Using Customer Segmentation for Targeted Message Development
Business and consumers work together to form an ecosystem, of sorts. On the one hand, there are businesses, working daily to provide the highest quality products and services at the best-possible value. On the other hand, you have consumers, trying to make smart purchase decisions for themselves and their families. In between the two lies a vast ocean of information, competitors, and other consumer types. Making a sincere connection with your customers can be extremely difficult.
However, reaching customers can be made easier through understanding them better. When a company goes out of its way to learn about customers, who they are, what makes them tick, what their deepest fears and desires are, they learn how to craft high quality messages that create an emotional bond with their market.
This is why the best companies spend so much time researching their customers. In recent times, it has become common practice to get the customer involved in different business processes. From focus groups for product and ad development, to letting them choose which marketing message they want to receive as they receive it. These companies understand that their customers are individuals with wants, needs, likes and dislikes all their own.
Most Businesses Do Not Yet Engage in Customer Segmentation
The vast majority of businesses have not yet gotten with the program. Most companies seek to understand their market through customer interactions alone, usually at the point of sale. But, point of sale data is very narrow, and sales staff is often untrained, unequipped, or unable to identify and document the many different variables associated with any one customer; be it race, income level, geographic location, etc.
Also, by the time the customer is interacting with the company, they often have already made up their mind about the business. They have already received your marketing messages, for better or for worse, and have decided what you are all about. Good businesses, the kind that survive in any market, seek to understand their customers through every stage of the sales cycle. This means that companies should seek to understand their customers before they even start marketing.
One of the best and easiest ways to achieve a full understanding of your markets is through segmentation analysis. Your customers fall into different categories or segments based on certain identifiers, like age, income, location, average sale price, and the marketing medium by which they are best accessed.
Segmentation Yields Customer Insights
When you start collecting and managing this kind of data, you will begin to see patterns of customer responses. You will find that each segment responds differently to promotions, marketing messages and mediums, and even products. Perhaps most importantly, you can determine the relative value of one segment over another. You can compare the average sale price of one customer segment over another to determine which customers are your best prospects.
It is never too late to begin using segmentation to speak directly to your best prospects. By segmenting your market into highly-detailed and specific profiles, you will give yourself tons of high quality information for targeted message development. These targeted messages, based on actual, historical sales data from each customer segment, allow you to better reach customers through the medium they use the most, with a message that will affect them emotionally, and drive them to action.