The Three Types of Consumers

The Three Types of Consumers

Types of Consumers

Five years ago, I read an internal research report by a major international advertising company regarding the three types of consumers in the marketplace.  The research was comprehensive, and the conclusion was simple to understand and made total common sense.  Since reading it, it has shaped my perspective on marketing.  

The three types of consumers are the traditional, the fully engaged & the digital consumer.  They are each defined by how they make purchase decisions.

Traditional Consumer

The traditional consumer is one who makes purchase decisions based on traditional media.  Not to say that they don't have access to social media.  That is to say when making purchase decisions this group of consumer looks to traditional media and traditional ways.  They continue to trust traditional media.

Fully Engaged Consumer

Typically, this consumer limits their interaction to social media to a few key channels.  They continue to be influenced by traditional media making purchase decisions from conventional and social media channels.

The Digital Consumer

While this type of consumer may hear, read or see traditional advertising through traditional media channels, they are not influenced by them to purchase. The digital consumer's purchase decisions are made through social media channels.  They typically have many social media channels and are active on them.  This group is influenced by what others are saying in the digital world about a particular service or product and a business' brand.  To this group of consumers, ratings and online reviews in different social and search channels are like a friend's referral to the traditional consumer.

To clarify, Google "the new yellow pages" serve all three types of consumers.  For example, there are 305,000 IP addresses registered to google in Regina and a 25 km area.  To further clarify, 62% of people in Saskatchewan are registered to a social media channel.

Marketing to the Three Types of Consumers

Working with business over the past number of years, they have always expressed frustration over marketing. The first frustration being "that only 50% of advertising works, they just don't know which 50%."  The second being that reaching their target market is becoming so difficult to do because marketing channels have fragmented. The third one that isn't talked about as much but will be more so in the future is what I refer to as the "absolute power consumer," the opportunity and challenges - the ability to make and break a business. See next weeks blog for the "Absolute POWER Consumer".  

Pie chart labeling green orange and blue
By understanding the three types of consumers, a business can focus and balance its marketing investment.  Profile your existing customer base, your competitor's customer base, the marketing investment by your industry to those types of consumers and the future profile of the three types of consumers in your marketplace.  Find the gaps to invest your marketing dollars. There are some gaps we identify with our customers that lead to growth in customer acquisitions and margins.  

One significant gap is missing how search engines capture all three types of consumers rather inexpensively and if done right, forms the foundation of growing your customer base and margin.

If you are interested in chatting more about this in regards to your business, connect with us.