Almost no product or service appeals to everyone. It’s easier to sell to prospects and customers, if you customize your communications with them. By using data about your audience, you can direct visitors to different pages or serve them different advertisements that will better resonate with them. This provides the customer with information that may lead to a faster sale in much the same way as a salesperson in a brick and mortar store would show appropriate products to a visiting client. The concept behind market segmentation is to look at prospects and customers are alike or distinct from one another and how they likely to respond to marketing messages. With this information, a good marketer can cluster their target market into more focused audiences. There are several different ways to divide, or segment, a company’s client base into more responsive groups. We recommend using a combination of the factors below to get the most out of your marketing efforts.
One of the most obvious ways to divide customers is by age, gender and similar characteristics. The logic is obvious: very few brassieres are sold to male shoppers. Then information is targeted to the particular segment in which they belong, such as school supplies to teenagers or reading glasses to those of us over 40.
Another common way to segment a market is by location. Visitors to a heating and air conditioning manufacturer’s web site are probably interested in different equipment if they supply a zip code in south Florida versus one in Fairbanks, Alaska. This tactic is particularly useful for small service businesses who will primarily serve a specific geographic area. This tactic is also good for companies who want to restrict the type of location, for example, a farm equipment supply company may want to focus on rural areas in agricultural areas.
A very profitable method of market segmentation of past customers is by tracking your target audience’s behavior. Someone who orders a healthy breakfast cereal at regular intervals might well be served an ad for other health related products and services. Another customer who buys only occasionally might be offered a discount to purchase more often. A client who comes to a vendor’s site from a forum about ferret nutrition should be served ads for any ferret-related products in inventory. Someone who bought maternity clothes six months ago is probably a good prospect for disposable diapers today.
Activities and interests can help you design campaigns that have draw your audience in. For example, people who like to attend summer concerts might also like to buy music or enjoy other outdoor events like festivals. If you can get data about your audience’s opinions, attitudes, and values, then you have a very powerful way to connect with them. Take for example political ads. Regardless of where on the political spectrum you fall, chances are that you don’t agree completely with any one party. But many political ads are aimed at getting people to relate to a politician’s values instead of their policy positions. We subconsciously relate the message of “good family man” to someone who will actually make policy decisions that are good for our family.
The purpose of marketing is not just to sell things. Marketing has a duty to help people find or figure out what they want and need. Market segmentation is one of our most effective tools for extending good customer service to the Internet. People also are more likely to respond to offers that they connect with. Plus, by using content and language designed for specific smaller groups of people, you are much more likely to In the crowded web marketplace, narrowing down your marketing messages to be relevant to visitors is a competitive necessity.