Surveying the Target Consumer: How Many is Enough?

Written by PortMA

Surveying the Target Consumer: How Many is Enough?

The PortMA team recently presented a comprehensive experiential marketing program recap to a spirits industry client. The objective that caught the most attention was surveying the right targeting consumer.

During our report presentation, we spent some time discussing an interesting question: Why aren’t we surveying just the target consumer?

That’s a valid question. If the brand has defined a specific target consumer to survey, shouldn’t the strategy revolve around marketing toward that target? Certainly. But it’s also beneficial to reach consumers outside the target criteria for a basis for comparison. How can you draw valid conclusions about the target consumer without knowing how their attitude and behavior differ from others?

This particular program markets several different spirits brands. Each spirit has a unique consumer target profile. As a result, we survey how frequently the brand team reached the target consumer at the events they activated.

How many target consumers are enough to survey?

Here’s an example. Let’s say “Joe” is the consumer target profile for “Brand A” and, for simplicity’s sake, he fits the following criteria: Male, Age 28 to 32

The brand ambassadors are instructed to engage Joe at the events they run, which makes sense because prior research suggests Joe is more likely than other consumers to purchase the product. Let’s say, as we measure the progress of the program, the exit survey results indicate that the teams reached Joe 50% of the time, meaning the other consumers reached did not fit Brand A’s target profile.

Is this a problem? Not from a research perspective. 50% indicates that the brand teams are actively engaging the target consumer and that the research likely has a valid sample size for hypothesis testing.

What conclusions can you draw from the target consumer and this survey?

If Joe is more likely than other consumers to purchase Brand A in the future, then we can conclude that the event experience is having a positive impact on the target consumer’s behavior. Therefore, we can recommend that the teams engage Joe more frequently to maximize purchase intent.

If Joe is equally likely as anyone else to purchase, then that provides us an opportunity to investigate the events more closely. Perhaps the teams distributed cocktail samples that were a huge hit with everyone.  Maybe Joe already purchases Brand A on a regular basis, so the event experience has less of an impact on changing his behavior.
These are just some of the insights we can gain by monitoring consumer targeting to bring added value to the program.

Want to learn more about the research we do?
Contact our expert team at PortMA today!