Walk a mile in her shoes.

A shoe retailer realizes they have to know their customer before they can sell to them.

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The leadership of a women’s shoe retailer wants to implement a new marketing and advertising campaign. Unable to identify their best customers, they don’t know where to spend their money or what to say when they do. Before developing the campaign, the company wants to identify its core target customers and build the campaign to meet their lifestyles and expectations.


Three key objectives are set:

1. Identify key customer groups.
Pinpoint the main customer groups and break down each group to identify basic demographic, ethnographic, and psychographic information for each customer. Determine who she is, why she is a customer, and what keeps her coming back.

2. Rank customer groups by profitability.
The company doesn’t have an unlimited budget and wants to be able to target the most profitable customers first. Then, as sales grow, target other customer groups.

3. Determine marketing messaging and media venues.
Identifying the customer groups is only part of the battle. You also need to know where to reach them and what to say to them.


Quality research is the foundation on which successful marketing decisions are made. For this project, Research Services primarily fall into the category of:

New Tech and Innovation (link to more info below)

New Tech & Innovation Services utilizes technology that can deliver research in a way that traditional research can’t. The research team determines that Netnography (see METHODOLOGIES below) is the best way to identify the main target customer types. Netnography is social media research centered on a selected industry, business, or geographical area.


The technology/methodology chosen for this project is:

  • Netnography
    The research team members use a proprietary technology that allows them to collect, analyze, and aggregate all the social media interactions of consumers in a selected area with a focus on women’s fashion and shoes. This proprietary technology “scrapes” huge volumes of geotagged social media data (photographs, videos, websites, status updates, emails, text mining, image analysis, social mining and more). Once this is collected, analysts then study the aggregated material and create profiles of who the most profitable customers are and how the retailer will be able to attract them.The research team also chooses the technology because the retailer has multiple stores in multiple regions, and the technology allows the team to collect local- and region-specific data (i.e. what shoe customers in the northeast like is somewhat different from what shoe buyers in the southwest like).The end reports and customer profiles developed for the retailer are geographically specific, and include the target customers’ demographics, attitudes, fears and pain points, goals and objectives, category knowledge, activities, influences, websites used, interests and hobbies and values.


(Due to the confidential nature of research projects and client agreements in force, specific results cannot be shared. Outcomes have been synthesized based on an amalgam of results from similar projects.)

The results of this project are quite simple to quantify. The women’s shoe retailer now has demographically specific profiles for each of their best, most profitable customers (for each sales region). Store managers and floor teams clearly understand their customers and how to sell to them. And when it comes time to run advertising, either on a local, regional, or national level, they know precisely how to talk to their customers.

Uncover deeper, more actionable customer insights to truly understand what motivates women’s purchases by working with the foremost authority in female consumer research.
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