Chalk and Cheese: How Smart Marketers Differentiate between Shoppers

Chalk and Cheese: How Smart Marketers Differentiate between Shoppers


Having in-depth consumer insight is critical for effective media planning. Volatility in the consumer landscape challenges media owners, advertisers and agencies to find better ways of understanding and communicating with consumers.

Most marketers are familiar with the benefits of the different media for advertising to reach specific demographics. But what we see now is smart marketers developing a richer profiling of their customers to build a custom view of shoppers in their category. Enabling them to innovate, communicate and activate with these consumers in mind. Taking specialty cheeses as an example, demographically, buyers of Camembert, Brie and Feta are more likely to be European New Zealanders, female, over 40 years and have an income in excess of $80,000. Traditionally you may plan to reach these consumers within people aged 25 to 54 and plan your media accordingly.

If we look closer at the 630,000 Kiwis who bought specialty cheeses in the last 13 weeks, there are some clear differences in media consumption of the segments. Feta shoppers are more likely to see outdoor advertising and are heavy internet users. Camembert shoppers are more likely to be heavy TV viewers, while Brie shoppers are more likely to be heavy readers of magazines, daily newspapers, direct mail and go to the cinema.

Marketers can go further and use shopper’s lifestyles and attitudes in marketing strategies. Within the specialty cheese segments there are marked differences in these shopper’s values and behaviours:  

Feta shoppers are younger, high achievers, appearance conscious, sport junkies and food connoisseurs. For them, career is important and they say they need to do more formal study to advance their career. They exercise regularly, avoid foods that are unhealthy and always read the nutritional information to check for flavour enhancer or additives. Feta and Camembert shoppers are more likely to try ethnic flavours and new types of food. Feta shoppers are spontaneous, with a higher propensity to dash in and buy something they urgently need.  While all Feta, Camembert and Brie shoppers shop at Countdown, Pak’N Save and New World, Feta shoppers are also more likely to go to fruit & vege shops and the Mad Butcher.

Camembert shoppers are more likely to be conservationists and more appreciative towards ethical products. Camembert shoppers believe that food should be additive free and they buy environmentally sound products and organic food when they can. Additionally, they like to indulge in treats and prefer to shop at stores with loyalty cards. Camembert buyers’ shopping trips can be driven by a special occasion meal as well as an emergency trip to get something they ran out of; they are more likely to shop at speciality stores and Supervalue/Fresh Choice. 

Brie shoppers like to be fashionable. They don’t spend much time in the kitchen, instead pull meals together quickly and often eat on the run. They buy fresh/chilled food as well as takeaway and are more likely to make impulse purchases while inside a shopping mall, at the same time specifically look for promotions and offers. Brie shoppers are more likely to go to fruit & vege shops, the Mad Butcher and Farmers Markets. 

One size doesn’t fit all. These rich insights offer an opportunity to tap into the psyche of specific shoppers and use it at nearly every stage of your marketing plan, particularly marketing communications. 

By smarter planning you create a seamless transition from segmenting, profiling and then reaching those shoppers. Combining real purchases, behaviours and attitudes with media usage is a new level of sophistication in planning. It comes back to effective marketing – delivering the right message to the right people, shaping their preferences and ultimately driving sales.