One of the concepts that I see Digital Marketers forgetting when they develop campaigns is remembering that different personalities, self-concepts, and lifestyles influence consumer-related behavior choices. They try to utilize a one size fits all approach to their campaigns instead of taking advantage of the targeting that is made so much easier in online marketing.
Consumer personalities, self-concepts, and lifestyles influence how they act, think about a brand, and their purchase patterns. Self-Congruency Theory describes that a consumer’s behavior is affected by the match between their self-image and how they see the store/brand/product. Knowing this, we as marketers need to ensure that our brand messages match our consumers beliefs and lifestyles, the easiest way to do this is to understand our consumer’s persona traits.
How to Determine Persona Traits
There are multiple ways to understand persona traits of your customers to be used in marketing campaigns. A few of them include:
- Analyzing existing customers who fit the persona. Dig into their personalities, lifestyle, and self-concepts to determine the different traits that fit them. Depending on your industry, and your relationship with your customers, you may be able to sit down and do this yourself, or you may have to survey your customers or conduct a focus group.
- Utilize the Strategic Business Insights VALSTM to better understand your customers and the best way to interact with them. The VALSTM survey breaks individuals in eight (8) distinct categories that helps you understand their values, reliance on themselves or others, and attitudes. You can connect this information understand how your customers will see your brand, adapt to new products, or messaging.
- Claritas’ Market Segments can be used to link consumer behaviors, experiences, and profiles to a specific zip code. This will help your business understand the markets in their area of operation, and help you craft campaigns that will resonate with those segments.
How to Use VALSTM in Marketing
VALSTM breaks people down in eight types that will allow you to test concepts, position your brand and products, and better communicate with potential customers. The eight VALSTM types include: Innovators, Thinkers, Achievers, Experiencers, Believers, Strivers, Makers, and Survivors.
When I took the VALS Survey, it determined my primary type was “Thinkers”, which, based on the explanation of this group, I would determine it fit me well. This information would be helpful for businesses looking to market to me, as members of the thinkers group typically “Plan, research, and consider before they act”, “buy proven products”, and are “not influenced by what’s hot.” Knowing this a marketer could focus on the history of the brand/product, any testing that it has undergone, and case studies. Based on my type, utilizing influence marketing would not be effective for me. This information would allow marketers to speak to what I am looking for when making a buying decision, and not waste resources on ineffective campaigns.
How to Use Claritas’ PRISM in Marketing
Claritas breaks consumers down into different segments across three different life stages. While you can narrow down segments based on various traits, such as education, employment, income, owning/renting their home, etc. you can also search by zip code and they will show you the primary segments in that zip code.
When I searched for 54660 which is my hometown, there were five segments, including: “Golden Ponds”, “White Picket Fences”, “Campers & Camo”, “Small-Town Collegiates”, and “Big Sky Families”. I found these segments to be a fairly accurate depiction of Tomah’s population.
I most associate with “Big Sky Families”. Businesses who wish to market to me, could see the segments demographics but also their lifestyle and media traits. Some of the traits of the “Big Sky Families” include “Shops at Academy Sports & Outdoors”, “listens to new county”, and “goes hunting.” Marketers could use this information to focus on outdoor activities or know not to launch a big campaign during the first weekend of hunting season.
It’s all about Personalization
When marketers know who they are marketing to, they can personalize campaigns and timing to be the most effective. In addition, in the new age of Digital Marketing they can have multiple campaigns or messages all running at the same time targeting different segments. This customization helps connect and communicate with customers, and move leads through the buying process.