Are You Connecting with Heavy Users?

by James on January 23, 2009

Heavy users, are the people who drive volume and revenue in the business where you compete. They are the people who visit their favorite fast food locations nearly every day. However, non, light and moderate consumers represent the majority. This drags down the mean (average) usage level.

Why does this matter?

With mass marketing it costs the same to reach the average as it does to reach heavy users. Conclusion, if you are targeting the middle, much of your investment in mass marketing is wasted on consumers who won’t buy often enough to pay for the marketing.

Targeting the middle is based on the assumption that all consumers contribute equally to sales so, if there are an equal number of people above as there are below the average, a message to the middle will pay off.

Not true.

And especially not true when value is considered. Heavy users contribute a much greater proportion of category value than their numbers would suggest. Think the 80:20 Rule. These are your best customers.

And, heavy users’ needs are very different than the needs of moderate and light users. In all likelihood, a message crafted to appeal to the middle won’t appeal to them. For the advertising to affect their behavior, it must reflect their perspective on brands and the category.

This is not your father’s mass marketing. It’s hard and requires a lot of thought and work. But the pay off can be huge.

Hip Shots

  • Understand who the heavy users in your category are and what makes them tick. They probably know more about the market than you do.
  • Target them with media that reaches them efficiently.  If they use the internet frequently, use online advertising and don’t worry about the other segments.
  • Craft your message to appeal to heavy users’ needs. Warm and fuzzy won’t do it for them. They need real, practical reasons why they should buy.
  • Create advertising and marketing programs for key segments
    • If they are loyal to the brand give them reasons to buy again.
    • If they are heavy category users but not loyal to your brand find out why and give them a good reason to use you more often.
    • If they are moderate users and relatively loyal to your brand give them reasons to use the category and your brand more often.
  • A final word of caution, remember the first principle of relationship marketing, “Attract the right customers for the right reasons.”

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