How to Define the Heavy User Profile

If you read the previous lessons, we said that advertising messages should be created for, and directed at, the Heavy Using Customers in your category.

This simple concept holds a lot of fundamental implications...

First of all, why should your Digital Billboards Advertising aim the Heavy Using Customers? Easy: because the few Heavy Users represents the biggest part of your revenue (and profits).

In terms of value of goods sold per Customer, the Pareto Rule applies (also known as the 80/20 rule): 80% of your business is generated by 20% of your Customers.

But this means that light and average users represent a significant percentage of consumers, up to 80%!

When your Customers invest in advertising on your digital billboard, it costs them the same to reach the average as it does to reach the heavy user.

Which mean that most of the advertising effort (and cost) is wasted towards people that wouldn't buy a significant amount anyways - or wouldn't buy at all.

This also means that if an advertising message is created for the average user, it doesn't have an impact to the heavy users!

Heavy Users probably understand your business better than you do, they know your competition better than you do and they might know your product better than you do.

So targeting the average user is stupid because your are wasting most of your efforts towards people that won't significantly affect your business.

What you must do is understand who your heavy users are and what makes them buy your product. And then give them even more compelling reasons to do that over again with an even stronger message.

Of course it’s hard and requires a lot of work... but do you have any alternative?

OK, so last week we said that your advertising must target the Heavy Users of your Customers product because they represent the biggest part of revenues and profits.

Now how do you define the profile of such Ideal Client in practice? Each one has its own method: make a list of characteristics, have a brainstorming session, go out for a walk.

Whatever you decide to do, this is an example of what you should came out with.

This is the Ideal Client profile that we defined when we started to run our own Full Color LED screen in Rosta, Torino (Italy). It helped us to narrow our research base and spend our time and resources more effectively.

Of course this is “our” Ideal Client, but I guess you could use it as a good guideline to describe yours. Here we go:

  • “Our Ideal Prospect is a medium-small business of 5 to 80 employees located in the Western Turin metropolitan area, in particular in the towns of Rosta, Rivoli and Avigliana.

  • They have been in business for a few years and are a pretty established reality in their own local industry. They already understand the importance of advertising since they already pay for publicity on local newspaper, radio or signs.

  • The best way to approach these potential Clients is to call in advance to inform them that one of our agents will be passing by their area the next day and they would like to talk to the sales manager for 5 minutes.

  • On the scheduled day, arrive on time and with a big smile as you had to make them the most important proposal of their life: make it a big deal.”

The second part of the description illustrates which potential Customers to visit first (and why), what to find out about them before the meeting, how to run the reunion, which questions to ask, how to win the Customer and some other useful tips.

But this info is so valuable that my team forbid me to reveal it to anyone but our Customers. Sorry.

Anyhow, by now you should have a better idea of what a Heavy User is and why you should make her the target of your campaign.

Please note that this is probably the single most overlooked aspect by any company that struggles everyday for survival. Successful companies on the other side, understood that very well.

Here’s a few examples of industries or companies that totally missed this concept, targeting the wrong people or using the wrong message:


Dear supermarket manager, you've got it all wrong.

Why make things easy for your unprofitable customers and annoy to death your profitable ones? Why have express lanes for people buying a bottle and a magazine? Why not express lanes for the people who actually make you some money? The ones with 25 items or MORE!


Lets take an Italian example very popular these days: Alitalia, the Italian national airline.

Dear Alitalia manager, you got it wrong too. We all know that the heavy traveler hate Alitalia to heart. They take longer trips to avoid flying with you.

Still you spent millions of euros to advertise to him your new seats. But they know your industry better than you do and a new seat won’t help your bad reputation. How about a 60-seconds security check? I bet this will make them run to your counters.


Dear yogurt manager, you’re wrong too, sorry.

Your Heavy Users are not those who purchased a yogurt in the past 4 weeks or that will purchase one in the next 4, because they want to be healthy. Your heavy user buy a yogurt everyday, therefore they probably use it a meal replacement.

Stop highlighting how healthy your yogurt is or you will only attract light users. Start advertising the meal replacement properties of your yogurt and you’ll probably get the attention of the heavy users, those that make you a profit.

©2004-2018 Fabio Aversa. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author.

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