*** The seven perils of segmentation

Circling back to the idea of Faulty Segmentation Logic as the root cause of “so much data, too little insight”, here’s a recent article from MyCustomer.com outlining 7 common segmentation mistakes:

Article: The seven perils of segmentation

In my experience, #1, 5, 6, and 7 are the ones that really create a lack of faith and lead to that “drowning in data” feeling.  #5 – 7 share an important commonality: the segmentation was done outside the database to be acted on, resulting in no way to tie the segmentation to the database.  This is more common than you think, and often happens when people get “survey happy”.

There’s nothing wrong with gathering survey data, but I strongly urge people to know specifically who they are surveying from a behavioral perspective (new customer, best customer, recent visitor / buyer, lapsed visitor / buyer, etc.) so you can go back and apply your new survey knowledge against specific segments.  Plus, this approach allows you to determine if people act the way they say they will act in the survey – a critical piece of insight.

Quote from peril #7: “I’ve often seen situations where firms end up with customers neatly grouped into segments… and then the marketers ask ‘now what???’”  This is the what to do with “People” as opposed to “Reach and Frequency” Marketing challenge mentioned in the previous post.

Most Marketers got their start looking at their tasks through a demographic lens via buying media, and to be fair, changing that mindset to a more behavioral or people-based view is difficult.  But the outcome is very much in synch with the current trend towards Relevance, Respect, and Relationships that so many folks are clamoring about in all the subcultures of Customer Marketing and Social Media. 

A behavior-based messaging approach can be the glue that binds all of these ideas together if you match the marketing approach with your segmentation. 

For a web analytics oriented / process view of segmentation, see Judah’s post.  The unique thing about segmentation on the web is you are often analyzing the behavior of non-customers, something many off-liners are not familiar with and presents some unique challenges.  But the same behavioral marketing concepts of Relevance, Respect, and Relationships apply. 

More on this concept and a simple model you can use to help with Marketing execution against behavior-based segmentation to come.

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