Thought Leadership

Targeting retail customers in-store: it’s an age thing.

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If you’re planning in-store marketing campaigns in your brick-and-mortar sites, you’ll be creating everything with your target audience in mind. It’s impossible to reach everyone (unless you’re Amazon or Google) so narrowing your focus down to a core audience is important in developing a practical visual merchandising strategy that will actually work.

What is a target audience?

Finding your target audience is about finding your niche in a market. When you know your niche, you can target your market by promoting the advantages and benefits of your brand or service to that particular group. Typically a target audience is defined by demographics like age, income, buying power and other characteristics and behaviours.

Why is your target customer so important with in-store marketing?

As previously mentioned, your target audience can’t be everyone, but your campaigns can be appropriate for different groups of people. It’s important to identify who your service or product is for, and how they’d like to experience interactions with your brand. For example, you might own a chain of fashion retail stores aimed at mature women over 50. Your campaigns need to highlight themes and messages that are likely to resonate with that audience and be delivered via channels they are most likely to use. For example, your in-store marketing materials may focus on product quality and brand messaging over offers and discounts.

How do I target my audience with an in-store marketing campaign?

Boomers, zoomers, millennials, and generation X; what do all of us have in common? We all love to shop. The key to targeting your niche is working out who your audience is, when they like to shop, how they like to shop, and which marketing messages they respond best to.

The Golden Generation

The golden generation, otherwise known as the G.I generation and the World War II generation, is a demographic that is usually defined as people born between 1901 to 1927. As if getting old wasn’t hard enough, this generation has lived through multiple wars, the socio-political shift of the 1960s and 70s, and a decade of Margaret Thatcher, so it’s safe to say they’re tenacious as all hell and not to be underestimated.

A lot of people from older generations struggle with technology, so you’ll find the golden oldies tend to prefer the dealing with someone in person and tend to rely on brick and mortar shops more often than pursuing stores online. More traditional in values, if you’re looking to draw them into your store then convenience should be at the forefront of your in-store marketing campaign. Be sure to create a relaxed environment with easily legible signage, excellent customer service and as few queues as possible – and don’t forget to include plenty of seating. The same rules can be applied to the following silent generation, who are defined as people born between 1928 and 1945.

Baby Boomers

The Baby Boomer generation covers almost two decades following World War II and is considered anyone born between 1946 to 1964. The result of a mid-century baby boom (hence the name), the stereotype of the technologically illiterate Boomer is quite inaccurate – this supposedly ‘out-of-touch’ generation enjoys shopping online and using modern technologies a lot more than we tend to give them credit for. According to Salesfloor, 66% of Baby Boomers surveyed reported they regularly make purchases online.

Of the different generations, Baby Boomers are also least likely to find shopping relaxing and value convenience and customer service above all else. With a greater amount of disposable income than other generations, Boomers have a bit more spending power and are less focused on hunting down a bargain or deal, unlike younger shoppers.

Although they regularly order goods and services via the internet, Baby Boomers are still more likely to visit a brick-and-mortar location when is comes to specific purchases and are also more likely to boycott a business or organisation following poor customer service. Targeting the Boomers? Make life easy and rewarding for these shoppers, offer an omni-channel experience, with buy online pick up in store and click and collect services, easy returns and excellent, personalised customer service. In-store marketing campaign materials can be used to highlight product quality and messaging that helps these customers create a connection with your brand, as well as showing the convenience of your alternative shopping options.

Generation X

The cheese and ham to a Boomer-Millenial baguette, generation X are sandwiched in between the two most infamous generations and are often referred to as the forgotten “middle child” of the family.

Often forgotten by marketers, Gen Xer’s are people born between the mid-1960s and early-1980s. Always out for a bargain, Gen X tend to shop more frugally than other generations and won’t be convinced by flashy marketing – they enjoy practical, honest advertising, as well as proof whatever they’re buying into will work for them. So if you’re looking to target this generation be sure to work on an authentic brand image. An active digital following will also work in your favour, as Gen X tend to research thoroughly online before handing over their hard-earned cash.

Generation Y (Millennials)

When Green Party politician Chlöe Swarbrick subtly dropped ‘OK Boomer’ in New Zealand parliament at a heckling member of the country’s opposition party, she went viral. Embedded forever into the hearts of meme-loving Millennials everywhere, the exchange has become iconic of the enduring beef that continues between the Baby Boomer generation and their younger counterparts.

The generational quarrel between Boomers and Gen Y is nothing short of legendary, with countless articles written about the feud strewn across the internet. Generation Y applies to people born between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s although the exact dates aren’t clear. The first generation of ‘digital natives’, Millennials are characterised as the ‘participation generation’ where winning awards for simply showing up at school has earned them a reputation for laziness and entitlement. Regardless of whether or not you think Millennials are worth the hype, the media can’t seem to get enough – one Australian ‘Boomer’ journalist found himself at the centre of a fiery internet squabble after encouraging young people to give up their avocado brunches in favour of purchasing a house.

The good news for marketers is that there’s plenty of information out there about Gen Y. It’s all about the connection for this generation, who see shopping as a social event that allows them to connect with their friends and family. Social media is also an influencing factor – Millennials often seek out reviews online before making a decision. Sceptical of pushing marketing and overbearing salespeople, Millennials prefer down-to-earth, authentic advertising. They are also likely to interact with brands and retailers through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and head shopping with friends as a leisure activity. When it comes to planning in-store marketing campaigns, research has found that if stores had real-time product information online, Millennials are much more likely to head to the shop to buy it – so online and in-store campaigns really need to work hand in hand. Also, social media friendly or “instagramable” areas or activities that encourage online engagement while in the store, not only offer free online promotion but also make the experience more memorable for Millennials.

Generation Z (Zoomers)

Gen Z, or Zoomers, follow controversial Millennials with the clever satire and smooth Tik Tok dances that have been associated with their generation. Unlike Gen X and Gen Y, Gen Z doesn’t remember a time before the internet. Digital natives to the highest degree, on any given day you’ll find a typical Zoomer enjoying memes and poking fun at the skinny jeans and side partings Millennials are using to ‘cling to their youth’ (allegedly).

You may think Generation Z would choose to shop online, but surprisingly a large percentage of these digital natives still enjoy travelling to brick and mortar locations. According to a survey by Retail Assist, 84% of surveyed Gen Z-ers like to make a day out of their shopping and 58% said they preferred the High Street over shopping online. For marketers, social media is the perfect place to target Gen Z – 73% said they would make a purchase based on a recommendation through a social media platform. Once they’re in store, Gen Z are looking for creating an emotional connection with the brands they support. They want to know there values and aims, and are a driving force in social responsibility, with research by McKinsey finding that 60-80% of Gen Z’ers think brands should be held to account for the ethics of their actions.

So what does this mean for my in-store marketing campaign?

By understanding the different generations and ways each demographic shops, marketers can narrow your target audience even more and nail your visual merchandising. Gathering as much data and information as possible enables you to engineer targeted marketing that engages with the right audience.

It is a great start to be clear on your target audience and create a campaign around them. You can find more ways to run effective in-store marketing campaigns here.

Define your marketing goals before creating an in-store marketing campaign

What do you want to achieve with your in-store marketing campaign? Do you own a chain of international fashion retailers, or do you work in the head office of a national bank? Once you’ve defined your end goal, you can create an in-store marketing campaign with your target audience and objectives at the centre. Be sure to analyse the accuracy of installation and performance of that campaign once it’s finished – quality is constantly evolving, and it’s important to monitor and revise your approach regularly.

Creating an in-store marketing campaign with Colateral

If you want to empower and engage your employees in your brick-and-mortar stores, streamline your visual merchandising across your physical locations, and create effective, relevant in-store marketing campaigns targeting your niche and keeping your customers coming back, then Colateral can help.

We believe the age of planning marketing campaigns on spreadsheets is over. While connecting with your audience can seem daunting, engineering an authentic, in-store marketing campaign that appeals to your demographic is simple when you give your head office and onsite employees the innovative digital tools they need to quickly plan, target and deliver your vision.

By gaining a better understanding of who you’re marketing to and engineering relevant, infrastructure-specific content across your digital channels and brick-and-mortar sites, you’ll be able to engage with your audience more authentically and effectively.

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