Are you focusing on the wrong viewers?
Last year, I wrote an article about how the Net Promoter Score relates to in-store media. Under this approach, people who would actively recommend a product or service to another person are called "promoters." The theory is that even a relatively small number of promoters can strengthen your brand, since word of mouth advertising is extremely effective, and these people are essentially doing some of your selling for you. However, there is a problem with this system in a retail setting. Within a store, many people aren't in a position to be promoters or detractors, but they can still influence the purchase decision. As I was researching this further, I came across this article from The Customer Experience Labs that sums it up nicely:
The initial question is: Who is your customer?. This is not always obvious since there are many actors involved in the purchase and use of a certain product or service. Yet five main roles can be identified that exist in many purchasing situations. Often several, sometimes all of these roles might be conducted by the same individual but recognizing the needs and requirements of each separately leads to potential areas for service design.See the problem? With at least five main roles (and one could argue there are even more, or perhaps sub-roles for each), it's suddenly much more difficult to figure out whom you should be targeting with your retail media content. Are you advertising in Toys "R" Us? If so, should you aim your messages at children? These children probably aren't the deciders or purchasers, but are very likely the initiators and influencers. Or is the parent the optimal target? In this environment, customer age might well be the determining factor, but which age is the right one?
Here is a short description of the single roles:
It is important to understand that in any buying situation various actors can and will influence the buying decision and they will also be - either active or passive - experiencing a product and service and should therefore be considered when designing the overall "brand experience". If different individuals undertake these roles, it is necessary to develop individual and differentiated services to satisfy the different needs and requirements.
- Initiator: The individual who initiates the search for a solution to the customer's problem.
- Influencer: Individuals who have some influence on the purchase decision.
- Decider: Taking into consideration the views of the initiator and influencer some individual will make the decision as to which product or service should be purchased.
- Purchaser: The individual who is actually paying for the product or service
- User: The individual who finally consumes the product or service.
The standard example for this is a visit to a theme park with children. The initiator might be the child that saw an advertising on TV, while the decider and purchaser are the parents. While it is important to design a great experience for children at a theme park, it might be even more important to focus on the experience of parents because ultimately they will decide and pay for the next trip to Disneyland.
Or consider a home electronics store like Best Buy. A shopper coming in for a $20 DVD could well embody all five roles, from initiator to purchaser and user. But if he's scouting out a $2,000 big screen TV, he might only be the initiator and influencer, and other family members might have to come together to make the decision. So it's not necessarily demographics that would govern what the right target is, it could also be the purpose of the visit.
How should audience segments influence your content strategy?
As I review more and more digital signage content, I'm starting to think that addressing the right viewers might be an even bigger challenge than the design issues (like animated text and lack of a call to action) that many content creators face. We've already shown how addressing the most common content issues improves the overall effectiveness of digital signage ads. I'm willing to bet that the same is true for optimizing content to appeal to the best segment of a viewing audience.
But how do you figure out which role to target? I don't have an answer for that yet, only more questions -- but as I work through them I'll be sure to share my results here. I'm also positive that I'm not the first one to come across this issue.
So, how do you make sure your content is geared towards the right segment of your audience? Have you seen any improvements when aiming at influencers versus aiming at the deciders and purchasers?
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