Retailers in Australia are recommended to hone their retail marketing to attract the most suitable customers through their doors.

A report from global technology and information researchers YesMail and Gleanster earlier this year revealed 80 per cent of consumer facing companies do not understand their customers beyond basic demographics and purchase history.

The research also showed 86 per cent of marketers believe they could do a better job with segmentation if they had better customer data.

By identifying your ideal customer profile, you can develop a more accurate and effective marketing campaign.

However, it’s not just about understanding the consumers you are hoping to attract, but also identifying the people already heading into your store.

If you make an effort to discern the customer stepping through your door, you can work towards recognising what methods could lead to a sale.

Beyond identifying the age, gender and location of your current consumers, it also pays to understand the personality traits, interests and values these people hold.

With an in depth knowledge of the psychological drivers behind your customer’s purchasing decisions, you can more effectively avoid the things that could turn them off a sale.

During certain seasons, the best retail strategy can involve targeting a specific customer profile.

In the lead up to Christmas, a potentially bountiful target market are the PANKs, according to public relations firm Weber and Shanwick.

PANKs – Professional Aunt, No Kids – represent a valuable demographic as they are not only tech-savvy, but they also take an active role in the lives of the children they are close to.

They tend to vie for their nieces’ and nephews’ approval by spending an average of US$387 per child each year, including large amounts on extravagant Christmas gifts.

PANKs spend more time on the internet than the average woman and tend to both influence and be influenced by social networking.

These characteristics make them an ideal demographic to tailor retail marketing towards over the busy Christmas shopping season.