Many small to medium sized businesses lean on hypothesizing to create their market segmentations. Basically, they give an educated guess around the details of who is or will become a valuable customer. This approach fails over and over again, yet leaders continue to scratch their heads wondering why they cannot hit their revenue goals.
Is your audience based on fact or fiction?
We’ve all heard that saying about what a mistake it is to assume, because you just end up make an A$$ out of U and ME. No place is this truer and ultimately more costly than in content marketing. If you don’t know who is in your audience, and I mean really know them, then how can you engage them? The fact is you can’t.
Another great saying, so fitting for this discussion on market segmentation, is the “devil is in the details.” This means data matters. The sooner you start collecting it, watching it, and filtering through it… the sooner you’ll see who you are really talking to, as well as whom in your target market is actually not just taking action but is sticking with you and bringing their friends along with them. Yes, that was said all in one breath… readability scores be damned.
To get you started, think about focusing your efforts on the data fields that allow you to pivot in your business by streamlining your messaging in the most effective way possible. I’ll give you an example of what you already should know intimately way before you even consider doing any marketing.
Market Segmentation Data Part 1 *Demographic sampling
- Marital Status
Market Segmentation Data Part 2 *Psychographic sampling
- Peer Groups
Market Segmentation Data Part 3 *Unique to you
Get creative here. What else would help you segment your market better or better yet reach them in a way that connects with them on a deeper level for the long-term?
Think of your data from various angles, such as demographic and psychographic.
- Demographic data (who your buyer is) provides information on basic human characteristics that are typical of a market.
- Psychographic data (why they buy) goes further to understand a market’s psychology, interests, and behaviors.
In order to gather both demographic and psychographic data points on your audience so you can segment them properly, there are a variety of online tools at your disposal that I am sharing with you to simplify and get your going a bit faster in the right direction.
Demographic Data Resource Links
- US Department of Labor
- US Census
- American Community Survey
- American Fact Finder
- Statistical Abstract of the United States
- Neighborhood Profiles
Psychographic Data Resource Links
Build your framework of data fields that mean something to your business. Research away to provide more meat to your typical practice of making educated guesses. Start collecting immediately actual data from your existing customer base. Align, filter, analyze, and act.
Be smart about this endeavor. Data is useless without its two primary pillars 1) quantity 2) quality. If you do not have enough data your analysis will be worthless because there is not enough to go on. If you do not have quality information you can trust your findings will in no way be reliable. Let’s push you a bit further before I leave you to it. Involve your team in a conversation around these following activities.
4 Activities to Enlighten your Market Segmentation
- Write down all that you think you know about your target audience. Determine the market segments that lie within.
- Then do a little research using some of the resources above to test your theory.
- Finally, do what many companies side step or put on the back burner, talk to your customers. Find out the demographic and psychographic make up of your “best” customers. Do this regularly throughout the year. People change.
- Take it all in, then do something with what you learn. Apply it within your strategy, messaging, product development, content marketing, loyalty programs and customer service. All of this activity around market segmentation is fruitless if you are only going through the motions.
There is no failure in where you were incorrect around any of your previous beliefs. There are only heaps and heaps of opportunities. How you take advantage of them will be a defining moment for your business. You now have what you need to talk to your most potent market segment in a way that reaches them in such a way that you become a logical yet indispensible part of their lives. Symbiotic relationships are a beautiful thing. No better place to show that off than in your blog.
Market segmentation may make us look stupid if we do not actually do it and use it. When you speak to someone as if you know what makes them tick yet you are completely off base, your audience’s annoyance grows eventually leading to the point where they simply turn you off. Getting any level of their attention again takes an act of seismic proportion. A costly endeavor that distracts you from your revenue goals.
Share with our community your tales of enlightenment around market segmentation and data you’ve run into over your career. Social media buttons conveniently below and to the right. You can’t miss them.
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