As customer personalization continues to establish itself as a cornerstone of successful marketing strategies, we find ourselves working with more and more brands looking to better understand their customers as the unique individuals they are.
Back in 2018 we wrote this blog about customer segmentation. Since then the consumer market has shifted and evolved but the way we seek to understand customers by grouping and analyzing the individuals based on certain demographics, lifestyle characteristics or brand preferences has remained relatively the same. So it’s worth revisiting a few important principles regarding customer segmentation as they were outlined a year ago, but considering them as they apply to customer experience development today.
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April 10, 2018
According to Rapt Media, 62% of consumers said they’re more likely to purchase if brand content is more valuable, interesting or relevant.
The days of single-message mass marketing are long gone. Today, competitive brands understand their customers on an individual level and implement marketing strategies based on customer segmentation.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER SEGMENTATION?
The act of organizing and identifying a group of customers by sets (and sub-sets) of individuals who share common demographic traits or fit into common marketing categories. For example, a brand may segment its customers based on age, gender, buying tendencies, special interests, etc.
Think about your own daily experiences as a consumer; seeing online ads, sifting through sales emails, driving past billboards, etc. In the highly competitive world of marketing, if a brand’s messaging has even a chance of reaching the intended customer it has to say something relevant and speak in a voice that resonates on an individual level.
One of the most valuable sub-segments of a customer’s profile is their respective lifestyle preferences. By understanding your customers beyond their standard demographic or transactional data, you can deliver branded messaging with a familiar and genuine tone.
HOW ARE CONSUMER LIFESTYLE PREFERENCES RELEVANT TO MY PRODUCT OR SERVICE?
If I were asked to deliver a presentation to a group of vegetarians, I would avoid using a butcher (or anything meat-related) as an analogy. Regardless of my presentation’s topic, I want to connect with my audience on a personal level so that my message is more likely to be received and accepted. In an effort to do this, I avoid any topics or references that may be perceived as controversial.
Since I’m aware of this group’s personal lifestyle/dietary preference (which has nothing to do with my presentation topic), I become more familiar with the audience as individuals enabling me to prepare accordingly, engage directly and present my message effectively. If I wasn’t aware of this lifestyle preference, I may have unknowingly and unintentionally damaged my connection with the audience by saying or doing something offensive.
WHAT ARE SOME LIFESTYLE ATTRIBUTES WORTH CONSIDERING?
This is an opportunity to get creative and connect with your customers on a deeper level. Each industry and market offer different pathways to explore, but here are a few questions to consider as a jumping-off point:
Who are your customers when they aren’t engaging with your brand?
What makes them unique; style, taste, opinions, preferences, etc?
When is the best time to communicate with them?
Where are they spending most of their free time?
Why are they in the market for your product or service?
How do they view your brand?
By answering these types of questions you will start to develop a well-rounded customer persona offering depth and detailed insights for reference when crafting marketing messages. Your entire team is able to consider any proposed call-to-action or promotional offer in terms of how it might be received by the individual, rather than picturing a mass consumer population with hopes of reaching only a few.
The value of customer segmentation cannot be overstated, and specifically the area of lifestyle preferences which is often overlooked. Taking the time to understand your customers on a personal level will only strengthen your relationship and it will send a message that your brand cares about more than simply making a profit.
Whether you want to get started building detailed customer profiles or you’re ready to take your analytic game to the next level, I want to help your brand get there. At MacKenzie, we’ve spent over 30 years refining our approach to customer persona strategy and development. Today we continue helping our partners strengthen relationships and increase customer loyalty with data-driven actionable insights.