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.
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.
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.