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The Near Team

6 mins read

Audience Segmentation 101: How to Perfect Your Audience Targeting

In today’s digital age, being able to reach the ideal target audience is critical for organizations of all types. Marketing strategy is constantly evolving to figure out the best ways of achieving this objective. The first step is being able to define the right audience, and then formulate messaging that appeals to them. This is called audience analysis; audience segmentation is the essential next step in this process. Learn more about how to conduct audience segmentation and use it to improve your marketing strategy. 

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What is Audience Segmentation?

Audience segmentation is an essential part of audience analysis. Audience segmentation focuses on identifying subgroups within a target market so that marketers can deliver more personalized messaging and build stronger relationships. Geographic location, gender identity, ethnicity, and income levels are all essential characteristics that can be utilized to sort people into subgroups and identify potential buyers or clients.      

Importance of Audience Segmentation 

Most marketing activities start with developing an audience profile or a mock-up personality that is supposed to reflect the ideal consumer. This persona can include details such as their profession, marital status, age, gender and hobbies. Personas help businesses to connect with customers on their level, so they can better grasp the consumers’ problems and how to solve them. Once the personas are created, they can be divided into groups. This step is called segmentation.

The segmentation process is essential since it allows marketing messaging, campaigns and other initiatives to be more streamlined to appeal to the targeted consumer. The more relevant an advertisement’s content is to a specific buyer, the more likely the buyer is to purchase the advertised goods. 

Audience segmentation not only ensures you are reaching the right consumer – it also ensures you don’t reach out to audiences that are irrelevant to your business. This is especially important as it prevents campaign budgets for advertising campaigns from being wasted on the wrong audiences. This improved targeting and messaging leads to improved CPC and CTR scores.

Audience Segmentation Benefits 

Here are a few advantages of audience segmentation: 

• Identify your ideal customers: Often, specific segments of your customer base account for a disproportionate share of the revenue. A company may identify its ideal target customer base based on the number of purchases done by a specific type of consumer.

• Discover new market opportunities: Markets can change quickly, and the size of key segments can shift so quickly that great sensitivity is required to spot a trend in time to act on it. Marketing teams can stay ahead of the trend by conducting frequent reviews of their audience segments and analyzing changing consumer behavior.

• Personalize and tailor messaging: When the same message is marketed to everyone, the messaging becomes obscure and is easily forgotten. In today’s competitive digital landscape, it is important to appeal in a personalized way to consumers to stand out. Audience segmentation helps companies to understand the specific needs of each audience segment and help curate content appealing to each of those segments.   

Audience Segmentation Types 

Marketers frequently categorize consumers based on demographics, behavior, and where they are in the buyer journey. The approach used to segment the audience is informed by the product or the service being offered.  

A simple approach would be to segment the audience based on:  

  • Demographics     
  • Behavior    
  • Psychographics     

Let’s take a look at each of the different segments in detail.

1) Demographics Segmexntation:

The most classic metric for audience segmentation is demographics. A survey with a multiple-choice questionnaire would be a simple method for obtaining the required data. The following are some typical demographics:    

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Household income (HHI)
  • Relationship status
  • Status of Employment   
  • Occupation

These can be further categorized into: 

  • Family Segmentation: The family dynamics and the structure have a significant impact on their purchasing patterns as well as the sales process. For example, when marketing products like diapers or toys, companies usually develop messaging targeting parents.
  • Location-based segmentation: Consider whether your product is available only for a particular region. This information will transform your marketing plan. Advertisements should be created using messaging and language to make it relevant to that region. 
  • Gender Segmentation: Advertisements and marketing initiatives are usually gender-specific. For instance, while developing an advertisement for makeup products like lipstick or eye shadows, companies may choose to focus on women only.
2) Behavioral Segmentation:

Behavioral segmentation is the most comprehensive approach to segmentation. It’s inextricably linked to how your customers perceive (and interact with) the product as well as your marketing strategy.

Here are some specifications to identify and understand your customers by their behaviors:    

1. Source: Prioritize certain sources/channels that provide leads.

2. Purchasing habits: Analyze the buyer’s journey of the audience for insights. 

3. Purchase recurrence and timing: Determine how frequently and when they purchase from your company to better understand shopping trends during holidays, life events, etc.

3) Psychographic Segmentation:

This segmentation is also known as attitudinal segmentation. It allows us to gain insight into the minds of the clients. Psychographics is not only an effective purchase driver, but it also tells a story and establishes the framework for effective communications. This segment uses insights gained from big data.

Traditionally, psychographic segmentation uses the method of AIO (Activities, Interests, and Opinions) to categorize consumers.

1. Activities – Organizations can have accurate access to psychographic data by tracking a user’s activities on social media, media websites, online product transactions, and mobile app engagement.    

2. Interests – Interests can include anything related to hobbies or connections. For example, one young man’s interests could include vehicles, cameras, or computer hardware. Organizations can use this information to determine the products and messages to target to this consumer.

3. Opinions – Opinions can include thoughts on a wide range of topics ranging from those about shopping and products, such as shopping apps they use and brands they like, to less directly connected topics such as music, celebrities, and current events.   

All of the AIO categories assist businesses in marketing their products or services to the right people.

Effective Audience Segmentation Process

The study necessary for segmentation does not have to be extensive or time-consuming. It’s often enough to keep things simple and precise. Here are a few pointers to make the process easier:     

  1. Research and collect adequate customer data using the segmentation techniques mentioned above. Information can be accessed from places like message boards and forums, research and industry reports that have been syndicated, publicly accessible datasets, and data collection via social media platforms.    
  2. Identify and document the segment types. Develop audience profiles for different types of  customers.
  3. Avoid long-form content and try to incorporate more tailored messaging according to the subset created. Keep track of Click Through Rates (CTR) and determine the most effective purchase drivers, such as discounts or offers that aid in attracting new customers.    
  4. Budget smartly and employ numerous social media channels to reach the biggest number of target consumers, resulting in greater interaction and sales.    
  5. Aim for continuous improvement by focusing on customer feedback and being ready to make changes on the fly.

Conclusion

Audience segmentation fills in the gaps by revealing the target customers and their purchasing attributes. A concrete audience segmentation plan is not only a step on the right path for your company, but could also be a game-changer.   

Near offers a data intelligence platform that provides insights into consumer behavior from a range of data sources connecting online and offline activities, with data on 1.6 billion people globally. Data intelligence that provides this level of scale and quality is critical for any business looking to conduct effective audience analysis and segmentation.

Want to learn more?

Get a demo to see how Near can help inform your marketing strategy and audience segmentation.