What is Audience Segmentation?
Audience Segmentation is considered to be a marketing strategy based on identifying subgroups within the target audience in order to deliver more tailored messaging for stronger connections. The subgroups can be based on demographics such as geographic location, gender identity, age, ethnicity, income, or level of formal education. Subgroups can also be based on behavior such as purchases made in the past. Psychographics come into play when you have access to insights about your audience’s personality types, values, attitudes, and beliefs. A vivid example is creating separate segments for people based on whether they are family-oriented versus individualistic, leaders versus followers, or adventure seekers versus homebodies and many others.
Why is Audience Segmentation important?
Audience segmentation is a way to make your marketing efforts more personalized, which means you’re sure not going for average. Audience Segmentation gives you an opportunity to
- Define your target audiences
- Tailor your message to resonate specifically with them
- Meet a specific need that can help drive up conversion rates
- Build a relationship with your customers and earn their loyalty
- Bring in leads to accelerate your sales cycle
The best way to win over customers is with a personal touch. By the help of segmentation, you can make your messages more tailored for each individual person and create that one-of kind experience they crave.
Now, the question is from where to start! Most marketing efforts begin with the creation of a customer persona, or a mock-up personality meant to represent your ideal customer. That persona can include where that person works, the relationship status of the persona, and what their hobbies are. Personas help you communicate with your customers on their level, especially when it comes to identifying their pain points and how you can help alleviate them. Once you create those personas, you can separate them into groups.
Types of Audience Segmentation
Marketers often sort people according to factors like their demographics, behavior, and where they are in their buyer’s journey. Depending on the products and the services that you deliver you can decide what strategy to use in order to segment your audience.
For instance if you run a website that sells swimming equipment, it might not make sense to treat people in different geographical locations as separate segments, because most of them probably have sea or ocean near to go swimming. But it might be practical to segment them according to their behavior and level of engagement. People who have been interested in professional swimming for years and know the products you sell will probably engage with your business differently than people who are just starting out.
This is the most common method of audience segmentation and is considered to be the easiest one. Age, income level, job type, and geographic location are all included in demographics you can use to sort your audience. This method is popular for one major reason, just because it always works. One type of location-based segmentation strategy is to approach customers during the time of year they are most likely to need your product.
This strategy goes a bit deeper than demographic segmentation. Analyzing behavior means looking at what people buy, how often they make a purchase, and to know the purpose of the product or service they buy. Someone who makes small purchases on a regular basis, for example, needs different messaging than someone who only makes a major purchase once in a while. That is because those people are looking for different things and likely buying for different purposes.
With behavioral segmentation, your message is tailored to reach customers when they are more likely to convert. Some examples of these groups include prospective buyers, first-time buyers, regular customers, and defectors, the people who have switched to another brand.
Buyer’s journey progress
When you use this strategy, you tailor your messages based on where your customer is in their buyer’s journey. If you’re not familiar with the term, the 3 basic stages of the buyer’s journey are awareness, consideration, and decision.
A buyer at the beginning of the journey could just be finding out they have an issue to solve. One near the end, however, already knows what to buy and is ready to make a choice. Instead of sending them the same message, segmentation can help you tend to each buyer’s different needs and answer questions they may have.
Level of engagement
Regular customers require different marketing than infrequent ones. If you can surely say that someone is interested in your business and for instance they signed up for your newsletter, these people are more likely to be open to your message than someone who occasionally buys something.
This does not mean you should ignore or deprioritize users with low levels of engagement. You can send these users their own tailored campaign. There are many brands targeting these customers with “win-back” offers.
What device they are using
Not all of your users will pursue your website in the same way. However, these days there is a great chance that half will be viewing it with their mobile devices.
People use desktop and mobile devices differently, and your website needs to accommodate both. Some of the changes you need to make are obvious, like formatting the mobile version of your site for smaller screens. But also think about the circumstances under which people will be browsing it, too. Mobile users are more likely to view your site on the go, which means they probably will only have time to read short and eye popping posts. You can save long-form content for your desktop users.
When you optimize a particular message for mobile and structure it so that users can easily tap through a survey or like an image, you increase the chances of retaining your customers’ interest. You can also use this method to let them use their phone to contact you or place an order more efficiently.
There is also an opportunity to use 2 or more of all these methods in order to expand your reach even further. An example of this is sending an email notification in the summer to a Chinese chef cooker (demographics) who buys cooking equipment from you on a regular basis (behavior).
Sometimes audience segments can intersect in interesting and unexpected ways. Between 25 and 30% of millennials are mobile-only internet users who use their tablets and smartphones the way other people use their laptops and desktop computers. As it was mentioned, all in all, mobile users are more likely to view your website on the go. But this pattern is not necessarily truthful for mobile-only users. That means that your millennial customers might be interested in reading long-form content after all.