and is open to communications across most channels with the exception of call centres. It is 7.4 times more aware of magazine advertisements than the average consumer but 36% less responsive to sponsorship.  
  2. Astute alpha These consumers do not respond well to uninvited outbound communication so use of a product is the best way to engage with them. Astute alphas prefer brand contact that they can control such as face-to-face conversations and online engagement. As a result, they are 5.3% more aware of call centre contact than the average consumer.  
  3. Internet investigator This customer segment is the most avid online user, internet shopper, product researcher and user of expert recommendation sites. Members of the group turn to family and friends for input and advice so are 2.7 times more aware of conversation than the average consumer but 40% less responsive to text messages.  
  4. Dedicated fan The dedicated fan notices brand presence online but is only strongly engaged by sponsorship so is 15 times more aware of this than the average consumer. This group has 14.4 brand encounters each week and turns to a support network of those with similar interests for advice before purchase.  
  5. Social shopper This group shows the heaviest text message, online and direct mail engagement as well as being an active in-store shopper. It is 1.8 times more aware of online communications than the average consumer and use word-of-mouth percent more than the average consumer.  
  6. Detached introvert This type of consumer is not particularly engaged with brands so the most effective touch points for marketers are ones that consumers comes across within the context of day-to-day activities. Detached introverts only have 2.7 brand encounters per week on average and only demonstrate a 0.2% response to advertising.

According to Randall, marketing will only be able to have the desired impact if it is relevant to the customer, and a big part of that objective lies in using the right channels to target each individual. With so many different communication channels now available, marketers must change their mindset from focusing on what to sell to each customer, and instead focus on how to sell products more effectively, with greater relevance, and through the most appropriate channels.

The full study report, entitled 'Pleased to meet you: How different customers prefer very different channels', has been made available for free download from the SAS web site - click here (free registration required).

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