There used to be a saying in the research industry that market segmentations were little more than very expensive PowerPoint presentations. All too often, researchers would spend large chunks of their budgets to identify key customer segments, only to have their findings ignored by the very audience of internal stakeholders that the study is meant to inform and influence.
Fortunately, there are a number of practical ways that researchers can present unforgettable customer segments to key decision-makers across their organizations. Top segmentation and CX experts at LRW recently held a webinar to share best practices meant to capture the attention of internal audiences and to more effectively engage customers in the real (and digital) world.
Whether you’re looking to create more effective marketing campaigns, or you’re hoping to influence the next stages of product development, here are three key takeaways from the webinar that will help you to maximize the ROI of your segmentation study:
Organizational adoption is one of the biggest hurdles for any successful segmentation project. That’s because at its very core, a good segmentation represents change, and it’s difficult to bring about change in any organization. But the key to promoting segmentations as a vehicle for change in your organization is to think like a marketer and build an internal campaign.
And as any marketer will tell you, if you want to promote a solution, you first need to identify the problem. “If you’re making a case for change with your segmentation, you’ll want to position it against some clear, identifiable issue in your organization that can be solved by this segmentation,” said Collin Leirvik, vp of research and strategy, LRWGreenberg. “So many segmentations fail because they try to solve all of the company’s problems. But by identifying a singular issue, you can start thinking about what proof points you need to address that problem.”
You’ll also want to launch a campaign that’s exciting and engaging for your stakeholders. There are several ways that you can activate segmentation campaigns for your internal audience. From interactive digital experiences to immersive real world installations, check out some of the creative ways that LRW clients have successfully launched their own segmentation rollouts.
It’s one thing to make a strong first impression, but it’s quite another thing to maintain a lasting impression. That’s why you need to sustain the momentum of your segmentation launch with a consistent follow-up plan. And one effective way to keep your new segments top of mind with stakeholders is to make your customers an ongoing part of the process by facilitating dialogues through online communities.
“If you want to be that customer-centric organization that you’re always talking about, then your customers’ voices are a really critical part of this process,” said Allie Zack, Assistant General Manager of LRWTonic, which manages online communities for brands and businesses. By engaging with these custom-built panels made up of your customer segments, your internal stakeholders can bounce around new ideas (marketing strategies, product features, etc.) and get real-time input from audiences that matter the most.
Another benefit to consistent engagement with online communities: you and your colleagues can discover and track new trends affecting your category. These sorts of insights can help to supplement your one-time segmentation study, so your organization can make more informed real-time decisions.
Even when stakeholders understand new segments, they may find themselves paralyzed about how to put those segments into action. Fortunately, with so many digital tools and tactics out there, we live in a true golden age of putting segmentation insights into action. And while some of these digital practices sound complex, they can be applied and executed at most large organizations.
One tool is database scoring, which is used to project segment membership across an entire customer database. Using predictive analytics, marketers can identify segment membership across their entire CRM database, allowing them to deploy segment-specific communications for email marketing, product launches, and other communication touchpoints.
Another best practice in the digital space is to append third-party data to get a more holistic view of consumers. By appending thousands of additional data points, marketers can identify interests and affiliations not discovered during the original segmentation study. Besides enabling greater personalization, richer profiles can also inform decisions around media mix and channel selection.
“Many of our clients are using their segmentations as the foundation for personalization,” said Josh Verseput, senior vice president and general manager of LRW’s Digital Analytics practice. “And given that more than 70 percent of consumers have come to expect tailored advertising, these digital strategies need to be a priority for brand differentiation.”
One final takeaway from the panel: it’s critically important to plan (and budget) for activation from the very beginning of the study; activation is a vital part of a segmentation study, not an optional add-on.
Click HERE to access the webinar and other resources to help maximize the impact of your segmentation project.