Marketers have been segmenting audiences since marketing began, but big data and analytics have allowed us to target and distribute groups of people like never before. Why do we do this? For relevancy, of course.
Modern consumers are smart. They don’t want to be toyed with or sold to. Speak to them, not at them. Data gives us the insight to make this happen. That’s because it allows a marketer to narrow their focus and only show people what they truly want to see. According to Forbes, 66% of marketing data is used to better focus on targeting messages, offer, and content.
EconsultancyIf you understand your audience clearly, including how they spend their time (and where they spend it) not only can you provide a stellar path to purchase, but you can create an experience that leads to brand loyalty. To do this, you must first segment your audience. Here are a few things that can help improve the process:
This is not a new concept, but buyer personas should be nothing like they were in the past. In fact, even calling them “buyer” personas is somewhat cliché. Your audience is comprised of people, so it’s best to look at them as a whole when creating a persona. In addition to basic demographics, this can include details like:
- Behaviors – offline and online
- Social media engagement
And anything else outside-of-the-box you can think of that can better define exactly the type of people you are speaking to.
The more details, the easier it is to create content around specific social spaces. The right personas can drive creative solutions.
Understanding and responding to the needs of your customer is key to delivering the desired results. Mapping a consumer’s journey will help you to better comprehend the paths people take to purchase. It can involve a little business introspection, such as:
- Where are customers getting caught up in the funnel?
- What questions are they asking?
- What touchpoints are effective?
- Where is your audience?
- What engages your consumers?
Crafting specific content for each point along the customer journey ensures you have all your bases covered.
By understanding what drives them, you use the data and insights to guide you on how to deliver the right message that makes the biggest impact.
The more personal you get, the more data people will give you. According to a survey by Salesforce, 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. A similar proportion will share their data in exchange for product recommendations that meet their needs (52%) and personalized shopping experiences (53%). If your creative presents value, people are willing to give you more of their personal data.
Combining qualitative personas with quantitative behavioral metrics allows you to define highly actionable groups of consumers. Targeting at this level means your content has a far greater chance of reaching the right people.
In that same Salesforce survey, nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers said it was acceptable for a company to send personalized offers and discounts based on items they’ve already purchased. This makes sales easy if you pay attention.
Never lose sight of what is ultimately important. Make sure your creative is engaging. You could spend all the money and time segmenting and targeting in the world, but if your content is boring, all is for naught. Pay attention to what your audience responds to and feed them more of that. Tweak accordingly. This is about being on-the-ball for their needs.
Overall, audience segmentation is not a perfect science. Usage and needs-based segmentation might also be necessary depending on the various factors of the campaign.
Use segmentation to differentiate your offer and test it on various groups. The more you experiment, the more you will understand exactly who will respond to what. And that’s always a clear path to a healthy ROI.