Marketing to Customers Vs. Consumers

While both having the same general meaning, customers and consumers are technically not the same thing. Here we show you how to market to both.

Customer Vs. Consumer
Strictly speaking, a customer who purchases a product from you may not necessarily be the consumer of said product. For example, a woman who purchases deodorant for her husband while doing the grocery shopping is technically the paying customer for the product even though she is not the one who will consume and use the deodorant. Understanding this difference is a key trait to marketing to the relevant people who will interact with your product.

Example 1 – Engagement Rings
In many cases, a man will select and purchase (customer) an engagement ring when he plans to propose to his girlfriend (consumer). Knowing this, jewellery companies and websites are required to alter how they communicate their information about engagement rings to suit a male perspective. Stereotypically speaking, lovely descriptive language and sentences such as “three glistening diamonds set in a sleek pure gold band” can be lost on men who know the benefits of a ring but are instead searching for the function of the ring. Instead, a sentence like this may strike them more “this diamond and gold ring comes with a lifetime guarantee and is made from gold that does not tarnish easily.” Even though the engagement ring is for a woman to wear, the man is the customer in this equation.

Example 2 – Children’s Toys
While meant for children, it is their parents who usually buy children’s toys for them. That is why advertisements for toys for younger children/babies will often focus on the texture (soft with rounded edges etc.) of the product that the children would not care about but that parents would be conscious of. Even toys aimed at slightly older children will pertain to some safety elements by showing the toys in a real world setting that parents can imagine being used in their homes. Dollhouses and racing car tracks are often shown in bedrooms and/or sitting rooms that parents can imagine how they would integrate into their homes and what size they would take up in terms of space.

Example 3 – Pet Food
Did you ever ask your dog what is their favourite thing to have for dinner? You will notice that a lot of advertisements for pet food will talk about meat i.e. “meaty chunks” and “prime cuts” because we know that our pets like to eat meat. Whether this is chicken, beef or pork comes secondary to the fact that this food will satisfy their hunger and allegedly keep them healthy. When we are looking to buy food for ourselves, we may be conscious of where the food is sourced from and study the ingredients label. Yet with pet food our concern is that our pets will enjoy it and that it will contain benefits for their health judging by what the advertisements say to us.


Here at Ireland Website Design, we have copywriters on our team who can tailor the text on your website to cater to the customers of your products and services by communicating the benefits to the eventual consumer. Get in touch with us today to optimise your online presence via expert digital and online marketing.

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