What Can the Tech Giants Teach Us About Market Segmentation and Online Lead Generation?

This past weekend, Lynn woke up late on a working Saturday. Upon tapping the Google app on her smartphone, Lynn was reminded that it was her brother's birthday. The college football lineup she so eagerly anticipated was nicely laid out for her, as were the top news stories in her professional field -- headlines on data breaches and cloud computing environments. There was even a convenient reminder that there was a 2-minute driving delay between her house and work. Google knows Lynn, and for that, Lynn loves Google.

While many of us publicly decry the loss of our privacy and the intrusion of technology into our lives by the tech giants, we also secretly adore the convenience and crave that personal touch. What can the average marketer learn from what the giants like Google and Amazon are doing right?

Lesson #1: They Aren't as Worried About Privacy as They Say They Are

Does this mean it's okay to snap photos with their device's camera without their knowledge or pry into their photos and contacts without their okay? Certainly not. But don't be afraid to track what you need to in order to deliver streamlined, on time, stellar customer service. What they do mind is you gathering all their data and then letting it get hacked. If you're going to snoop, at least take security seriously.

Lesson #2: They Do Want You to Tell Them What to Buy

Willie logged onto Amazon a week before Christmas. As an oil rig technician, he doesn't get a lot of computer time. Before he clicked the checkout button on his kids' gift order, Amazon cheerfully reminded him that the toy needed batteries. Shazam! Amazon saved Willie's kids' Christmas morning, and Willie didn't mind the intrusion or the extra pushy sales tactics at all. The moral to the story is, it's okay to make recommendations, even if it means you've been snooping around in their virtual shopping carts. Just make sure your recommendations are useful, relevant, and timely. Otherwise, you just become a pest.

Lesson #3: You Aren't Amazon or Google

Market segmentation Don't take the liberties the tech giants do until your customers get to know you well enough to trust you with that level of information.

Though these anecdotes serve to illustrate how the tech giants do market segmentation right, you have to remember that Amazon and Google have spent considerable money, time, effort, and other resources garnering the public's trust. Most businesses haven't. Before you begin prying and pushing like a Google or an Amazon, make sure your customers know you and trust you. Otherwise, these tactics can backfire.

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