Strategic Question #8: Are you targeting the relational or transactional customer with your marketing message?

(This post is a continuation of our detailed look into the 13 strategic marketing questions that every marketer must answer.)

Are you targeting the relational or transactional customer with your marketing message?

Transactional Relational CustomersGenerally speaking, your customer will fall into one of two camps: relational or transactional. And you must decide which of the two you are planning to target with your marketing message.

Keep in mind that a customer can be a relational shopper in one product category and a transactional shopper in yet another. For example, anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a relational shopper when it comes to buying clothing, computers and electronics. Yet, I do a one-eighty and become transactional when shopping for cars, gasoline and furniture.

So which are you targeting with your marketing efforts? Need a little help deciding?

No problem. Let’s take a deeper look at the characteristics of each type of customer.

Relational Customers:

  • Think long term.
  • Consider today’s transaction to be one in a series of many.
  • Do not enjoy comparison shopping or negotiating.
  • Fear only “making a poor choice.”
  • Hope to find an expert they can trust.
  • Consider their time spent shopping to be part of the purchase price
  • Are likely to become a repeat customer.

Transactional Customers:

  • Think short term.
  • Care only about today’s transaction.
  • Enjoy the process of shopping and negotiating.
  • Fear only “paying more than they had to pay.”
  • Are willing to spend lots of time investigating.
  • Consider themselves the expert.
  • Hinge every transaction on price.
  • Are a good source of word-of-mouth advertising.

As you can see, a relational shopper carries a completely different mindset from a transactional shopper. Please don’t think that you’ll be able to attract both. A marketing message that attempts to reach everyone is guaranteed to deliver quiet and understated ad copy. And convincing your customer to take action often requires that you choose a segment of the market to leave behind.

So, will you target the relational or transactional customers in your market?

One final thought: During the past decade, the emergence of Google search has edged all consumers towards being more transactional in their buying approach. Today, your customer has the ability to compare every available option with lighting-fast speed. That said, there are still plenty of reasons to target relational shoppers.

TAKE ACTION: Determine what type of customer your company is best suited to target. Most importantly, make sure you’re comfortable with your choice, and be consistent with your marketing message.

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  1. […] Reading time: < 1 minute A marketing message that attempts to reach everyone is guaranteed to deliver quiet and understated ad copy. And convincing your customer to take action often requires that you choose a segment of the market to leave behind. via marketingbeyondadvertising.com […]



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