B2B Marketing has always used some form of segmentation to divide leads and customers. But before big data became mainstream, these efforts almost always focused on trying to find the "why" of customer behavior to develop better marketing strategies and tactics. With big data marketing, the "why" becomes much less important than the "what" and "how".
In the end, it doesn't really matter why Customer Profile A buys quicker, more often, and spends more than Customer Profile C. It only matters that they do, and it matters where and how they do it, so you can better position messages and offer easier ways to purchase. In order to do this, you have to abandon the old ways of segmentation and crank up better ways to identify, segment, and target specific groups.
What is Advanced Segmentation?
Advanced segmentation is the process of creating easily identifiable groups of potential customers based on their specific characteristics, or perhaps on their particular needs or desires. These groups, when properly identified and segmented, are likely to exhibit very similar purchasing behaviors. You can then position messages for accurate and successful targeting. It's powerful stuff!
What are the Advantages of Advanced Segmentation?
Advanced segmentation gives you the ability to separate your most valuable leads (or customers) from your least valuable ones. You can then focus your efforts on converting those promising leads, while simply sending periodical reminders for those "maybe's" in the pile. With this advanced information, you can personalize messages for optimal success, and you can also drive engagement with your customers to forge deep and meaningful relationships with them. Another benefit is the ability to expand and increase the lifetime value of each customer you garner.
What is the Best Advanced Segmentation Method to Use?
In the past, segmentation has involved identifying factors such as: geographic location, demographic groups, psychological groups, and socio-cultural groups. Yet each of these groups has inherent problems. For example, people or businesses in a specific area or region may exhibit drastically different buying habits. Not all Midwestern farmers make decisions based on the same criteria, nor do all of the automotive dealerships in California or insurance agencies in the Deep South.
Similarly, you can't predict behavior based on demographic groups (say, all men or all manufacturing managers), nor their psychology, which has proven an inaccurate way to determine future behavior. Socio-cultural groups also behave in drastically different ways according to a wide variety of factors. In the end, user behavior (aka the "what" not the "why") is the only reliable method of segmentation. This is what big data can provide you. It can identify the frugal buyers, the cynical audience, the buyers who are easily influenced by others, those who are tech-savvy, and those who are swayed heavily by the product's packaging. Advanced segmentation can help you predict the behavior of these groups for highly targeted, richly engaging marketing messages.
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