From an advertising perspective, audience segmentation is a process of dividing a large group of target audience into smaller groups (aka segments) in order to communicate with them effectively.
This segmentation can be based on a variety of factors like age, gender, location, level of education, interests etc.
When it comes to Marketing, ‘one size fits all’ approach is a thing of the past. Each of us consider ourselves as a unique entity.
But it is impossible for a brand to tailor their messaging for every individual customer. However, by segmenting the total target audience into smaller groups based on their common traits, ad campaigns can become way more effective.
Let’s look at some of the broader categories by which the customer segmentation can happen.
This is one of the most common segmentations in practice. It covers characteristics like age, gender, education, income, occupation etc.
Country, City, Area, Population, Language, Climate etc.
This segmentation really comes in handy when you work on advertising for brands that have seasonal products.
This segmentation is based on the user’s behavior – factors like what they buy, when they buy, how often they buy etc.
It is important to understand the user intent behind the purchases and their current position in the buyer’s journey. Based on this understanding, it becomes easier for advertisers to target the customer segments with appropriate ads.
When the above three segmentations lead to mixed results and responses, psychographic segmentation can be a marketer’s savior.
This segmentation is based on characteristics like lifestyle, hobbies, ideologies, personality traits, attitude, preferences, brand loyalty etc.
On the outset, it may seem like a daunting task to understand and map your target segments based on the above traits. In reality, it is not very difficult for marketers and as it yields greater return on investments, psychographic segmentation can make a big difference to ad campaigns.
Irrespective of the type of segmentation you are considering, here are a few helpful pointers on how to and how-not to go about it.
1. Goal Setting
Even before you start the segmentation process, it is essential to understand your business goals clearly. This helps to ensure that your segmentation goals is aligned with your core business targets.
2. Avoid overdoing it
Since segmentation of audiences is a very interesting process in itself, it becomes hard to put a stop. It is an exciting exercise to keep drilling down the segments further for maximum effectiveness but eventually it might lead to a subset containing a very few customers.
3. Test – Improve – Repeat
For marketers, this is the new norm. Every segmentation-based campaign comes with a huge amount of data that can provide key insights on what worked and what failed. Scale and implement the good ones and discard the bad practices.
To recap, audience segmentation is an essential process that has to be done before kick-starting any advertising campaign as it helps to make the brand’s communications relevant to the target segment.