Segmentation has been around for so long, that we often take it for granted, and yet it continues to be the most powerful, lowest cost and most effective marketing tool we have access to.
In the most basic sense, we segment our audience and our customers because it's more cost effective and more efficient to group them into clusters that will react similarly to a specific message. For example, men between the ages of 19 and 25 who are currently attending college are very different from women between the ages of 35 and 45 who live in mid Western suburbs. Although both of these groups might purchase Hamburger Helper, they have different reasons and different perceived benefits.
Malcolm Gladwell Talks About Spaghetti Sauce Segments
This is a fascinating story about how Campbell's Soup discovered an unmet need by looking at their customers' preferences for different types of spaghetti sauce rather than just their demographics.
Segments Can Come From Anywhere
Don't get stuck in the rut of simply creating segments out of demographics, psychographics or benefits. S-T-R-E-T-C-H yourself and your outlook and start exploring segmentation opportunities.
In the new book "The 24-Hour Customer" Adrian Ott explores the new product opportunities and ideas that were uncovered when researchers realized that we only spend about 28% of our time shopping (this includes researching as well as buying). That's not so shocking. But get this -- given out increased exposure to new products and services as well as our ability to shop online hasn't made an impact on that figure anywhere in the world. In other words - there are more products competing for that same slice of time. In this case, pulling out TIME and our interaction with it turned out to be an interesting segment.
Take Another Look At Segmentation
If it's been a while since you've looked at segmentation -- then read this article by Nico Peruzzi over at Research Access. He pulls together an outstanding overview of segmentation that you can use to get your creative juices flowing.
What have been your experiences with segmentation? Have you ever found yourself finding a new opportunity by segmenting differently? Share your segmentation tips and experiences in our comment section.