Ecommerce sites rely on a primary audience. These are the people who are most likely to buy products and become loyal customers. It’s the same audience that marketers use for advertising.
But secondary target groups can also be lucrative.
For example, truck stops in the USA were previously reserved for 18-wheelers only. But general motorists were discovering the benefits – affordable fuel, clean toilets – of truck stops. Today, truck stops have developed into “travel spots” where almost any vehicle is welcome. You still make a lot of money with truckers, but cars also bring in a decent amount of money.
Secondary audiences sometimes appear quickly and with such force that they become primary. For years, consumers have used duct tape to repair ducts, pipes, tools, furniture, and more. It’s a staple in home repair projects. But then customers began to get creative with the silver-gray adhesive tape, for example in the production of wallets and dresses. The Duck Tape brand has picked up on the trend. Today it is available in hundreds of patterns, colors, and sizes.
The original focus of Sugru, a malleable adhesive, was repairing household items. But consumers started using the product to build things that went beyond mere repairs. Sugru customized. Well, a good part of his business comes from manufacturing, not repairing.
Recently, during the pandemic, the general public began buying products directly from manufacturers and distributors. It opened the door to direct sales to consumers for many B2B companies.
Identifying promising secondary audiences is not always easy, but there are tell-tale signs.
- Demographics. Check the analytics to find runners-up to buy from you.
- Customer ratings and questions and answers. People love to share their alternative uses of products. Others will ask if certain products can be used for other purposes.
- Social media. When monitoring brand mentions, be careful about how people are using the product.
- Light polls. Many loyal customers will respond to requests for feedback. Ask if they are using the products as intended and add an “Other” field for different answers.
New secondary audiences present challenges. Some require a revision of the online store’s navigation and customer service policies. Others can inspire you to create more products that will resonate with newer audiences and require a well-planned marketing campaign.
Nonetheless, identifying and engaging secondary audiences can advance a brand. Be open to opportunities. Who knows where duct tape would be if it weren’t for the craftsmen? What if the Duck Tape brand had only stuck to piping?