The Purpose Behind Consumer Targeting in Event Marketing
by Chris Clegg
Almost every brand has what our team calls a “consumer target.” This is the type of man, woman, boy, or girl, that they want their marketing efforts to reach most directly. These targets are made up of multiple demographic categories including (but not limited to): age, gender, marital status, education level, geographical location, etc… The brand must then choose what characteristics they are looking for when building their target consumer.
Building a Target Consumer
It is not uncommon for brands to give their consumer targets names (ex: Carl, Jack, or Justine) to fully personify the idea of who they are trying to ready. “Carl” may be a 20-something guy who enjoys spending personal time in the outdoors. “Justine” might be the social ringleader among her friends. Both Carl and Justine have multiple attributes that have qualified them as a brands target consumer.
A consumer target represents a consumer persona. This person has a collection of traits that tie him or her into a specific group. As a group, these people have common worries, concerns, needs, and/or aspirations. These groups can be very simple, like “Millennials” or men over forty. They can also be very complex, like blonde, single women between the ages of 25 and 35. I once designed research where the consumer target was “gay men and their women friends.” Regardless, someone, at some point, did research and found that this grouping of people represented an opportunity and the brand is out to take advantage of it.
Knowing Why you are Targeting a Group is Important
Sometimes a consumer target is… well, a target because it is believed that as a group, they are more likely to buy, consume, and/ or pay more. They may also be a target because they are found to buy with a shorter purchase cycle (try now buy now vs. try now buy in two months for a special occasion). They represent an ideal customer. Other times targeting a consumer has nothing to do with the reasons listed above. On the contrary, it may be a group that isn’t buying enough. Or maybe past consumers who used to buy and now do not. The brand may be looking to rekindle lost relationships (we call them “Win Backs” in research).
Measuring Your Reach
When designing event marketing research it is important to know your consumer demographic. You also need to have a simple and easy way to measure the rate at which you’re reaching this demographic. Often times, the success of the marketing is dependent on it. For example, if you’re selling high-end single malt scotch and your event is reaching young adults in their twenties then your event is going to fail. Why? A younger consumer’s pallet is rarely developed enough to understand why anyone would drink a strong Islay scotch. They need a softer blend if you’re ever going to turn them on to the category. They are not your target consumer and therefore there is no benefit of aiming an experiential marketing event at them for this specific product. You have not reached your specified target consumers so you’re going to fail before you get that first engagement.
Use the Event Analysis to your Advantage
Make it a priority to measure and monitor your rate of target consumer engagement. Then tack these rates to your venue and market selection. This way you can clearly identify the times when you’re hitting it out of the park and when it’s time to skip that particular event next year.