When marketing a product or service, you want to reach out to everyone. Is that realistic? Maybe, but it won’t be simple. Begin leveraging audience segmentation in order to be effective when contacting potential buyers.
Audience Segmentation: What Is It?
Audience segmentation is one type of marketing strategy you can use to connect with your audience. It is also referred to as market segmentation or customer segmentation.
Audience segmentation separates the target audience based on specific criteria found in data analysis. The criteria used are located within subgroups. These subgroups help you to tailor communications so that it speaks strongly to a targeted audience.
People like the feeling that a message they receive is written specifically for them.
How Is Audience Segmentation Used?
There are many ways to use audience segmentation. You can:
- Create messages that focus on an audience’s likes and needs
- Research the best platform or channel to speak to your audience
- Save time and avoid audiences that are not interested and are not likely to respond
- Improve marketing automation campaigns such as email automation, customer journey, scheduling, retargeting, optimization, and recommendations.
Audience segmentation is not one product or service that fits all. The way the audience is separated is based on the type of product or service being offered.
The analysis is time-consuming and takes a few hours to conduct.
Audience Segmentation: Is It Required?
Do you need to segment your audience? Only you can make that determination. Are you reaching your target audience through the same messages, channels, etc.? Or are there different groups you need to market to individuals in order to have a positive percentage of success?
If you are unsure, think about the following questions for the audience you are currently engaging:
- Are there any segments that are impacted more than others with the product or service offered?
- Are there any significant conceptions of the world, needs, or concerns found more in one segment than another?
- Can you communicate with all segments? Or are some difficult to contact?
If you answer yes to any of the questions above, segmentation is something you should consider. The next step? You should determine which segments you prefer to target and how you plan to approach those segments.
Types of Audience Segmentation
Think about your target audience. What do they look like? For example, do you want to reach an audience that has an interest in mountain activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, etc.?
Or do you prefer an audience that does watersports or goes to the beach? These are important questions when deciding what type of product or service to offer consumers.
You should have a clear vision of the profile that makes up your ideal customer. To build the profile, look at the four primary types of subgroups. These can help you create the perfect sketch.
The four subgroups include:
There are four additional types of segmentation to consider. These include:
- Customer stage - relates to an audience by identifying where they fall in a sales funnel.
- Technology - What type does the audience use? Mobile device or browser? This helps you determine how you will engage with the audience.
- Benefit - Segmenting the audience by the type of benefits.
- Firmographic - This segmentation is used for B2B (Business to Business). It focuses on the location of the company and its size, revenue, industry, and sales stage cycle (similar to a marketing funnel for the business to consumer (B2C) advertisements).
Let’s become more familiar with the four primary subgroups of audience segmentation.
Behavioral segmentation is the most critical method of audience segmentation on this list because it allows you to learn what actions visitors take and why they make their decisions.
Why is this method the most important? Because behavior segmentation relates to visitors that have not yet converted but are on the edge of making the purchase decision. They fall into the categories of potential buyers, first-time buyers, regular customers, or buyers who want to change brands.
When analyzing behavior, you want to look at:
- What people are purchasing and how frequently it is purchased.
- Are there any obstacles standing in the way of the customer checking out their cart?
- Sometimes, people hesitate. Why?
- They may want the best deal or offer.
- They may want to know that the product or service is reliable.
- They may want to see that it has social approval.
- Or, they are not in a hurry and are in browsing mode.
Use behaviors to motivate your audience. Call out the benefits of the product or service or the most exciting parts. Identify the benefits that drive your audience to make their purchase. Emphasize them and make the customer aware.
What level of engagement do you want with your audience? Over-communicate products and services with how-to videos, highlighting valuable features. You can also offer incentives such as bonuses, loyalty programs, and greetings on special occasions if that best drives the target audience.
You need the right customer data platform to obtain data related to behavioral segmentation. This software creates customer profiles and paints a picture of the buyer’s journey. It leverages data from multiple platforms, including customer relationship management (CRM) systems, data management platforms (DMP), social media profiles, surveys, etc.
Demographics separate your audience using distinct characteristics. These are common to use and usually the first go-to for businesses when analyzing the customer base. This data tells you about who your audience is.
Common examples of demographics include:
- Marital Status
- Size of Household
- Annual Income
- Level of Education
- Living Status
If you plan to use demographics to separate your audience, you may ask yourself questions such as:
- What age range are you targeting?
- Does your product or service relate to a specific gender?
- Should the audience be within a certain income level?
There are some disadvantages to using demographics. For example, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy is driven towards recession. The income level previously used to segment populations no longer provides a strong gauge.
The definition of income level is expanded. Marketers use multiple layers to analyze potential customers and meet their needs.
What is psychographics? Another way you can influence your target audience and their buying behavior. How? By looking at customer lifestyles, opinions, beliefs, values, social status, and activities. You want to ask the question: What motivates your ideal audience?
Psychographics tell you why a customer is driven to buy a product or service. It goes hand in hand with demographics as demographics build the frame of the customer and the psychographics provide the details.
For example, the demographics lead towards customers with children in the household. Psychographics explains that quality is more important than the price tag.
Benefits of using psychographics include:
- Gaining a full picture of and understanding the customer’s needs, wants, motivations, and aspirations.
- Boosting communication; speaking to your customer on a personal or emotional level.
- Focusing on the customer versus your product's benefits and features. This leads to the customer feeling that you understand their life and how to improve it.
- Learning how customers use your products and services allows you to customize them for different personalities.
How do you collect psychographic data? That’s simple. People love to share information about what they like and their interests. Consider sending out surveys with open-ended questions, allowing the customer to share their opinion.
You can interview customers. Speak to them through a telephone or video call so that you can hear the tone of their voice or visually read their body language. Your website collects digital analytics, following social media likes, shares, etc.
Learn about the types of people interacting with your brand through these analytics or social media listening.
What is social media listening? It is when you track conversations and mentions on social media platforms for use in analyzing behavior. It provides you with insight and ways to improve your experience based on the customer’s feedback.
Last but not least, geographic segmentation. This is known as the most effective type of market segmentation. So, what is it?
Geographic segmentation focuses on a particular location, such as where people live, work, and shop. A general conception is that the people within the same location or range have similar needs, wants, and cultural considerations. Geographic segmentation also focuses on:
- Type of environment (meaning rural, urban, or suburban)
- Type of weather, season, or climate
- Primary language
- Population (density or type).
Why is geographic segmentation important and beneficial to you? Here are a few reasons:
- Your brand appeals to the needs and wants of customers within the focus area.
- You save money by centering on the target audience and ruling out those that share no interest.
- The process to measure and analyze data is simplified and at a lower cost to you than other segmentations.
If you want to have a competitive advantage, produce an effective marketing plan based on geography. Learn how to think like a local when communicating your product to your audience.
Why Audience Segmentation Is Important
Audience segmentation is a critical task for any business. It sets the stage for your business when it comes to product design and development, the price, how you plan to promote it, and how or where it will be distributed for consumer purchase.
Segmentation helps to improve your marketing budget. It provides marketing efficiency, new opportunities, optimization of brand strategy, and enhanced distribution strategies. It also impacts you by:
- Creating a personalized experience for your audience
- Lessening or bypassing competition
- Building long-lasting relationships with your audience
Audience Segmentation for Email Marketing
Now that you have a stronger understanding of audience segmentation let’s look at how you can apply it to email marketing.
Email marketing remains a superior method of reaching your audience. It delivers valuable content straight to your audience’s door or inbox. Now introduce audience segmentation into the mix, and you can separate the type of content each group receives. The benefit? The recipient finds the content relevant to them, opens the email, and begins the marketing funnel process.
Through email marketing, you work to build an emotional connection with your customer. This is hard to do if you don’t identify who your target audience is through the process of audience segmentation.
The Bottom Line
Decide who your target audience is and what motivates them before creating and promoting a product or service. Determine if audience segmentation is right for you before pursuing it. If it is, segmentation gives you an advantage and narrows down the targeted audience search criteria. Use segmentation to create messages customized for your audience, but don’t overdo it. Your audience will thank you for it.
Contact QuaGrowth today to learn more about audience segmentation and eMail marketing.