With high volumes of data created across multiple marketing channels, brands are challenged to organize and active the right data assets to maximize cross-channel performance. To better understand your target audience, drive more sales, and reduce marketing waste, you need to align your brand segmentation with digital activation and reporting.
You must align the why they purchase with the who that buys (audience segmentation) to the what (experience) and how (digital activation) so that all your efforts are on the same page.
The key reason for this alignment is to increase efficiencies and synchronize your efforts so that each element is working in correlation with the other. Knowing what audience to target determines what marketing initiatives you should use to engage them, which in turn directs you to the right insights to improve your segmentation. It’s a cycle that is interrelated and symbiotic.
Segmentation directs your strategy
Segmentation is making sure the right message -> gets to the right buyer -> at the right time. It’s also a great deal more economically efficient than mass marketing. By segmenting high-performing users you will increase engagement with current users to drive more value from your audiences. Aligning your segmentation with the activation strategy is key.
By gaining an understanding of consumer behavior you have the insights needed to increase conversions. Segmentation is the tool that helps you analyze aggregates of consumers that share common characteristics.
By targeting the segments which have the highest propensity to engage, you can develop a more effective marketing strategy that better serves consumer needs and ultimately boosts conversions.
5 elements of the most effective segments should be
- Measurable – based on size, purchasing power, and segment profile
- Substantial – of a critical mass that is profitable
- Accessible – one that can easily be reached
- Differential – is distinctive from others
- Actionable – that enables effective programs/campaigns to be developed
To segment markets properly, you need to divide them into distinct groups with specific needs, characteristics, or behaviors which require separate products or marketing mixes. It’s key to activate the audience segments you have identified across the entire digital ecosystem.
Your target segmentation should be made on the basis of
- Which consumers will best respond to your brand(s)
- What most addresses a buyer’s needs and motivations
- Where consumers are in the buying cycle
- Quantifiable characteristics which link to KPIs such as size and market share
- Ease of persona (profile) identification
- Feasibility in targeting (based on fiscal, resource, and practical considerations) and the consistent growth potential of the segment
You need to understand the buying behaviors of each segment and develop consumer profile (via surveys and tracking of data rich websites).
- You need to start with a brand DNA study to evaluate the strengths/weaknesses of the brand
- Segment to identify the target groups to focus on
- Identify primary and secondary targets
- Establish the brand positioning
- Activate the target to interact with the brand in a meaningful way
Once you’ve segmented your target audience, you should be looking for the influencers, brand ambassadors, evangelists, and advocates. Using these individuals or groups, you can maximize the efficiency of brand activation and increase response rates.
Segmentation drives efficient activation
To optimize brand management efficiency and achieve/retain your competitive advantage and increase conversions, you have to align brand segmentation, messaging, and activation.
Successfully segmenting your brand and aligning it with activation increases:
- Top of mind awareness
- Brand likeability
- Brand purchase
Making use your CRM and third-party data sources, you can segment your audiences and help plan activation. By identifying your best customers, you can focus on the best media to reach them and the best message to engage them.
When you’re planning your marketing activities you have to keep segmentation in mind so you can determine which elements to include in your marketing mix. The right mix of marketing activities and vehicles is closely linked to the behaviors of the target audience.
Market segmentation and building a differentiated value proposition are two of marketing’s most powerful tools for guiding a marketing strategy. It clearly identifies which consumer targets will generate the highest return in conversions and provides a better view of how to best reach and engage them.
Once you’ve figured out segmentation, you can align it with activation. Brand activation involves bringing a brand to life in the marketplace. It’s about delivering brand growth by using all channel opportunities to connect with consumers and deepen their experiences/relationships with your brand. You need to:
- Convert brand strategies into innovative activity plans
- Develop closer marketplace connections with consumers
- Implement consumer activation programs
- Drive brand visibility and channel presence
- Monitor market developments and brand performance
Establishing an emotional or rational attachment between consumers and your brand to foster the engagement is paramount. This is aligned with how you craft perceptions and behaviors in relation to your company.
Brand reporting gives you better insight into segmentation
Reporting that is aligned to segmentation helps provide the insights needed to inform the marketing process and guide campaign development.
Aligning segments to reporting, allows you to determine which segments are most profitable so you can increase targeting efficiency. This strategy provides you with a more accurate picture of which individual segments contribute to your ROI, which ones require greater attention and more resources, and which to eliminate.
Alignment equals optimization
Your competitive edge depends on you finding the right audience for your products/services, then getting the right message to them.
Segmentation is the tool to help achieve this, but unless it is targeted with the right marketing mix, you are wasting efficiency and cutting into your margins. The vast store of data you have must be used to determine both who to talk to and how to reach them effectively to drive engagement. Once you have aligned segmentation to optimization, and tacked on equally effective reporting to gain insights, then you finally have the knowledge you need to consistently optimize conversions.