If you kick differently, you shop differently

Posted by Bianca Oehl on 02.02.2018

Werbewoche - für Köpfe in der Kommunikation, 2018/05

INTERSPORT Germany is adapting campaigns to new customer segments based on real data – each with a specific touchpoint mix and appropriate products along the individual customer journeys.

Football is the number one team sport in Germany. The target group “footballers” is further divided, however, into individuals with very different needs. This has been recognized by football boot manufacturers, for example, who offer the same football boot model for different terrains, with different boot heights and performance levels.

Sound understanding of the customer is a prerequisite for market success. For retailers like INTERSPORT, this poses the challenge of serving different types of sportspeople with exactly the right products. So there must always be a special focus on linking communication and product. Which products should be presented via which touchpoints so that they reach exactly the target group that actually buys these products? Will tried and tested advertising media like printed catalogues, for example, continue to be successful in the future in appealing to lifestyle-oriented football enthusiasts?

Addressing customers individually

Modern customer segmentation with empirically validated segments is not only essential for successful market development, it’s also the solution to questions concerning customer journeys and touchpoints. Because there is no one customer journey that applies to all consumers. Unlike abstract sociodemographic social groupings or fictitious personas, INTERSPORT's target groups are based on data about real, active footballers. Accelerom's data-based approach makes it possible to link attitude-based segmentation with the customer journey data of precisely these target groups. This makes it very clear that those who tick and kick differently, buy differently.

INTERSPORT's “footballer” target groups cover different age groups, which vary in terms of their motivations and football’s importance to them. The football market in Germany isn’t just made up of young semi-professionals, which is what you mainly see in advertising. Older footballers also account for a considerable proportion of purchasing power. What the different types of kickers spend their money on also varies. For some target groups visual appearance is most important, for others it’s comfort or functionality.

When it comes to the customer journey, we find the following: some key touchpoints are used by all customer types equally. At the same time, however, there are touchpoints that are central for one target group, but almost meaningless for the other target groups. This is why it’s vital to manage the linkage of target groups, touchpoints and content along the customer journey both online and offline.

At INTERSPORT Germany, their "customers" are now more tangible. The illustrated profiles used to present the target groups help everyone in the company involved, from purchasing to marketing, to quickly form a uniform picture of the different customer types in the football category. This makes holistic marketing possible, which also takes the product dimension into account. The findings on touchpoint usage make it easier to select the right touchpoints for the individual target groups from the huge range of possible touchpoints. It’s not only paid media touchpoints that play a role in communication. Owned and earned touchpoints are often key. This results in completely new cross-media campaigns - each tailored to a specific target group. By the way, don’t write off everything from the past: even the good old printed catalogue containing the entire product range is still useful for some customer types - though as a panacea it’s clearly obsolete.

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Bianca Oehl

Bianca Oehl studied political science and economics at the Universities of Zurich, Geneva and Hamburg, and graduated with a PhD in political science from ETH Zurich. Her thesis covered, among other topics, how the published opinions in newspapers influence national policy-making, and how this compares between countries. As a researcher and lecturer she further focused on the interplay between politics and the economy, empirical methods of social research, and applied statistics. She also has practical experience in the hotel industry, association and event management, and journalism.