Market segmentation is all about sales and marketing ROI. The premise is that to maximize success with a large population of customers, it is best to divide it into logical subgroups. By dividing one large, generalized market into subgroups, you can fine-tune your product, messaging, promotional, distribution and related strategies to meet the specific needs of unique customer groups.
Segmentation models vary from basic to complex, and the approaches to developing and applying them is a topic for an entire book itself. But here are three examples of the very real benefits a segmentation model delivers:
- Plan product roadmaps. It’s a lot easier to craft a roadmap when you have internal agreement about the profiles—including needs and behaviors—of the most attractive customer segments. If decision makers share a common view of what the most attractive segments are, and their emerging needs, planning new products and product improvements becomes a far more time and resource efficient process. Not to overlook the obvious benefit that customer-inspired product ideas are more likely to succeed.
- Embrace niche marketing. Few companies can afford to compete with the big fish in the big pond. Instead, a segmentation model shows you how to be a big fish in a little pond—or several little ponds. A segmentation project can be designed to identify, profile and select profitable niches.
- Setting your budget. Why let a marketing budget be set by something arbitrary, such as percent of sales? A segmentation model can provide a more meaningful, analytical approach. Given the size of attractive segments, and objectives for each segment (awareness/preference/market share, etc.), a strategic budget aligned with actual goals can be built. When you take this approach for the first time, you will likely find yourself investing less in some marketing programs, and more in others.
These are just 3 examples—there are many more. Indeed, there are many ways that a segmentation model can help your organization make money and save money. That said, actually creating a segmentation model is fairly complex, and success requires a very thoughtful planning process. Before you start, I strongly urge you to get assistance from someone who has experience with these types of studies—either a consultant or a market research agency.
For those interested in learning more about market segmentation, I have three offers for you:
First, please check out my new white paper, “9 Ways Market Segmentation Improves Business Success.” GET WHITE PAPER
Second, check out the preview of the new, 53-minute online introduction to market segmentation, “Divide & Conquer: Practical Steps to Market Segmentation Success.” CLASS PREVIEW [Research Rockstar VIP members: please note that this class is currently available in the members’ area—just log-in, click, and view!]
Third, for those interested in on-site training, I now have a more in-depth, 2-hour version of the online class, which includes interactive exercises for teams planning to create a market segmentation model. For a class outline, email me at KKorostoff@ResearchRockstar.com. Thanks!