Tag Archives: Demographics

Nicola Peaty

Top tips on how to segment your marketing data.

By Nicola Peaty

Through various marketing methods over a period of time you will hopefully have amassed a substantial amount of customer data. However, as we all know, data is only valuable if it is kept up-to-date and provides a form of intelligence. In order to get the most out of our data, we need segment and build profiles so that we can tailor and target our communications effectively and efficiently.

Below are our top tips on how to segment your data:

1. Do you have business objectives? Before you stare into the database abyss, you must consider whether the business got a specific objective connected with a particular target market? Do you have a priority type of customer that your company needs to focus on? For example, are you trying to raise awareness of a product in a certain market segment or do you need to target lapsed customers who previously bought a range of products? This will give you the direction and focus so that you can identify and group the data to form specific lists with a marketing purpose.

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2. Analyse the data. Just by looking at your data in different ways, you may be able to discover trends and behaviours characterised by specific groups of customers. This in itself could produce great intelligence which will then allow you to develop and target your marketing accordingly. You may not have realised that your newest and highest spenders all fall within a definitive demographic or are buying a certain group of products. Imagine what you could do with your marketing to develop and grow this segment.

3. Identify gaps. As you start to segment your data, you mind find shortfalls in particular details. This needs to be addressed to ensure you can accurately communicate with your chosen customers. This also means making sure the details are updated with a data refresh on a frequent basis. Customers don’t mind verifying their details if you explain it is in order to ensure they receive relevant messages. Sending pre-populated fields make it even easier for them to check and verify.

4. Build profiles. Once you have chosen a segment of data that you wish to focus your marketing efforts on, you may find it useful to build a fuller profile of this particular audience. By investigating and asking additional questions to your customers, it may highlight significant findings to help your targeted communications. For example, is there a common characteristic which will help personalise your message or do they have the same motivation in purchasing a particular product/service? The aim is to get closer to this segment so that your marketing is as effective as possible.

5. Cover the basics. There is nothing wrong with segmenting according the basic demographics. Most companies start this way until they can build more intelligence. Gender, age groups, geography are the most common but add to this pyschographics such as lifestyle and life stage, and they will really develop your data. You may also be able to sort your data into new, lapsed and loyal customers and even those with the highest spend or just new enquiries. Any way to segment into lists will help your marketing have a more specific message and avoid blanket communications which may not be relevant to some of the targeted customers.

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6. Choose wisely. Not every segment will be the most effective for your business. Your chosen target market must suit your company and your company must suit them. Are you the best placed to deliver their needs? Are you going head to head with the competition? Will this segment give you a profitable ROI for your marketing efforts? Is this a transient segment or long-term to build future investment? These are essential questions for your business which will determine the emphasis of your targeted marketing.

 
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Nicola Peaty

Marketing Personas

By Nicola Peaty

You know your audience don’t you? Basic demographics are all covered, maybe even some useful segmentation. But of course with the need for more personalised targeting and marketing, there is a need to go deeper and really get to know your customers.

Marketing personas have become a great way to develop real identities for some of your key customers. By building a profile and even a name and face, gives a company the focus of a real person who they are talking to and how they need to communicate and interact with that specific type of customer.

Once created, really and truly the personas should then be at the core of the company’s strategy, whether it is product development, content delivery or account management, the personas should give the exact required insight.

So where to begin? Every company has some useful data which allows them to start building profiles. How many personas you create, is down to the intelligence you extract from this data. Basic demographics are a good start, but then add in previous purchasing behaviour, influences, motivations, lifestyles and attributes.

Surveys and interviews are great ways to ascertain a bit more depth. Online or email surveys are cheaper than face to face interviews, but make sure you get a true representation of your audience. You need to know details about your best advocates, but you can’t ignore customers who have had bad experiences. This is the opportunity to investigate where poor relations have developed for some customers with your brand and for you to understand and learn how to rectify particular issues. So make sure you include loyal customers, referrals, prospects and lapsed customers.

Recruitment of interviewees should be selected carefully, questions planned to fill any specific data gaps as well as build deeper customer knowledge and incentives in place to entice and convince participation. Research experts can help in designing questionnaires, but also in conducting the interviews. There is a skill in knowing how to ask the right questions in the right way in order to ascertain key findings, great quotations and uncover potential opportunities and/or issues.

Personas should ideally include the following:  persona
* Demographics
* Job profile
* Typical day
* Information sources
* Purchasing behaviour/preferences
* Challenges/issues
* Goals/motivations

Analysis of data is critical to discover particular patterns of behaviour, common threads within segments of your audience and similar attributes and motivators. Again, research experts can help investigate information collated and present overall findings.

When researching and investigating information to build your profiles, the key point to bear in mind is that you are trying to find out precious gems of insight into how you can get closer to your customer and ultimately deliver the solution they are looking for. If you can perfectly match their needs and make them feel as though you are talking to them personally, both through clever communications and product delivery, then you can beat your competitors every time!

See also our blog on: How to write content for your audience:  http://www.vgandassociates.com/how-to-write-content-for-your-audience/