There’s no denying digital marketing is the flavour of the month (year, decade, century, millennium), and it’s a major growth engine for many businesses. However, the digital landscape has created a multi-channel marketing environment, and this creates new challenges for the way businesses try to segment target customers.

Segmentation is still useful

With the explosion in technology, in tandem with helpful data, market segmentation is reaching new levels of efficacy. We can now tailor our marketing messages to individual customers, clients and prospects, based on their “historical search trends”, “purchasing behaviour”, and “social media likes”. In other words, one-to-one marketing to individuals is a reality.

To take advantage of the new possibilities, many marketers have created customer profiles (or personas) for each of their target segments, allowing them to finely tune their brand voice and present offers that are more likely to resonate with clients and prospects. Australian businesses, particularly small and medium sized businesses, for example, are beginning to embrace the value of customer profiling. The recent Bankwest Future of Business Economy and Finance Report 2016, produced by CoreData, showed that small businesses are increasing their marketing budgets, including new-age activities such as profiling. This spend is heavily skewed towards newer marketing channels, with small business twice as likely to focus their efforts on social and digital marketing compared with more traditional mediums.

What can segmentation do for your marketing?

There are several things high quality market segmentation can achieve, including:

  1. The ability to tailor content to the audience. No single piece of content needs to be the same for every customer. Regardless of the type of content you’re producing, data can help you understand what interests target customers and more significantly, where they sit on the buying cycle. By understanding their behaviour, you can serve up content which is relevant and timely.
  2. Helping to target more valuable customers. Your ability to break customers up across trends such as ‘purchase size’, or ‘average number of purchases in specified time periods’, means you can skew your marketing efforts to more valuable segments.
  3. Influencing the way, you productise your offering. Getting your hands on valuable data means you’re able to identify trends in each market segment, enabling you to better bundle, or productise, offers to specific target groups. Effectively, segmentation can provide product marketers with a more rapid way of bringing a new product or service to market.