By Duke Merhavy, MBA, PhD
President & Chief Research Officer of Insight Marketing Research
We all know that when a garment is advertised as ‘One Size Fits All’, it never does. This is even more true when it comes to marketing. One marketing approach will never “fit all”. Luckily, there are great marketing tools available to help us tailor our marketing message to fit our prospects.
As a marketer you should never assume that one activity, or one message, directed at all potential buyers of your product is enough. Your marketing efforts should vary, depending on the intended recipient. Now, this does not necessarily mean (though it could) that every individual prospect (or organization) should be receiving a completely different message. It means that different groups within the target market should be receiving different messages more applicable to them. These “groups” are called “segments” in marketing. However, there is some confusion as to what market segments really are – Let’s clarify that:
A market segment is a subset of the potential target market that is (1) similar within; (2) different without; (3) identifiable; (4) reachable; and (5) significant, relatively to your offering.
1. Similar Within:
The members of the group should exhibit some type of commonality (needs, characteristics, etc.).
2. Different Without:
Those in the particular segment should be different than those in other segments.
You should be able to tell who belongs to a segment, and how many members it contains. The fact there are some people with blue eyes and curly dark hair on your mailing list, for example, does not necessarily mean you can identify who they are and count how many), if you wanted to promote a particular hair product that’s perfect for them.
For marketing to be effective. we should have some means to communicate our message to the members of a segment.
The size of the segment should be large enough to be worth the effort and costs associated with directing specific and unique marketing activities towards it.
Understanding what constitute a segment is very important, but it is only the first step. Performing market segmentation, i.e. dividing the market into subsets, requires some serious work – but it is well worth it!
The first step of proper market segmentation involves information gathering and analysis. You already have some information about your customers, but you might need to extract it from your records (accounting, sales, contact records, etc.) You will also need to collect additional data which might be available from other sources, and in most cases, additional marketing research would be required to provide you with the information you can’t otherwise find.
Segment-specific marketing activity is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Combine this with the controls provided by prominent email service providers such as FireDrum, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) management, and PPC (Pay Per-Click) advertising, and you can now tailor your message in the most meaningful way to your potential customers.
About Insight Marketing Research:
Insight Marketing Research is a strategic partner of FireDrum. They are a marketing research firm dedicated to the success of their clients. Their mission is to complement your in-house marketing team’s efforts by providing data, information, and insights for the best possible marketing decisions. To learn more about Insight Marketing Research click here.