When engaging with customers in business, you simply cannot hope to use a blanket set of rules across all demographics and hope for the best. The key to reaching your target audience comes hand in hand with a targeted approach, tailor-made to meet the expectations of your intended market demographic.
The trends in customer behaviour differ considerably across generational and gender divides, giving companies something to think about when planning how they structure their loyalty rewards.
Paying attention to loyalty program demographics is vital and being able to personalise your communications to your customers helps to engineer good brand loyalty with a resultant upturn in engagement and increased revenues.
Male vs Female
In the past, most marketing was aimed at women, as they were, traditionally, most likely to do the household shopping. But, times have changed and we are starting to see a shift towards more men being involved in buying for the home. This is just one example of why it is now more important than ever to make sure that your marketing strategy is on point.
The commonly heard adage that says, “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus” does not only ring true in the social aspects of life but carries through to their shopping habits.
Identifying their trends and behaviours will help you increase your loyalty program usage. While both genders are proven to prefer shopping where they can be rewarded for customer loyalty, how each gender demonstrates loyalty is totally different.
Women tend to be more brand loyal than their counterparts, opting more for products that they trust or have established a relationship with, preferring a greater selection of brands. These products are usually focussed on the retail, grocery, beauty, restaurant, and household supply markets.
They will often purchase these brands with disregard for the quality or the price of the product because they are familiar with the brand.
Men, on the other hand, prefer better quality products and may shift to another item because of what the brand promises. Price is always a concern, albeit a secondary one. Men are more likely to be involved with purchases in the financial field, media and entertainment industries, and automotive industry.
While both genders agree that cashback of some form is the preferred perk, how the cashback is rewarded can also determine which sex is more likely to take part in the promotion.
While women love discounts and coupons on purchases, men enjoy freebies – perks that they can witness immediately. Ladies also have a natural inclination to share posts about good deals on social media or with friends and as such thrive on a rewards program that rewards loyal customers for new sign-ups.
The role of age in loyalty program demographics
Gender-based demographics are not the only concern when reaching out to your target market. Age has a big role to play, with clear and concise patterns for buying set out over four age segments.
According to Customer.com, there are clear delineating factors in four primary age groups which show that as a person ages, their shopping habits evolve.
- Ages 13 – 17: Teenagers tend to shop around a lot. This is probably because they have limited funds and a lot more time on their hands than most working-class citizens.
- Ages 18-24: By the time teens leave school, their shopping habits tend to settle down more. They are less likely to shop around and instead become brand loyal, according to the statistics. The reason for this may include an increase in workload at tertiary learning institutions, as well as an increased workload as they settle into working-class society.
- Ages 35-45: The middle-aged working-class has matured to realise that money saved is money gained. This demographic is far more likely to shop around for a good deal.
- Ages 55-65: Our senior citizens revert to brand loyalty and will often revisit a single store with repeat business, as long as it caters to their needs.
A clear pattern can be seen through the generational demographic evolution. It shifts from ‘shop around’ to ‘brand loyalty’, back to ‘shop around’, and then finally back to ‘brand loyalty’ again. This clear pattern is a great driver for businesses planning their loyalty program designations.
The business approach
An effective marketing strategy involving customer loyalty must strategically combine the loyalty program demographics and statistics we have observed in both the age and gender demographics evident in the marketplace.
If you aim to target women, your program must target brand devotion by being authentic and genuine. Tap into the emotional side of the brand to form a level of trust that will bond them to brand for long time loyalty.
Ladies aged 13 years to 17 years and 35 years to 45 years should be marketed with more aggressive and competitive promotions (cashback and discount promotions) as these age groups may be more prone to shop around.
Hooking these age groups may secure the 18 to 24 year old and 55 to 65 year old demographics permanently, as the tendency in these age groups is to remain loyal to tried and tested brands .
If you aim to target men, you will need to drive the quality of a brand and prove why they should pay the price they are paying for it. Promotions that appeal instantly to the wallet are most useful, such as freebie giveaways and ‘buy one get one free’ deals too.
The aggression devoted to promotion follows suit with the age demographic displayed in the above paragraph. If you manage to meet the needs of the ‘shopping’ demographic, you will most likely maintain the loyalty of the ‘brand loyal’ demographic.
Let UBU help you
If you would like access to more information on how you can enhance your company’s customer loyalty program or increase loyalty program usage, read our recent article which highlights the benefits of loyalty programs and why they matter.