No two customers are ever alike, but they can usually have a lot in common. This allows the marketers to understand their market more deeply, and tailor their product or service offerings for their customers.
However, performing segmentation for the sole purpose of differentiating the customers can limit the marketers ability to properly understand their customers. By complementing this grouping with sufficient analytics, customer segmentation can become an effective management tool that provides valuable and actionable insight for obtaining and retaining more customers.
Analytics + Segmentation = Sustainability
The fundamental approach for customer segmentation is looking through the mountains of customer data to recognize significant patterns – even the ones that are harder to locate. Now, if marketers are the propagators for this idea, it becomes much more likely for them to inadvertently introduce the element of human error in their workings.
By adding an analytic software tool into the mix, marketers can perform this process more objectively and accurately. They can simply feed the necessary differentiating variables and let the software automatically analyze the data and intelligently create customer profiles.
By further studying these profiles, the marketers can understand the more subtle elements of their customers’ behavior and use that to make more informed and profitable decisions by properly engaging with them.
The benefits of this practice are not just found in short-term results, but also in predicting future trends and changes in customer behavior. What this essentially means is that customer segments are not constant, and must proactively be updated to fit the market circumstances. By using segmentation with analytics, marketers can continuously gather information from the customers and analyze it to generate real-time suggestions for the best course to follow in order to maximize customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction.
Obtain and Analyze Customer Data
Data segmentation cannot occur without, well, data. Source all the customer data from the various marketing and communication channels and use segmented analysis on this static data to locate the discernible patterns.
For instance, some customers may be purchasing more frequently but in smaller amounts, whereas some others may be buying more expensive items but few and far between. Studying both these customer segments will help marketers to recognize the customers’ preferences, attitudes and motivations for making more logical decisions.
Align Processes with the Patterns
Once the patterns in the customer segments have been realized, marketers can move on to using them appropriately to bring about profitable results.
Each customer segment requires a different marketing approach, and in turn, a dedicated marketing team or program. Focusing on the key performance indicators (KPIs) for a specific group can produce better results by letting the marketers provide more value to the customers.
If there are sub-groups present within a certain segment, optimally dividing and allocating the marketing resources will be more beneficial. For example, marketing expenses for a less lucrative sub-group should ideally be a smaller portion of the whole budget, or matching a product or service offering to a subgroup that is more favorable for it can lead to more customers.
Facilitate Predictive Segmentation
As more and more patterns become visible, so does the ability for an analytic tool to become more efficient at recognizing them and predicting future trends. Marketers can continuously gain more insight as the analytics improve, allowing them to understand their customers more accurately and improve relations with them.
With enough functionality,marketers can accurately predict which customers may be more receptive to certain offers and marketing campaigns, thus eliminating the need for using trial-and-error for their marketing efforts.