Audience Segmentation: Definition And Comprehensive Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Marketing can help firms raise brand awareness, enhance customer experience and boost sales with the help of various tactics. It is a powerful approach that new, emerging and successful firms may often use to maintain a competitive advantage and increase their revenues. If you want a career in marketing, learning strategies like customer segmentation can be beneficial to succeed at your job. In this article, we discuss what audience segmentation means, review the various types, learn its importance in marketing and review the tips to segment an audience effectively.

What Is Audience Segmentation?

Audience segmentation is a marketing practice that separates a company's target audience into smaller categories to offer more personalised messaging and improve connections. It is an important aspect of audience research that allows companies to generate marketing content that is more attractive to a wider audience. Customer segmentation is a marketing tactic that divides the market into subgroups based on common demands, goals, attributes or behavioural norms.

Diverse people typically react in different ways to social and behaviour change marketing communications and interventions. This is why most businesses use segmentation. Marketers may segment audiences more easily using a range of techniques for search engine marketing, social media marketing and other channels.

Related: What Is Market Segmentation? (With Types And Benefits)

Types Of Audience Segmentation

Here are some types of segmentation generally used to target audiences:

Behaviour

By segmenting your audience based on their behaviour patterns, you can determine the optimum time or technique for communicating with them. You can accomplish this in several ways. You may look into what consumers buy, the factors that influence their purchasing decisions and how frequently they buy a product. Data mining tools can help you analyse the audience's previous web search history, buying history and what they avoid. This data can aid in creating a precise consumer profile that can really influence your marketing efforts.

For example, you may discover that your primary audience prefers to shop at a certain time of day or year, in which case you might spend more money on advertising during such times, like advertising for pre-festival sales. Depending on their distinct behavioural patterns, you might create loyalty programmes, special events, polls, recommendations or customized strategies for diverse groups. With the correct marketing strategy, behavioural segmentation can assist your marketing team in identifying new avenues of income.

Related: What Is The STP Process In Marketing? (Elements And Tips)

Demographics

A demographic is a group of people who may be distinguishable from others based on characteristics. A person's age, ethnicity, economic status, family structure, profession and location are examples of demographical factors, which reflect their outward-facing characteristics. This is one of the most popular strategies for customer segmentation, owing to the ease with which you may gather and identify your audience. You can use consumer polls and multiple-choice surveys, along with social media accounts and websites, to collect demographic information.

For instance, one kind of segmentation strategy is to reach consumers at the time of year when they are likely to require your product. Companies may advertise Mother's Day products before the occasion or start selling air conditioning units earlier in places which usually experience particularly hot weather.

Related: What Are The Elements Of The Marketing Mix? (With 7Ps)

Stages in the buyer's journey

Different marketing techniques may benefit customers at various points in their journey. A buyer's journey usually includes three stages, namely awareness, deliberation and decision. A buyer at the start of their journey is usually looking to solve an issue, whereas, at the end of their journey, they possess a decent idea of what they want to buy and are ready to decide. Customers in the consideration stage may be more interested in content that highlights specific details about relevant characteristics.

If a firm makes gym equipment, for example, offering this audience segment more specific information about their machines or existing customers' feedback can help them decide.

Related: What Is A Marketing Plan? (Definition And How To Create One)

Engagement levels

The sales process for a firm alters depending on how engaged a customer is with its items. A customer who buys from you regularly requires a different call to action (CTA) than someone who is a potential customer. Consider establishing a stronger interpersonal or practical relationship with groups that have just discovered the company's product and continue demonstrating how this product may improve their lives. Customers who are already enthusiastic and interested but may require a little encouragement to buy products like a limited-time discount on their wishlishted items or a rewards program.

Organisations may boost their product sales through this segmentation depending on engagement levels.

Related: What Is Revenue? Definition, Types, Examples And More

Preferred device type

You might realise that many of your target customers prefer to see your information on their handheld devices. Desktop and mobile browsers often display sites differently, thus catering to a customer's preferred device is important. Users of mobile devices may become dissatisfied more quickly if certain menus or functionalities are difficult to access on their device screens.

Optimising the website for the device that a consumer is using to view it is helpful. Customers that primarily communicate with your brand via mobile devices may prefer shorter emails, online posts and other condensed data. You can target this demographic with more concise information if you developed an audience segment for them.

Related: Top 20 Marketing Skills To Include On Your Resume

Psychographics

Psychographics is a marketing approach that looks at a user's online behaviour to infer their thoughts, beliefs, interests, goals, desires and personality. Understanding a customer's psychographics can aid marketers in emphasising the features of their products or services that are most important to that demographic. For instance, if you discover that much of your audience enjoys travelling, you might highlight how your product or service is efficient and helps them save time and money so they can spend longer on holidays.

Combined strategies

Sometimes, marketing teams may find that combining different segmentation tactics yields the best results. Combining several forms of consumer segmentation strategies is possible and can help you customise your marketing content even more for diverse audiences. For example, getting and acting on customer feedback can help resolve issues the customers might identify and create better products. It also allows you to develop communications and relationships with buyers who already enjoy your product and retain loyal customers.

Related: How To Generate Leads For A Business: A Comprehensive Guide

Why Is Audience Segmentation Necessary?

Segmenting the audience can help organisations promote their products or services to a greater number of potential clients in their target markets. Content aimed at a broader audience risks becoming dull or generic with repetition and thus might not attract consumers. Consumer segmentation strategies can appeal directly to the preferred or target audience members by making them more customised. Segmentation of an audience is a necessary marketing tactic because it helps organisations with the following:

  • Retaining existing customers and increasing the retention rates

  • Strengthening existing and new consumer relationships to ensure their loyalty

  • Generating new leads for the business

  • Improving conversion rates

  • Adopting a customer-centric approach

  • Growing brand awareness

  • Improving their products

  • Increasing revenues.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide To The Importance Of Marketing

How To Segment Your Audience Effectively

Follow the steps given below for building a competent audience segmentation strategy:

1. Creating data-driven segments

Customer segmentation allows you to promote to particular groups within your audience more effectively. Businesses may find it difficult to fulfil the particular demands of clients if there is no or inadequate demographic segmentation. If you develop audience segments with excessively restrictive parameters, just a small fraction of potential clients may fit into them. Allow your target segmentation to be determined by the company's user data. For example, if a larger percentage of your customers are people who live in rural areas, ensure that your marketing efforts are catering to them.

2. Setting goals

Setting quantifiable marketing goals allows you to assess the effectiveness of your audience segments. It is difficult to evaluate whether you have achieved it if the criteria and purpose are ambiguous. The marketing team can set targets to see how effective their strategies are. For example, if one of the marketing goals is to increase conversion rates by 20%, you can check if you achieved the goal or change your tactics to achieve it.

3. Employing different channels

Use a variety of channels to see how they impact the level of engagement among the various audience segments. You might use different channels like emails, digital ads, print media, videos, tv ads and social media. Keep track of how different portions of your audience connect with various platforms. Consumers that are more introverted, for example, may prefer email marketing, whereas customers who are more outgoing are more likely to participate via social media. With the help of this information, you can tailor your upcoming email and social media marketing campaigns to these two distinct audiences.

4. Trying new methods

Sometimes, the strategy you chose to segment your audience might not work in all cases or at all times. It may take you several attempts to get the wanted results with segmentation for the company. Some companies' consumer profiles change frequently. Consider adjusting the segment criteria or procedure if your customer segmentation requires improvement or is not functioning well. Examine your client data periodically to determine if any new or modified subgroups may be created.

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