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Reaching the Consumer

From war and new COVID strains to political polarization and a tough economy, anxiety remains high with many consumers. Finding a way to cut through their concerns and meet them where they are is more important than ever for marketers.

Ericka Podesta McCoy, CMO at Resonate, shares the can’t-miss findings of their 2023 State of the Consumer Report and gives you valuable insights on how consumers are responding to the world today—and how their concerns affect their purchasing behavior. Tune in to hear the attributes that make up the top consumer segments, how to not only leverage the consumption habits of these segments but use these insights to boost marketing performance, and more.

What’s Next for the Consumer

McCoy kicked off the session with a question of what’s next after a tide of traumatic events, in regards to the pulse of consumer sentiments and behaviors in the macro environment.

Such factors included how consumers are feeling about the economy, when faced with war, viruses, and factors such as supply chain issues. Are we in a recession or not? This has all created a moderate state of anxiety for the consumer.

“What is the consumer impact?” noted McCoy. “They are waiting for what’s happening next. What are they supposed to do? Knowing more can help them make better decisions.”

The need for fresh data for companies, agencies and brands striving to stay on the pulse of the consumer is easier said than done.

McCoy pointed out that the segmentation process, and developing consumers personas, is key to getting beyond just the general demographics of consumers.

“For example, there could be two moms with two children but they could be at very different life stage decisions, with different banking needs,” McCoy pointed out. One mother could have a mobile and home focus while the other is starting a small business. Differences surface.

“There are pieces of a person. Demographics. Transactional data. But we don’t have full picture,” said McCoy. “White collar or blue? Community or no? Personal values such as sustainability, or not. As a company, you have to enrich your first party data to add color. Do you have data keeping pace with the consumer? Do you have data that is human and individual oriented? Is it actionable?”

McCoy noted that through research and insights, segmentation can be done in a different or unconventional way. Otherwise insights may be missed. “It’s not just demographic. It is feeling based. Are they concerned, moderately optimistic or what else? It’s behavioral,” she added.

As for this year’s consumer report, McCoy and Resonate looked at how consumers were aligned or not with anxiety, considering all of the underlying economic and environmental factors they were enduring. McCoy found that consumers could often be grouped into anxious or cautiously optimistic groups but not all of them were the same. That’s where specific consumer personas were developed to gain fresher insights.

For example, McCoy noted that by breaking data into consumer personas and psychographics, one could identify better consumer segments. For example, there is Trustworthy Thomas. This consumer has values driving him, hobbies, is reliable, and law abiding. Thomas is focused on home improvement, and eating healthy. What is he in the market to buy and what drives him to buy? Pet products, home products, do-it-yourself products and outdoor needs.

Another consumer segment McCoy identified was Optimistic Olivia. She has different priorities than Thomas, with a focus on freedom of action, diet, exercise, and living healthy. This consumer is in the market for different things, both practical and luxurious.

A final consumer segment that Resonate identified in this year’s study is Exciting Eric. This consumer does have children, but they are not tying him down. This consumer enjoys going out and is moderately optimistic, and enjoys tech such as computers and smart phones. They are unique and family friendly and you can’t put him in a box.

By breaking out consumer personas in this way, McCoy noted that one can gain a full living color picture of the consumer, and why they are doing what they are doing as well as the personal values that drive them.

“There is an opportunity to use the data. Know and add to the data. There is more discovery, and opportunity that can inform our predictive models and can drive the entire lifecycle,” said McCoy. “Better performance starts with better data.”

This is critical to gain fresh insights into the consumer. “The reality is that there are big differences in demographics and based on generation,” said McCoy. “Don’t limit yourself holistically or by choices. How can I think differently? Think more broadly. Think about the data you have and tap into it. Expand the aperture.”


  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

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