I just read Ivana Taylor’s How to Segment Your Customers, Differentiate Your Business, and Thrive on her DIYMarketers blog. It’s a clear and concise summary of how and why you break your target market into meaningful segments. Segmentation is critical to marketing success.
If you don’t do or get segmentation, your business is really missing out on dollars and opportunities. Segmentation is the secret weapon of any effective marketing program.
Well said. It’s about target marketing, and these days, the finer the cut, and more exact the target, the more likely you are to succeed.
In your business planning, your marketing plan starts with the segmentation. Divide your target into meaninful subsets. Each of those subsets has different behaviors, a different message perhaps, and different media.
I have some examples in my Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan book:
When I was consulting for Apple Computer in the middle 1980s, we divided the markets into workable categories, including home, education, small business, large business, and all others. Some other groups in Apple also focused on government as a specific market segment. As you define the segment you point toward an understanding of the market.
In the 1970s, I knew a company that was selling candy bars through retail channels. They segmented the market in a way that defined a range of products as “oral satisfacters” (their term, not mine) that included candy, cookies, soft drinks, and bagged chips. The segmentation helped the marketers understand their real competition, which wasn’t just other candy bars, but also other products targeting the same customer money. That understanding improved the marketing and sales programs.
Ivana, in her post, gives you a good review of why you want to develop your segmentation, and some concrete and practical tips on how. I recommend it.