Make the Most of Multis

Cater to people who use multiple tobacco products by knowing what makes them tick

CHICAGO -- About 64% of people who smoke cigarettes and use another tobacco product like country music; 62% like rock and roll. Denise Indovina, vice president at ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting shared the unusual statistics during a session at the 2011 NACS Show in Chicago. About 72% watch football and 39% enjoy NASCAR, while 49% like to fish and 30% like hunting.

"The reason I included these things is because you want to think about how do I make my store relevant; how do I make the promotions that I've got in the market more relevant. This is information that you can use for tie-in programs that will resonate well with these consumers."

The numbers came from ICOM's Shopper's Voice Survey, which included 1.1 million tobacco users. Of them, 92% of respondents smoke cigarettes, 15% smoke cigars and 25% use smokeless products. About 27% claim to use more than one, and 5% use all three.

Indovina also shared that most multi-product users are more than 50 years old, with many coming from the south: Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee were the most common states for multi-product users.

Asked what would happen if their usual brand were not at their store, 49% said they would go to another store. "Out of stocks across any category can mean a lost sale, but certainly with a high value customer like this, you want to make sure multiple out-of-stock occasions aren't an issue," she said.

Convenient foods also play a big role in the multi-product users' lives: 48% enjoy pizza three times a month, 60% hot dogs three times a month and 42% purchase frozen meals more than three times a month. "These are products that are certainly sold in your convenience stores; it's very important to this consumer to have access to those products."

She added, "It's important to understand the value of all your segments when you're thinking: How do I market to these customers? So you really want to think about developing a store concept and a product offering to involve this group."

"Whether your store is in an area that is more likely to have the multi-product user or not. You should really think about who that next potential user is and introduce them to other tobacco products," she said. "So think about who's already buying these products in your stores, it's quite likely they look very much like the individual that I've profiled here. And then think about introducing that product to those consumers who look like them."

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