Expanding your customer base while holding the loyalty of your traditional core can be a major hurdle — especially if your base is perceived as “older” and your growth relies heavily on acquiring much younger users.
A leading consumer advocacy brand called on the Lippincott Marketing & Customer Strategy (MCS) Group to study and answer the dilemma.
The Lippincott MCS Group understood the delicate balance required to retain the core audience but dramatically grow engagement, impact and revenue from a much more diverse group of consumers. Our starting point was to understand how each of the brand’s major functional groups currently defined and viewed their audiences. At the same time we collaborated with the key stakeholders to prioritize the must-haves and the wish list for future growth.
Collaborating from the outset
The client and Lippincott joined in a key cross-functional, rapid prototyping workshop that played two critical roles. The first was to stress test how a draft segmentation model could work within the business: Have we identified new audiences to attract? Do we have the right information to influence our future value proposition? Is there an organizing framework that is intuitive to understand? The second role was to prioritize the quantitative research.
The all-day session yielded more than 200 potential audience personas from which our MCS team created clusters that identified the dimensions and could act as the foundation to an eventual model. We quickly designed an online survey among customers and the general population to test the rapid prototyping hypotheses. From this data set we deployed a series of advanced analytical techniques to develop an understanding of the similarities and differences across consumer groups.
Balancing data and intuition
Through a new series of co-creation workshops, we helped our client balance statistics with judgment to develop a market segmentation that would not only yield the essential insight, it would also deliver an intuitive and actionable framework that could be carried across the organization.
The driving insight showed that the organization was indeed highly successful at attracting a segment we named “your dad.” However, its growth opportunity was within a segment the surface of which had barely been scratched: a far younger, far more diverse target mostly characterized by women and economically ascending cultural groups.
Tellingly, our research also revealed that the new target segment was highly receptive to our client’s offer. The problem was that the traditional customer experience that appealed to the older core was a complete misfire with the new, younger and more diverse group.
We recommended eight experience initiatives using robust numerical information and softer qualitative insight informed by focus groups. Recommendations ranged from optimizing the advocacy group’s content strategy to broadening its audience through voice and digital design. We delivered the results through a visual design system that conveyed the essence of the brand target in an intuitive and highly illuminating way.
The audience strategy not only informed the future experience design, it was a critical input into a new brand strategy and identity for the consumer advocacy group. And, it has become a foundation for the group’s ongoing marketing implementation to also actively drive growth among its customer base.