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Report ANNE MARIE KELLY
Anne Marie Kelly is SVP of marketing and strategic
5 New Ways To Look At Shoppers planning at Mediamark Research & Intelligence.
by Anne Marie Kelly, Friday, September 11, 2009, 4:54 PM Reach her here.
When it comes to understanding consumer behavior at the retail SHARE
level, attitudes -- not solely demographics -- push the shopping
» Mickey Lonchar
» Robert Passikoff
Consumers with similar demographics often have quite dissimilar
TOOLS » Vanessa Horwell
mindsets, purchase habits and motivations. Psychographic
» Kate Newlin
segmentation makes it possible to move beyond demographics to PRINT SUBSCRIBE
incorporate attitudinal variables that affect consumer behavior. A COMMENT RSS
"buying styles" segmentation, for example, can take into account ARCHIVES
dimensions such as brand loyalty, brand trust, impulsivity, frugality » September 2009
and price consciousness, plus preferences for specific brand and » August 2009
store attributes. This makes it possible to better identify and 1. Free Shipping Email Offers Spike » July 2009
target distinct types of shoppers. » June 2009
2. Will Twitter Finally Stop Being An
» May 2009
Here is a snapshot of five Buying Styles segments derived from » April 2009
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MRI's "Survey of the American Consumer": Fans » All Archives
4. Sporting Goods Group Dissects
q Buyers of the Best Team Sports
5. AT&T IPhone Data Woes Depress
q Swayable Shopaholics
TAGS: Research, Retail,
q Habitualized Havers Commentary
q Conscientious Consumers MOST READ
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q Penny-Pinchers #Advertisingfail?
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Afraid -- Very Afraid -- of Hulu
Comprising just 15% of the U.S. adult population, Buyers of the
3. Group M's Scanzoni Slams Nielsen
Best are evenly divided between male and female, have a median
age of 49 and median household income of $74,600. Their key
4. AT&T IPhone Data Woes Depress
attributes include the propensity to buy based on specific brand Perception
and product quality, as opposed to price. 5. The Wiggles Can Teach Marketers
A Thing Or Two
Swayable Shopaholics are 30% of the adult population, have a 6. Yes, Display Ads Can Work -- And
median age of 38 -- making them the youngest shopper segment -- Benefit Search As Well
and a median household income of $50,300. As with Buyers of the 7. After Unmasking, Judge Throws
Out Libel Case Against Anonymous
Best, they are evenly divided between men and women. However,
this group is not brand loyal. They will switch brands for the sake
8. Nokia Makes Social Networking
of novelty or variety, seek emotional payoff from the act of Play, Picks Plum
shopping, and find shopping a great way to relax. 9. 5 New Ways To Look At Shoppers
10. Nokia's Plum Deal
Habitualized Havers have a median household income of $73,500 --
almost equal to that of Buyers of the Best -- but they are
overwhelmingly male (73%) versus female (27%). This segment, comprising 17% of adults and having
a median age of 45, are creatures of habit: They buy what they have always bought. And they are
the least likely to find shopping a "great way to relax."
Women make up the largest proportion of Conscientious Consumers -- at 71% vs. 29% for men --
and have a median age of 54, the oldest of the five segments. With a median household income of
$49,700 they are the least wealthy. They pay attention to nutrition content and ingredient labels,
and consider themselves savers rather than spenders.
Nearly one in five U.S. adults is a Penny-Pincher. This group has a median age of 45 and the
second-lowest median household income, at $50,400. Females slightly outnumber males 57% to
43%. Among their key attributes is valuing price more than brand name or quality. They will gladly
switch brands for cents-off coupons. Unlike Conscientious Consumers, they rarely pay attention
to ingredients and nutrition contents.
So what are the practical implications of being able to identify these consumer shopping
segments? Both media buyers and sellers can benefit from this kind of detailed consumer
Magazines, for example, can use these consumer insights to build unique sales stories based on
the percentage of their readers that fall into each Buying Styles category. To pitch a marketer
that is going to launch a value-priced generic product, magazines with the greatest percentage of
Conscientious Consumers have a distinct edge because these consumers are 59% more likely than
the average adult to say price is more important to them than brand name. Penny-Pinchers are a
For marketers using celebrities to help move their products, magazines that can show a high
concentration of Swayable Shopaholics have the inside track. Why? Because these readers are
163% more likely to "mostly agree" with this statement: "A celebrity endorsement may influence
me to consider or buy a product." At the opposite end of the spectrum are Habitualized Havers,
who are the least likely to be influenced by celebrities.
Let's say a marketer has identified a Buying Styles segment that it wants to target for its product
or service. Which media are the best choices? If the marketer is trying to build trust for its brand
among Buyers of the Best, radio and magazines would be the best options, since Buyers of the
Best index high for being likely to trust what they hear and read in these media.
Just as you can't judge a book by its cover, targeting consumers using simple demographics is a
near-blind exercise. Particularly considering the wealth of data available showing how shoppers
approach the retail experience and what pushes their buttons upon entering the store.
This commentary is insightful. I recommend it to others.
1 person recommends this article.
3 comments on "5 New Ways To Look At Shoppers "
Mickey Lonchar from QMD
commented on: September 14, 2009 at 12:21 PM
At the end of the day, no matter how you choose to segregate your audience, you are trying to predict
future consumer behavior. Psychographics became all the rage in the 80's when it became clear that a
$100,000/year plumber probably won't buy the same car as a $100,000/year financial executive. Now we
acknowledge that not every $100,000/year plumber exhibits the same consumer behavior.
Every time we come out with a new psychographic model with new classifications, clients will inevitably
eat it up and tout it as an "improvement" because it slices the pie a new way.
Unfortunately, we can reshuffle the psychographic deck till the cows come home, but we'll still have the
same problem: these classifications are not as predictive as we need them to be. The great hope in
predicting consumer behavior for my money is Behavioral Targeting, which takes into account far more
variables (knowledge, intent, experience, etc.) than any of the psychographic models we've seen so far.
hart weichselbaum from the planning practice
commented on: September 14, 2009 at 8:15 AM
My chief problem with these psychographic schemes (no big new here either!) is that we can use
demographics to target media, but can't buy media for Habitualized Havers (rolls off the tongue, doesn't
Nance Rosen from NanceSpeaks!
commented on: September 14, 2009 at 5:30 AM
Associating buying psychology with demographics is a pretty old approach to segmentation. Other than
assigning these particular names, I don't see any new contribution to the field - and pretty thin utility.
When I was a marketing executive at Coke, we used an awfully similar segmentation approach for
consumers in the quick service restaurant category. While it's true that Coke is ahead of the curve of
most marketing intelligence, the desire to be known for a typology must be accompanied with a lot more
depth if it's meant to inform new marketing practices.
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