Q&A: How to Identify and Measure Value-Conscious Consumer Buying Behavior (Part 1)

Catalina Chief Revenue Officer Stacey Hawes addresses how to identify and respond to increasingly value-conscious shoppers. Part Two will outline measurement strategies across the purchase tunnel.

What can purchase data tell brands about their consumers?
In addition to the deterministic data that’s captured at point of sale through loyalty cards, marketers can look at data on things like ingredients, lifestyle, media consumption, and geolocation household panels. They can know not only what she buys, but also more about why she buys it, which helps with audience targeting.

What types of audience nuances can you measure?
You can get as granular as looking at a gluten-free buyer versus an organic food buyer. Or a sugar avoider versus a sodium avoider. See the differences between loyalists versus switchers. The data can reveal common linkages across them and turn them into actionable audiences. You can combine demographics with lifestyle data and start to define some of the motivations behind it. The combination of purchase and motivation gives you a 360-degree view of who your customers really are. You can then build predictive models to indicate who's likely to buy and to convert.

Are brands sometimes surprised by who their most valuable customers turn out to be?
Many brands have a good notion about their ideal target audiences, but the treasure trove of data that’s out there can refine understanding or dispel misperceptions. For example, a carbonated soft drink brand launched a small 10-ounce can they thought was being bought by moms for kids' lunches. Once they looked at purchase history, they found that the product was actually bought by higher income single people for entertaining. So you can imagine the differences in how you would reach an audience, talk to them, and develop a creative offer for a kid’s lunch versus single person’s party cooler.

Should brands focus on their most loyal buyers now?
Traditionally, the most loyal buyers tend to be the most valuable, but there are also “likely triers”-- customers who are likely to try because they're buying a similar product in your category. You can also identify likely defectors. You need to speak to each audience differently and reach them differently based on their media channel preferences.

How can brands respond to increasingly value-conscious shoppers?
For example, a yogurt brand recently decided to pull back on their trade promotions, which prompted an 18% volume decline based on purchase data. It turns out that 60% of that decline came from high loyals. The brand assumed their most valuable customers would stick with them without any promotions. Catalina data scientists found that a subset of those high loyals were price-sensitive shoppers who were driving most of the decline. The brand responded with a promotional campaign to bring those high loyals back to the brand.

How do you convert a lower-funnel shopper and create loyalty?
Turning lower-funnel purchasers into fans or loyalists starts with identifying the right segment or audience, then bringing them into the upper funnel through awareness tactics. For example, a healthy frozen pizza brand wanted to find the most efficient way to drive awareness, educate consumers, incent trial, and drive loyalty. They used an omnichannel, sequential approach that combined two channels – Connected TV for upper funnel awareness coupled with in-store promotion.

They targeted the brand's most relevant shoppers, including lapsed and competitive buyers, then listened in real-time between each ad exposer. If the target audience bought the product after seeing the CTV ad campaign, they suppressed a promotional offer. If they didn’t buy after seeing the TV ad three times, they served a high-value incentive. Once that consumer redeemed the coupon for the full price pizza, they targeted her again with another offer at a lower dollar amount to prompt a repeat purchase.

Why is Catalina a leader at finding, activating, understanding and measuring audiences?
Catalina pioneered the media and technology to deliver one-to-one personal advertising in-store and several years ago initiated a digital transformation of the company. Today we leverage our extensive retail partner network to get real time data based on in-store purchases from 2 billion UPCs per day across both grocery and drug stores. We combine that with many other rich data sets to create a real-time shopper intelligence platform that delivers ads across multiple channels including Connected TV, Digital OOH and in-store. Over the last five years we've added a robust portfolio of omnichannel media services, as well as a number of new data sets and data services that are separate from our managed media business.

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