Segmentations get your timing and messaging right. They make the most of your budget and get the best response. How? Your customers feel much more understood

 

Not all your customers are the same, your approach to segmentations shouldn’t be either. By using segments you can gain a deeper understanding of their needs, giving you the ability to communicate with them in a targeted and relevant way

 

Segmentations can be simple or complex, it’s about finding the approach that works best for your business and your customers 

Relevance is critical

Understand more about your customers

Segmentations help you to understand the individual value of your customers. This understanding gives you the ability to communicate with them in a more targeted and relevant way. If you understand more about their needs, you can say the right thing at the right time. Effective marketing is all about relevancy, which good segmentations help you achieve.

 

Great segmentations take it further and are tools for understanding buyer behaviour, the triggers for purchase and personalising the experience you offer your customer.

 

They help you get your timing and communication channels right too. It not only makes the most of your budget but improves the response rate, ROI and makes your customers feel more valued and understood, rather than just a contact that receives the same content as everyone else.

 

Quite simply, utilising a well thought out segmentation strategy can give your organisation a variety of tools to use in different situations, to do the best possible job and add the most value to your customers.

 

Roll the clock back 20 years, a segmentation meant researching customers and creating a handful of pen portraits that described who these customers were and what they are like. While this style of segmentation still adds value, the world has moved forward. With the sheer amount of data that is created or available, you can take a different approach to segmentation and tell different, intertwining stories that are closer to real life, but still manageable when it comes to using them and adding value.

For example, your cleaning supplies business has a new customer, a school janitor. Would you treat them the same as every other customer? Your instinct is to say yes as all customers are equally important, but that doesn't mean they should be treated in the same way. Head of Buying for a regional household cleaning company that you've supplied for 5 years should not receive the same messaging as your new janitor.

 

There are key differences, none of which are related to value.

 

The janitor is new to you, so is unlikely to know your full product range, availability of COSHH data sheets, opening hours and click&collect service. They won’t need to know about Key Account Managers, pallet delivery and 60 day payment terms.

 

They will want to know more about using products which may not be of high relevance to the corporate buyer who has been with you for years. New customers typically need more education about you and how you support them, older customers have different needs, which is where lifecycle style segmentations come in.

 

Their needs will differ based on who is buying and for what purpose. A purchaser-user will need something different from you to what a specifier-purchaser would need. You absolutely should be communicating and managing the relationships differently, based on the customer needs.

 

While that example is all about using characteristic derived segmentations to manage communications, all organisations have finite budgets. Understanding the shape of your customer base helps you to more accurately manage your resource and budget. This is where behaviour led segmentations are useful, they enable you to pull on your customer behaviour to provide insight that helps understand how customers use you and how you can use the insight to develop their experience.

 

It comes back to different customers wanting different things. Some of this can be identified in their behaviour, how they use your website, their customer service interactions, the steps and speed of the sales cycle. When you know this, you can approach the relationship with the customer in the way that suits them.

 

What you are also able to do is understand how you use your finite resource to manage customers. To understand which customers you invest in and which you don't.

 

You can create segmentations to suit your needs, whether it be industry segments, life stage segments to recognise where people are in their journey as a prospect or customer, or value segments to prioritise resources. By targeting your sales and marketing activity your customers get a better experience from you, leading to loyalty and growth.

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