It’s the Heavy User, Stupid

by James on July 13, 2010

Heavy users, are market makers. This is a recurring theme here on Hip Shots. Find and connect with the “heavy users” of the category you compete in and and you will find success.

From the May 26th edition of AdAge:

Demographics have almost no effect on whether TV ads produce sales, and consumers’ purchase history is the most reliable predictor of success, according to research from TRA, which has been pairing data from set-top TV boxes with retail loyalty-card purchase data since 2008.

Want more evidence? Domino’s Pizza in the UK has attributed its significant sales growth in the first half of this year to Social Media targeted to heavy category users:

Domino’s Pizza has attributed strong growth in online sales to its use of promotions on location-based mobile application Foursquare and social media after revealing a 29% surge in pre-tax profits to £17.5m.

Targeting heavy users is important. Talking to them about things they value is even more important. TRA President Bill Harvey said,

The ads themselves matter most. “Data suggests 65% of TV ROI is attributable to the creative and 35% to the media.

So what does a marketer need to do?

Customers are important so start with your current business. Determine who your best customers are. These will be the 20% or so who generate most of your top line and probably all of your profit. What do these people look like? In all likelihood they are heavy users of the category you compete in. Use what you learn from your best customers to better understand who the heavy category users are. This is the group, your best customers and heavy users of the category, that you should be focusing your marketing on.

Find out what makes this group tick. What are they looking for from the category? How do they view your products and your competitors’ products? In all likelihood you don’t satisfy 100% of their requirements. Find out what you are missing. Use the insights from this work to craft your message and develop the advertising and marketing you will use to deliver it. Find ways to add value, to create positive sum marketing.

Resist the temptation to try to convert the middle just because there are lots of them. They are light and moderate users of the category because they don’t need what it offers. All the marketing in the world won’t change this. Don’t try.

Now repeat after me, “It’s the heavy users, stupid.”

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