How to Actually Target Promotion-​Minded Customers

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “How to Actually Target Promotion-​Minded Customers”

If you have a client in the restaurant or grocery industry, have they ever mentioned that their customers ultimately boil down to two different types of customers? According to a recent article by WARC, the two types are:

  • Prevention-​Minded Customers: These shoppers plan out their buying decisions in advance. These types of grocery shoppers won’t likely stray from the shopping list they’ve made for themselves. And restaurant goers have already decided whether or not they’ll eat out and where and can’t be swayed otherwise. They prefer the safety of a completely planned out shopping trip or dining decision.
  • Promotion-​Minded Customers: These are the impulse shoppers. They see something they want at a grocery store, get a craving and buy it. They’re also the people driving down the road who see a restaurant they haven’t been to in a while and swerve to turn into the driveway if that location’s food sounds good in that split second. WARC says that a primary driver for these shoppers is gains and rewards. So, if they see a promotion or ad featuring a product that they enjoy, they’ll use the promised savings as an excuse to splurge on something they’re craving.

Obviously, your clients should be focusing primarily on their promotion-​minded customers.

Targeting Promotion-​Minded Customers

The process of identifying what these customers want and how they can be addressed shouldn’t be too difficult either. WARC points out that promotion-​minded shoppers make up roughly half the U.S. population, so 50/​50 is already great odds.

Take a look back through your client’s older promotional data. What types of ads did they run that got a particularly good response from their target audience? Were there specific food products or meals that got a better response than others?

If your client doesn’t have their previous promotional data readily available to them, don’t worry. AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel can help you fill in the data gaps. For example, the Grocery Store/​Supermarket Customers profile reveals that the advertising medium with the highest response rate from these shoppers last year was direct mail ads/​coupons. And did you know that Wings Restaurant Diners are 57% more likely than other consumers to take action after seeing an outdoor ad such as a billboard?

With that data, you’ll have a better idea of what to promote to promotion-​minded customers. But Wendy Wallner, a senior client manager at Ipsos, says that the delivery of your promotional messages can likely be better. “The way you want to attract this group is through benefit-​focused messaging, particularly highlighting sensory benefits,” says Wallner.

When it comes to food, the two most important senses (when the product isn’t directly in front of you) are taste and sight. “Promotion-​minded consumers are easier to lead from desire to the ‘stronger state’ of craving — a need state that induces a chemical reaction in the brain, narrows choices and prompts a ‘sense of urgency’ — with the right strategic cues,” says WARC. So, use words that appeal to those senses, such as “juicy” or “cheesy.” Not all descriptors have to be adjective either. Wallner points out that, when it comes to burgers for example, the term “full of bacon” provides a taste sensory overload in and of itself, especially considering Americans’ love of bacon. They don’t need descriptors of how bacon tastes. They know. 

Also, Wallner advises advertisers to focus on immediate benefits instead of abstract benefits that won’t be experienced in the moment. An example she gives is milk. Grocers love to promote the benefits calcium has for bones. But do shoppers ever actually experience that? No. Focus on what they’ll feel in the moment while drinking it to appeal to promotion-​minded customers.