Purchaser versus Consumer Part II

In a previous article, we discussed the concept of purchaser versus consumer and how those two can be very different.It is important to make the distinction, as marketing efforts to the consumer may not pay off as well as marketing towards the purchaser.This article will detail how to find out if there is a difference between the two.
The first thing that you can do in determining if your consumer and purchaser are different is simply to measure your customers.The customers are your purchasers, so you must develop a good strategy to track your customers.Most retail stores will simply station someone in the store to monitorthe customers.This includes taking note of their visible demographics as well as taking note of their purchases.Simply doing this for one day can yield a wealth of information about who your customers are and what they buy.The only downside to this method is that you will not be able to record any non-visible demographics, such as income range, and you’ll also be using up an employee that could be used elsewhere.An alternative way to gather this information is to provide your customers with a survey.The survey can ask more detailed demographic information as well as get the interests and their beverage purchases over all locations.The survey is very inexpensive to produce and distribute, but there are downsides.These include a typically low response rate and the opportunity for people to not be entirely truthful.Focus groups also can be used to determine who is buying particular products, but those only provide you with a narrow slice of detailed opinions and is more suitable for otheranalysis.In all, you are looking for overall trends, so taking a larger sample size will be most appropriate.
The second thing to do is to determine your consumers.At first glance, this may seem impossible as you can’t go into someone’s house and see what they are doing.However, you can ask them.The best technique to do this is surveys.Even though the response rate can be low, it is a good way to inexpensively cover a large swath of people.Designing the survey will be covered in another article, but you will want to uncover what people are actually drinking.You could also ask who purchased the beverage in the same survey.Another option is to ask your customers for whom they are purchasing the beverage.This tends to be more instrusive and some customers are put off by this, so I recommend you do not do this strategy.
Consumers versus purchasers is an important distinction to make for the sole fact that every marketing dollar is valuable.There should be no waste in your marketing, so it should be correctly targeted to the purchasers and less so to the consumers.