Ways in Which to Segment Your Audience and Buyers

Written by Eric

There are many ways in which to segment your audience and buyers in order to try to personalize your marketing to them. The key is to choose the data which will be most helpful to you in making sales. You can segment by industry, demographics, buyer persona, stages in the buying process, and more.

Let’s look at a few of the most common methods of segmentation.

Niche or Industry

Focusing on a specific niche or industry is the recipe for success when it comes to online marketing. Instead of the “scattershot” approach of a TV ad, for example, you can focus specifically on people interested in pets, golf, health and so on. Coca-Cola ads run all the time, but if a person is not a soda drinker, avoids caffeine, or prefers Pepsi, all the ads in the world are never going to make them buy.

Demographics

Demographic sets are the most common form of segmentation. They are based on customer traits and can be used to formulate the outline for a buyer persona for the typical customer in your niche or industry.

The most common demographic sets are:

* Age
* Gender
* Marital Status
* Occupation
* Income

Geography

The location of your customers can have a huge impact. If you are a local café, for example, there is no point in marketing to people who live overseas. Targeting by zipcode/s near your establishment can help.

Lifestyle

Also known as psychographics, lifestyle targeting focuses on hobbies and interests. A person might be interested in music, for example, and could be segmented into professional, amateur, particular instruments, recording equipment, stereo equipment and so on.

Behavioral Patterns

This can be in terms of what brands this person typically buys, their buying cycle for items they need to buy regularly, and so on. The patterns can also include bargain basement shopping versus high-end, luxury shopping with no expense spared.

Benefits-Based Segmentation

Every customer is looking for some way to make their lives easier and to even transform it for the better. A soccer mom’s idea of better, however, might be very different from that of a New York City socialite.

Benefit segmentation includes:

* Convenience
* Value
* Quality
* Status/prestige

A well-rounded marketing persona will have some data about each of these areas which can help you market more effectively to the various segments of your niche, helping you to personalize your marketing message.

Features versus Benefits

One of the most important ways you can use your marketing personas is when you write your sales letter and similar promotional material. Many marketers tend to give a shopping list of the features of their product without clearly stating the benefits. Don’t make your audience guess what’s in it for them — tell them upfront.

A good example would be car ads. They all list features like four-wheel drive, leather bucket seats and so on. But what are the benefits of having these?

Four-wheel drive will help you handle almost any sort of terrain. It might also be safer in bad weather, such as rain and snow.

These details might not be important to a Manhattan socialite who rarely drives outside of the city, but it would be important information for people living in places that get a lot of snow. People who love off-road types of adventures would also find this an important selling point.

In terms of leather seats, they are sexy, sleek and stylish for a wealthy person, but durable, easy to clean, and kid- and pet-friendly to a busy soccer mom.

Create two different versions of your sales letter for each persona, and A/B split test. Or, let a content personalization engine do the work for you, so the right marketing message gets shown to the right person.

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