As the lines blur between consumer and brand contributor, marketing has grown more multi-directional and conversational, with brands drawing marketing and product development insights from consumers. But how narrowly can brands segment, or adapt to suit individuals, while optimizing sales overall?
An Ipsos Mendellsohn study, “A Guide to Getting the Best out of Your Segmentation Analyses” analyses media buying segmentation strategy as it “identifies and profiles promising target markets so you can reach them efficiently and effectively.” Segmentation narrows marketing targets to optimize sales within specific market segments. The practice evolved from the demographic targeting used in the 1960s (e.g., women with high income, males between the ages of 20-25, etc.), which later evolved into psychographic segmentation, and later the behavior-based nano-targeting of today.
Segmentation, which separates consumers into broad categories by various criteria, caters to individual consumers’ needs to build long-term loyalty. In his white paper “The Collective is the Focus Group,” David Armano claims that listening, learning, and analyzing your consumers and other “niche” markets can strengthen your brand.
Ralph Lauren has effectively utilized segmentation, taking on a diverse approach to target a broad spectrum of customers without compromising its brand message. Its products are tailored to customers from various socioeconomic backgrounds, with its Purple Label geared toward premium customers and its Chaps products available at a much lower price point. Ralph Lauren’s ROI, or “Return on Insight,” put customer concerns and insights into action.
Basically, a “Return on Insight” can help you better your product by putting these steps into play. Consider this a learning curve in which you put into action what others have to say. The problem with ROI is that it “can kill any initiative before it ever sees the light of day,” and that one can’t tailor marketing to suit each individual consumer. There must be some sense of consensus, right?
With this in mind, segmentation can aid this concept of Return on Insight. Traditional marketing used focus groups to pool together data from a hypothetically average consumer based on median data, and draw opinions from that. Segmentation goes a step beyond to pinpoint specific market segments. Pair this with Armano’s notion of pooling niche audiences and actually listening to what they say, we evolve entirely away from the Frankenstein mishmash of median data, and the failures of marketing by committee.
Listening, learning, and analyzing key market segments can sharpen the relevancy of your marketing message, and even your product to individual consumers, building brand loyalty, and adding resilience to your brand over time.