Let’s start at the beginning, what is market segmentation?
It’s the practice of identifying sub-groups in your customer base who share meaningful characteristics in common. For instance, if you’re a financial planner you may group people by age: young professionals, mid-career and pre-retirement. These groups will likely have different financial needs as they move towards retirement, and you would market to them differently.
Market segmentation involves adapting your marketing to the unique needs of the different groups who buy from you, rather than delivering a generic message and offer to all groups. The result is more sales, loyalty and engagement.
Market Segmentation Methods
Age is just one way you can segment your audience. Let’s have a look at some more.
- Demographics: beyond age, demographic factors include gender, ethnicity, and marital status.
- Socio-economic: this includes a person’s income, wealth, and spending levels.
- Brand loyalty: how committed is your customer to your brand. Are they ardent fans or casual users?
- Psychographics: this covers how your customers vary based on their attitudes, behaviour, lifestyle habits and stage of life.
- Generational: can you group your customers in terms of millennials, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z and baby boomers? (Social media platforms are one obvious example, think TikTok v Facebook).
- Location: this involves dividing your customers based on their region.
- Benefits: do your customers vary based on what benefits they are seeking from your business?
If you are a business owner, speak with us so we can jointly investigate your market segments and determine which is the best segmentation approach. For instance, if you’re a dental practice you may want to target by demographics, knowing that different dental conditions and treatments are more common among different age groups. You may also focus on benefits, knowing that some customers would be interested in cosmetic dentistry to make themselves look as good as possible, while others are interested in a basic check up and clean to ward off medical problems. There may also be a generational divide in terms of people’s attitude to dentists and the type of marketing that connects with them. Once you have your profiles in place, ask yourself some key questions:
- What matters to my profile group?
- What type of advertising do they consume?
- What kind of pricing model works best with them?
- What messaging/marketing style works best with them?
- What are their turn offs?
- Who are the leading advertisers in marketing to this group? What have been some of their most successful campaigns and what can you learn from them?
- How big is this group and does their size justify tailored marketing? Is this group likely to grow or shrink over time?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can create separate marketing campaigns for each group. This will lead to much better results than you’d achieve aiming a generic campaign at your entire audience. However, a segmented campaign can be more expensive, as it involves creating more marketing assets and overseeing more campaigns. Make sure you’re planning takes account of this and you have an efficient process in place for managing the various campaigns.
A final word on segmenting. While you may be able to tell certain things about a person by their age, location, stage of life and more, we’re all far more complex and nuanced than these factors alone. How many times have people said, “I don’t feel my age”? So, as you’re marketing to your profile group, it’s important to avoid old cliches about that group and realise that there are plenty of individual differences within your group. A marketing agency can help you to get your creative right so that it speaks to your target customer without reducing them to a mere profile.
If you’d like help in understanding your market segments and creating a plan to reach them, contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.