Today is the world of “connected consumers”- thanks to multiple channels and devices that have made each aspects of life easier. This development has however also intensified challenges for brands, as now they need to implement more integrated and focused approach to track shoppers behavior on different channels.
Gaining in-depth understanding of consumer’s desires, values & behavior is the key to drive success, no matter the industry. Looking at the common activities of today’s consumers, we can conclude that their shopping behavior is mostly impacted by two dimensions: digital and social engagement.
Digital influence encompasses a consumer who stays online for the most time during his path to purchase through multiple touch points (e commerce, content & media). It could mean the reduced usage of traditional media. In other words, this dimension refers to the degree to which digital world is influencing the shoppers’ lives. If your target audience includes this category in major part, then obviously your branding activities need to be more digitally focused. But while doing so, you cannot overlook the number of shoppers who score low on this dimension and prefer traditional media.
Social engagement refers to the degree to which social connection and content is important to consumers. Are they more socially active? Are they type of people who keep checking and updating their Facebook status all day? And in case of mature audience, does social play a role at all?
The correct answer to these questions will help you design an appropriate strategy to capture targeted audience’s interest.
Based on their social engagement and digital influence, we can further segregate shoppers into four types:
Leaders (1/3rd of online population): Leaders are passionate people who love to actively participate in both digital and social media. They heavily depend on technology to stay connected. Since both dimensions greatly impact this group’s shopping behavior, marketers need to chart out their strategy accordingly.
Functional (another 1/3rd of online population): They are slower and mostly concerned with tangible practical benefits of staying active on both social media and digital channels. Their interaction with technology and social media is entirely purposeful, for example using a smartphone for texting or calling only (or using a bank app occasionally), and using social media presence to stay connected with close friends.
Observers (10 to 20% of online population) – They are more like consumers than broadcasters of content. They are passionate about latest innovations in technology and enjoy learning about technology. However, they are not much interested in social media engagement, which is what sets them apart from Leaders.
Connectors (15 to 20 % of online population) – Exact opposite of observers, they are not especially interested in the latest technology, but are driven by the social media.