When it comes to online marketing, you cannot serve the same pie to everybody. And if you do, you are certain to lose out in conversions, no matter how dense your social media presence is or how popular your website.
Why must you segment your audience?
Sending out the same message to a mass audience might work in print and on TV, though even that is debatable. Often commercials do exactly that -- shout out their wares at everyone but really speak to none. But online, your audience have more choices at hand; they are much more fickle and much less patient. So speaking at them en masse might actually mean your message is getting diluted, or worse, not reaching the right person at all.
As a marketing expert once said, for a marketing campaign to be successful, it must have a product to sell, an audience to sell to and the right method of communicating the former to the latter.
Growing your business and improving conversions is all about delivering the right message at the right time to the right audience. And for you to be able to do that, it is important to segment your audience so that you have a clear idea of who you are targeting and how you can personalise their buying experience.
Because today, personalization is simply everything. Research has proven time and again that not only do customers crave for a personalized experience but also have come to expect it. Segmenting your audience will allow you to have a personalization strategy so that you speak to your audience on a one-to-one level, thus building their trust and loyalty.
How to segment your audience
Initial audience research to understand your target customers is most crucial. This information that comes through open rates, bounce rates, shares, tweets and actual conversions will give you an insight into who is connecting with your product and why. To be able to further fine-tune this knowledge, you could segment your audience in these ways:
Demographic segmentation: This kind of segmentation involves putting audience into several groups such as age, gender, marital status, economic status, education level etc. Which demographic group you will target depends on your product, of course. For instance, is your product exclusively for women? Is it targeting the luxury segment?
Geographic segmentation: Clearly, this is about the location of your audience. This is especially important online since you have to determine if your product/service can be delivered to your customer. Similarly, if you are not targeting customers within your geographical area, you are essentially being irrelevant and losing out on business.
Psychological and behavioural: This is based on audience feedback on a product, their buying patterns as well as on psychological criteria such as consumer attitudes, aspirations, political stance and values.
The second, deeper way to segment audience is to understand your own communication with them. Depending on your demographic and other groups, you have to figure out which way of communication will work best for which group. For instance, if your audience is young and mobile-friendly, they might prefer communication through social media; a more traditional audience might prefer newsletters.
Ultimately, there are many benefits of audience segmentation. First and foremost, it ensures that your content has value, relevance and is consistent in its tone and quality. Secondly, since you know who your targeted audience are, you can customise your messages better, improve interaction and build trust more easily. Marketing is tough and expensive and a smart marketer cannot afford to let his resources go waste. By segmenting audience in the right manner, a marketer can ensure that a business' time and resources are not wasted.