When it comes to communication, it pays to personalize. Whether your aim is to generate more leads, increase your social media fanbase, get more email subscribers, or hire more drivers, you need to segment your audience. It’s about speaking to individual people instead of just ‘personas,’ or diverse crowds who care about totally different things. It’s about respect, really. And of course increasing your chances of being heard.
As such, every day in a marketer’s life should be a segmentation celebration! The questions is, how do you want to divvy up that audience of yours?
Distilling masses of people into smaller groups based on demographic attributes like gender, income, age, occupation, industry, or geography is a logical place to start for most marketers. You can do this with your internal data, and pretty much every major social channel out there allows you to slice and sort people into similar groups in one way or another. Not the least of which is Facebook.
Between their Audience Insights tool, search capabilities, and ad targeting, Facebook can help you find prospects worldwide (or strictly in the greater Topeka area). You just need to settle on how you want to filter folks, and how you plan to engage with them once they’re grouped together.
Google is another good starting point for demographic insight. They have a wonderful assortment of targeting tools, like adding demographic targeting to an ad group, or diving into the abundant Demographics and Interests trove in Google Analytics. If it’s demographic data you’re after, Facebook and Google are like Scrooge McDuck’s money bin.
Not to be outdone, LinkedIn has also stepped up their demographic targeting game. You can reach prospects based on industry, company size, function, skills, geography, or via other pertinent characteristics.
Whatever platform you end up pulling data from, it should ultimately tie into your overall email marketing strategy. Email is cheap, easy, and still effective. Email addresses can also be used a number of different ways, such as creating custom audiences on Facebook or Google.
The next frontier is uncovering what people are actually interested in.
Interests and Behaviors
Behaviors, preferences, and allegiances are another popular way to segment audiences. This info can be gleaned from browser activity, downloads, app usage, purchase history, social media behaviors, or other online transactions.
What groups are they involved in? What do they comment on or share? What are they into?
Facebook, again, makes interest-based filtering easy. So does Google. If you want to go more in depth, Google Tag Manager lets you build lists based on what links people click or what pages they visit of your website.
Regardless of your industry, there are plenty of data sources to pull from. If you’re in recruiting, those who completed applications or sent an email inquiry might make for a nice list. If your company produces premium gated content, you can make a list of people who downloaded white papers or slideshows, or perhaps follow up with those who requested a demo/test drive but didn’t quite go the distance.
No two list segmentations are going to look the same. There’s no right answer here. The important thing is that you dedicate the time, effort, and manpower needed to segment your audience in ways that will help you communicate more effectively, and with more relevance. Informed, empowered customers demand (and deserve) some measure of thoughtful personalization.
If your plan is to just keep sending the same message to everyone, brace yourself for a barrage of unsubscribes, unfollows, and a chorus of crickets.
That’s our segmentation exhortation for the day. Now get to segmentin’!