In the marketing world, segmentation is defined as the process of identifying specific customer groups and creating separate lists for each group. This allows you to create and market content that will appeal to those different groups. A small aspect in the grand scheme of things, segmentation can make a huge impact on your business if it is done correctly. But like anything, mistakes are made. Here are five of the most common segmentation mistakes that are found in marketing.
Mistake 1: Only Looking at Past Behaviors
Looking at demographics and purchase behavior is an important part of creating your segmented lists, but you shouldn’t get too bogged down with the data because it won’t help you when the time comes to create targeted content. Not to mention, the behaviors of your audience are liable to change and evolve over time, so centering your strategy around the same behaviors is extremely limiting. Instead, use an approach that focuses on the attitudes and values of your targeted audience. Your audience may not look similar, but they will share the same ideas and mindset.
Mistake 2: Relying on the Old
The marketing landscape has undergone some pretty drastic changes in the past couple of years, so it only makes sense that the segmentations that were successful back then may not be successful today. Industries have changed, and many businesses have made the shift to virtual storefronts to adapt to new shopping practices. As a result, consumer expectations, preferences and wants are undergoing change as well. But have no fear, not all segmentation needs to be scrapped. Take a good look at your current practices and make any adjustments or changes that are needed. Going forward, take a look at your segments annually, to make sure that they are still valid.
Mistake 3: Developing Tunnel Vision When it Comes to your Audience
Segmentation is a wonderful tool, but it can cause companies to put on blinders when it comes to establishing their audiences. Oftentimes companies will go into their segmented lists with preconceived notions and as a result, ignore entire customer groups that may not exactly fit the look and brand of the company, but are just as important. These types are prospects are known as “ghost segments” in the marketing world and could become some of your company’s best prospective customers. One way to avoid falling into the segmentation slump is to look at some of your company’s future aims and incorporate customers that fit those projected market trends. Noncustomers can be just as important as current customers and are worth a second look to see if there is any way to convert them.
Mistake 4: Using Data Incorrectly
Data is a wonderful tool that can easily be misused. There is so much data available that the real struggle lies in making sure that it is being used effectively in regards to segmentation. When starting out, companies typically end up using customer data that they already have. This can lead to an over-reliance on the behavioral aspects, while customer values are ignored. It also completely cuts out ghost segments, alienating potential customers. To combat this, collect information in a way that engages your customers. Send out surveys, polls and utilize social media to gather your own information. The personalized approach will resonate with your customers and open the gate to learn more. Data isn’t without its benefits and can be used to add that little extra oomph to your segments.
Mistake 5: Stopping at Segmentation
Creating your lists and segmenting your audience is only the first step, next comes the testing and fine-tuning. Segmentation is the foundation of your strategy, and now that you’ve established who you are going to be targeting it’s time to start building out the rest, including finding new ways to interact with your audience and creating content that you know will appeal to them. In order for segmentation to effectively work, your whole team must be on board as well. If your marketing strategy is like a car, then segmentation is the gas that keeps the car going.
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