How to segment your target audience

Do you know your customer in person? Not? Then this article must have for reading by you right now! 

To whom and why do I need to segment the target audience?

It would seem that on every corner they say that CA segmentation is an opportunity to find a secret key to your client and sell it to him all that you have, without a twinge of conscience.

But an impressive portion of marketers forget: segmenting is necessary not only when there is something to sell. You need to segment before creating a new product or service (oh, these startups …). After all, the definition of pain and needs of CA plays in two directions:

  • We know the product and its functions – we determine who is interested in them.
  • We know the unclosed needs of the audience in the market – we create a unique product for them.
  • By the way, another important point opens in this plane: ALWAYS you need to analyze your product together with the analysis of the target audience! Why? Read on.

When to do segmentation?

Another important question, which the majority also answers incorrectly.

Segmentation and determination of the portrait of a representative of Central Asia need to be done in several cases:

1. Developing or updating a marketing strategy. When you only determine the secret paths to the client’s heart, it’s clear that you are trying to find out the sore spots for which your product will be the medicine. Here, the classic scheme of segmentation into small groups based on key attributes is suitable.

2. New company entering the market. In this case, you do the main work – determine the positioning of the product on the market, and only then create an essentially new marketing strategy. In this case, the 5W (6W) strategy is suitable.

3. Creation of a new product. As mentioned above, we initially identify secret or obvious needs that are not yet satisfied with existing products, and only then release this product. Here, the Hunt Ladder is perfect for a basic assessment (by the way, this is the main principle that all marketers use today to determine the “warmth” of a client).

Where to look for information about the audience: the Internet knows everything!  

When they say that the Internet is watching everyone, they recall the theory of the great conspiracy. Well … Yes, the Internet is following everyone. At least for those who allow it. And the information that is on the network is silly to ignore. Therefore, the collection of data on CA should start with the network:

1. Analytics systems for existing business: Yandex.Metrica, Google Analytics, Roistat.

2. Information from your sales managers and recording telephone conversations with customers

3. Social networks: pages, thematic communities and groups.

4. CRM systems and company database.

5. Thematic forums and media.

6. Rating and news agencies with open data.

7. Statistical Services.

In addition to sources from which you only need to take information and process, there are other ways that are suitable for the B2B market and complex niches with low customer information:

  • Personal interview with the client.
  • Online polls.
  • Cases of competitors.
  • The classic model of audience segmentation: see, study, recognize.

Modern marketers have identified several hundred (just think!) criteria for segmentation of the target audience. On the one hand, it’s wonderful, you can definitely examine the client under a microscope, on the other hand, as long as you study the client, he will already change at least half the criteria. We offer an analysis that will allow us to go as far as possible to consumer incentives:

1. Demographic factors: gender, age.

2. Geolocation: country, region, city or town. Sometimes such criteria as climate, population saturation and development of urban infrastructure are highlighted here.

3. Socio-economic: family status, presence of children, how many children, age of children, whether there are other persons in guardianship or guardianship, the availability of education, employment and position, income level and its regularity. Here you can additionally segment by type of generation, political and religious views, interests, everyday habits.

4. Behavioral: features of interaction with the product, features of interaction with the company, motivation to buy, shopping habits.

5. Psychographic: values, motivation, citizenship.

6. В2В: industry, field of activity, company scale, decision-making, decision-making, who includes the procurement committee, position in the company, seasonality and frequency of sales, level of familiarity with the product.

In fact, for each criterion, the desired classification features can be distinguished indefinitely. At the same time, marketers recommend taking at least 10.

Segmentation can be done in several ways. And we will share our secret with you. If it is difficult for you to start from the beginning – that is, the choice of criteria for analysis, go from the opposite. Describe

  • first, those clients who are not at all profitable for you to work with,
  • then with whom, in principle, you can work, but it’s undesirable
  • and those who are your very target audience.

Using the online tools or banal Excel, create a table. Vertically indicate groups and subgroups of criteria, and horizontally – how much is your “desired” client.

Example 1: B2C

This is how we did this when preparing a portrait of Central Asia for a company selling male goods. 

How to segment your target audience

The list of criteria itself is quite long, but this is enough for the general picture of how to build the grid. 

What did we get?

Description 1-1 – 1-3: Our satisfied customers: this men aged 25 -35 years from the capital and major cities. They always pay for the goods in advance, order for large average checks, are loyal to the company, place an order 10-15 times a year, leave feedback and recommend our product to their friends, as they are well versed in the product and are satisfied with the quality and level of our service. 

Description 2-1 – 2-3: Complex clients: women of any age, because they do not understand the product, most often order a gift to a man 1-2 times a year, take a lot of time to consult with a manager, the average check is 3 times lower than men.

Description 3-1 – 3-3: Better not to work: Women , of any age, from small towns, they pay purely on cash on delivery, very often do not come for the goods, in view of which we incur losses for the delivery of goods in both directions, advertising to such a target audience does not pay off at all … 

Example 2: B2B

This is how we did this when preparing CA portraits for the company in the field of manufacturing automation equipment. 

How to segment your target audience

As in the first example, we highlight the most significant characteristics of the collective image of the desired customers, and those who are not recommended to work with .

Description 1-1 – 1-4: Our satisfied customers are aviation factories with more than 2000 employees, a high level of intellectual resources and a production culture. They account for 60% of the turnover of our company, they use automation of production, therefore we communicate with them in one language, the sale and implementation of our equipment is quick and painless for both parties. Even after the warranty period ends, they turn to us for further service of our production automation line.

Description 2-1 – 2-4: Complex customers from the engineering industry with the number of employees up to 2000 people, they account for 20% of the turnover of our company, they only plan to introduce automation of production, preliminary tenders are held, but the technical, intellectual and cultural preparation of their production for the implementation of automation is extremely weak. Because of what, within the warranty service, we often have to go to them to fix the breakdowns due to their mistakes.

Description 3-1 – 3-4: It’s better not to work. Metalworking enterprises with a small number of employees are not ready to introduce automation of production, since there is not the slightest idea about it. Not ready either financially or intellectually for this. Exclude such an audience from all advertising activities of our company.

At the same time, the company can highlight new “types” of customers with whom there was no contact before and think over possible options for touch points with such customers. For example, it can be: car-building or car factories.

Please note that the principle of client segmentation in B2B and in B2C is almost the same, just the parameters are different. 

You have a collective image of a representative of your target audience. Now you understand with whom 100% you want to work, with whom, in principle, you can work, and with whom it is better not to work. But this is only a collective image, and our task now is to make typical characters of our target audience, that is, even more “deeper” to understand their Wishlist, expectations, characteristics of the product / service that are important to them. The best way to understand this is to listen to the telephone recordings of your sales managers. If you have such posts, or chat with them if there are none.

If we are talking about B2B, then most likely the events will develop like this:

  • A technician is looking for a solution to the problem on the Internet as directed by a superior guide.
  • The procurement committee reviews the solution that the techie found and passes it to the director for approval.
  • The director makes the final purchase decision.

And our task is to present the product or services so that they satisfy all members of the procurement committee. 

If we are talking about B2C, here:

  • The husband is looking for auto, computer, etc. by those characteristics.
  • Examines reviews, agrees with friends, wife.
  • The decision is made together with the spouse.

Another B2C option:

  • Wife found a ticket to Egypt.
  • Studying reviews, talking with friends who have already flown there on vacation, agree with her husband and children.
  • The decision is made jointly by the whole family.

Visualize this data: 

How to segment your target audience

Next, we will reveal the question of building portraits of typical characters.

But before that, I’ll remind you, hole-worn, banal truth:

  • People do not buy a drill, but a feeling of comfort in the apartment (emotion). A drill is needed in order to drill a hole in the wall; a hole is needed to put fixture there; fasteners are needed in order to hang a shelf on it; a shelf is needed to store things on it and have quick access to these things.
  • People are not buying medicine, but improving their health.
  • People do not buy a car, but travel comfort (emotion).
  • People do not buy an armored door or an antivirus, but their own security.
  • Enterprises do not buy new machines, but the opportunity to save on production and employees in order to shorten the production cycle and increase the number of units of goods per unit time and ultimately increase the turnover of the enterprise …

And so on to infinity …

Think now, why buy your product or service? What issues and problems does he solve in the end?

Segmentation 5W (6W): it doesn’t matter what, but it is important how and to whom. 

The Mark Sherrington technique is a technique that allows you to sell any product, it is important to know under what circumstances it is worth doing it. 

It will be most useful for new companies. Why? When a company just enters the market, it has a product, but no positioning. This is a crystal clear story and a field for activity. Even with a typical product, you can capture an impressive audience and even take customers away from competitors.

5W: What? Who? Why? When? Where?

What are we selling? Description of the product, its unique characteristics, benefits, advantages, values.

Who are we selling to? The general portrait of the client, how much it can be recreated, based on a study of consumers of competitors.

Why (why) will they buy the product? What kind of pain or gap the client fills with precisely these products (its unique function).

When? Seasonality or temporary circumstances of the purchase.

Where? Purchase channels or unique circumstances.

How? What interests, incentives, advantages (obvious or hidden) will the purchase satisfy in such circumstances?

Answering these questions in sequence, you build a mental map with a mass of paths and forks. Having prepared a full fork in 6 paths for each portrait of a potential client, you create a work scenario and form your unique positioning.

Hunt Ladder: if there was someone, they would find something to sell 

Which client is the most coveted? The one that is ready to buy exactly your product at the specified price with the desired characteristics.

Remember everything?

– … And you don’t have the same, but with pearl buttons?

– Unfortunately, no.

– No? We will search …

Hunt’s ladder determines at what stage the customer is ready to buy.

1. Indifference or ignorance. The client does not know that the product exists, or has not determined for itself the need to purchase.

2. Awareness or awareness of the problem. The client knows that a product exists or has determined that the specified product with specific characteristics would be ready to buy.

3. Search for a solution or comparison. The client searches for the desired product or compares the available products according to criteria that could satisfy it.

4. Company selection. The client is looking for a seller who is ready to provide him with the desired product on the most favorable terms.

5. Purchase. The client is ready to complete the transaction.

How segmentation according to the specified criteria will help companies that have not decided on the product? Everything is simple. If, within a specific niche or industry, a significant gap is revealed – the audience’s unmet need for a particular product, then releasing the specified product you can create your own micromarket.

The final “portrait”

As a result of any of the above segmentation methods, you will get several portraits of representatives of the target audience.

Example 3: Various portraits of computer mouse buyers.

How to segment your target audience

For each segment of the target audience you define ideal characters that describe your customers and their characteristics. 

How to segment your target audience

Ekaterina works as an interior designer in a large company, she is 30 years old, she is a very creative person. Estimated income 3,5-5 thousand cu Lives in the capital. He is fluent in English. A fan of his craft, always up to date with all the design innovations as he constantly monitors opinion leaders, specialized forums, studies information in English. In his free time he visits various thematic exhibitions, communicates with colleagues, and is a member of a society of designers. She loves to travel the world and leads an active lifestyle. She has high requirements for computer equipment and components. The following requirements for a computer mouse: ultra-precise mouse, more than 4000 dpi, wireless, the presence of add. keys

The more detailed and rich your portrait, the more prospects you open for a marketing strategy. Having received specific information about the buyer, his interests, problems, places of “habitat” you can choose an effective tool to influence interest in your product through working channels of interaction.

Study, analyze, and use all the possibilities of modern marketing to create and win your own best customer.

And if you think that the above analysis models are too complicated, we are ready to provide you with the competent assistance of experts in the field of system marketing! Just contact us for a short but comprehensive free consultation!

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