Manufacturers are the largest segmenters i.e. (Motor cars) as few manufacturers are able to cater to large markets where the consumer has infinite choice.  Retailers also understand that to be all things to all people is impossible, but to be the best for a smaller, well-defined group of people is a viable business strategy. It costs less to target, and therefore has less risk of failure. Search marketing is all about targeting, so what strategy should you be considering when you think about targeting? The following ideas might assist on how to refine and optimise your approach.

Market Segments

Any market can be broken down into segments. A segment means “a group of people”. We can group people by various means, however the most common forms of segmentation include what is called RFM segmentation which stands for Recency of purchase, Frequency of purchase and Monetary value of purchase

  • Demographic Segmentation: a group of people who share a similar age, gender, income, occupation, education, religion, race and nationality. For example, married people with children may be more interested in  life cover than single people would, as married people are more likely to want to leave a secure future for their children.
  • Benefit segmentation: a group of people who seek similar benefits. For example, people who want a sports car would look to purchase a two door convertible with lots of power. People who are more outdoor orientated  will choose a 4×4 that allows them the ability to travel comfortably in off road conditions.
  • Occasion Segmentation: a group of people who buy things at a particular time. Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days for restaurant bookings, flowers and personal gifts. People may want to book activities for two therefore doubling your potential sales.
  • Usage Segmentation: a group of people who buy certain volumes, or at specific frequencies. For example, a group of people who purchase a certain type of product regularly (women’s shoes), vs those who only do so occasionally (men’s shoes). The offer or message to each group would be different.
  • Lifestyle segmentation: a group of people who may share the same hobbies, or live a certain way. For example, a group of people engage in outdoor activities, or a group of people who are socialites.

The aim is to find a well-defined market opportunity that is still large enough to be financially viable. If one segment is not big enough, a business may combine segments – say, young people (demographic) who want the latest technology i.e. cell phones (benefit). The marketing for this combined segment would be different – and significantly more focused – that the more general those who want the latest technology” (benefit) market segment, alone.

How does this apply to search and internet marketing in general?

It’s all about knowing your customer. These marketing concepts can help provide a structured framework within which to test our assumptions and we would always reccomd split testing and maket segment testing of a control group before rolling out a campaign.

Perhaps that landing page isn’t producing the required results. Could it be because I haven’t segmented enough? Have I gone too broad in my appeal? Am I talking the language of benefits when I should really be focusing on usage factors? What happens if I combine “demographics” with “occasion”?

It generally all comes down to your online marketing strategy and also segmenting your marketing period (year) into possible opportunities using ‘Sales History; and previous ‘buying patterns’ to further segment the ‘best’ product or service aimed at the ‘best’ target segment to get the ‘best’ and most profitable result and WSI prides themselves on being able to assist using things like an online ‘Competitor Analysis’ to benchmark yourselves against your competitors and also have a full view of the channels that they are utilising to market their products. Talk to us now or look at our website and read out blog to provide you with an informed view.