Five Different Customer Types and How to Market to Them


How much time do you spend thinking about your product’s features or benefits? Consider paying the same amount of attention to your customer base. To analyze them, segment them according to your customer life cycle to see how each group is both distinctive and valuable.


In marketing, loyalty rules: nurturing existing customers to increase lifetime value is the fastest, highest-ROI route to near-term revenue growth.[1] Segmenting customers helps you understand their value potential for lifetime spending. The segmentation process also improves targeting of messages, discounts, and incentives.[2]

Let’s look at the important types you’ll find in your customer life cycle.

Advocates passionately support your brand. They connect emotionally and trust your products and employees. They give you invaluable feedback and refer you to others.  They are unlikely to move to other brands, even when offered a discount. You can grow the relationship when you recognize the Advocate’s loyalty with incentives that show you appreciate and understand them.

Repeat Customers may appear to be loyal, but their buying could be habitual more than anything else. These customers are vulnerable if another brand catches their attention. Repeat Customers can grow real loyalty when your brand demonstrates the value it brings to the customer’s job, business, family or lifestyle.

Impulsive Customers do business on a whim. They don’t have any specific items on their shopping list; they buy what captures their attention in the moment.[3] Impulsive Customers can be hard to pin down, but a broad product offering, a conspicuous discount, or a unique incentive can capture the opportunity.

New Customers need to be nurtured after the initial sale. Take care of your New Customers: welcome them to reinforce their purchase decision, find out what other needs exist, and extend their engagement. When one- and two-time buyers are motivated to a third purchase, the likelihood that they’ll become regular customers significantly increases.

Prospects have some connection or contact with your brand. They represent the future. They can become loyal customers when you support them. Be there to provide relevant information, answer questions and facilitate another purchase.

As you plan, do some type-casting. Profile the customer types you serve now and think about which you need to develop for the future. Then execute a plan that speaks specifically to each.

[1] Top 5 Customer Types and How to Market to Them

[2] Seven Customers Retailers Should Know

[3] Different Type of Customers