The most important learnings from the Corona crisis

As a brick-and-mortar retailer, you are in daily direct contact with your customers. Therefore, you certainly have a very clear picture of what the visitors in your store expect from you and how you can best address them. This knowledge of your target groups offers you the best conditions to address your regular customers and potential new customers online, outside the physical store. The advantage is that you can reach more consumers. Following certain methods, you can increase the traffic in your store. While bringing the benefits and convenience of online shopping into your own physical store not only provides a competitive advantage, a linked shopping experience can also result in increased reach, customer loyalty and sales.

Why should I define my target group?

Whether you want to open your own online shop, boost local marketing via online campaigns, start with content marketing or reach a new target group: Through a detailed target group definition, your marketing measures will reach exactly those buyers who are interested in your offer through various channels. The better you know the needs of your customers, the more targeted you can address your customers and convince them of your offer. If your offer and your target group do not match, you will probably not have the success you wish for. By defining your target group, you can get to know your existing, potential or new customers and their needs in detail and align your marketing in the best possible way. By analysing your target group you can find out, for example, which digital or linked services your customers want. In this way you know how to offer your customers exactly the shopping experience they expect. The advantage for you as a physical retailer: You know your customers and can use much of this knowledge to define your target group. Please note, however, that a target group analysis must be reviewed at regular intervals and, if necessary, all marketing measures must be adjusted, since the target group with its wishes and needs can change over time.

What does my business stand for and what exactly is my offer?

Before you start with the target group analysis, start with your offer and your company. Once you have clearly understood and defined what the customer benefit of your offer is, it will be easier for you to address your target group. Answer the following questions:

  • – What can you or what can your product do really well?
  • – What is the benefit of your products for your customers?
  • – What do you and your company stand for?
  • – Do you have special experience in a certain area?
  • – How do you differ from the competition?
  • – Who is your competition and where is it active?
  • – What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competition?

Take a close look at your competition and note down how you differ from it. The advantage is that you can communicate the answers to these questions as USPs (Unique Selling Points) on your website, your (online) marketing campaigns and in any marketing material. There are various online resources available for analysing the competition, from Google Trends and Google Suggest to various keyword databases, through which you can find out the search volume of certain keywords on Google and use this information to derive your potential sales potential. Relevant keyword analysis tools include, for example, the Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere as well as the tools Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Answer the public, Hypersuggest, Ubersuggest, Keyword Tool, SEORCH, KWFinder, WDFIDF-Tool or BuzzSumo. Studies, publications as well as market and industry data can also be helpful in the analysis. If you already know your direct competitors in the brick-and-mortar retail, you can simply walk into the shops of your competitors and get an idea of their range of products and services.

How do I proceed with the target group analysis? Who is my target group?

One of the most important questions that every retailer must ask himself in the target group analysis is: Who is my target group? As the first step, you write down everything you already know about your existing clientele – from demographic characteristics such as age, gender and place of residence to socio-economic characteristics such as income, profession and level of education, and psychographic characteristics such as price sensitivity, media use, (buying) behaviour, lifestyle, desires, values and other situational characteristics that are relevant to buying. In addition to the knowledge you already have, personal interviews are particularly suitable for finding out more about the target group. If you are already active on social media channels, use them too to get to know your target group!

On Instagram, for example, you can ask your community questions directly or find out their preferences through surveys. The result of a target group analysis is the creation of personas, i.e. prototypical representations of the target group. Once you have collected all the characteristics of your target group and conducted interviews, you evaluate them and look for commonalities. Based on this, you develop your persona profiles (or customer avatars), which contain typical characteristics including their needs, challenges and patterns of action. Concrete examples of what a Buyer Persona can look like can be found in the Google image search. There you can select the template that best suits your needs. Initial suggestions for different types of consumers can be found in our whitepaper titled: “Omnichannel: Return of digital consumers to the real world How can brick-and-mortar retailers win them back?” Once you have created your personas, you can identify the right topics and channels that are relevant to your target group and through which you can reach them.

When is the right time to analyze my target group?

Whether you want to sharpen the image of your target group again, plan to build up your online shop, launch online marketing campaigns or implement long-term content marketing measures – this is exactly when a target group analysis is advisable. For a detailed target group analysis, you should take your time so that you can use the results with enough lead time. In this way, you can ensure that your website or campaign is optimally geared to your target group and reaches the right customers. The more precisely you know the needs of your target group, the higher are the chances of a positive effect on your sales figures. Do not forget that target group analysis is a dynamic process: The more you learn about your target group, the more accurate your analysis will be, and keep in mind that your target group may well change over time.

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