Are you currently in the position I was in 6 months ago? I was blogging, using social media, creating offers, and deploying my inbound marketing strategy.
I was told if I kept at it I would see great results, tons of traffic and so many leads I could not keep up with them. Nothing happened. I would see 300-500 visitors to my site. I received 1-2 low-quality leads per month. I started calling BS on inbound marketing.
Then something happened. I started reading my old marketing textbooks. Yes, those books that I paid $150 and most traded in to get $22.50 back. Those textbooks.
I knew I was missing something vital to success. I knew I was a good marketer in the corporate world. However, the fact was I forgot about the most basic marketing function, market segmentation.
What Is Market Segmentation
Before we jump right into market segmentation examples let’s figure out what market segmentation is.
Market segmentation is a simple concept when you think about it. The idea is that no single item can serve all the needs and wants of all consumers. Typically, consumers have different needs and different wants. No two customers are the same.
However, even if your product can not meet the needs of all consumers, odds are your product can serve more than just one consumer. This creates groups of customers who can be served by your product.
Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into groups of similar consumers and selecting the most appropriate group(s) for your company to serve. This group becomes your target market.
Why Is Market Segmentation Important To Inbound Marketing
We are all on the same page, I hope. We know what market segmentation is. We can also start to see the importance of market segmentation. Who cares, we are inbound marketers.
When I took this basic marketing 101 principle to my inbound marketing strategy magic began to happen. In fact, it worked so well that I introduced traditional marketing tactics to my inbound tactics, creating holistic marketing.
Market segmentation gives your inbound marketing structure. For example, when I first started blogging for business I found keywords and started writing. I got some hits now and then, but nothing too exciting.
The problem was that I was not creating content for any particular audience. I was writing and praying. I was just blogging because I thought it would drive traffic. No wonder conversion rates were terrible and there were no leads coming in.
Marketing segmentation will help you discover the needs and wants of your consumer. This will help you create content and marketing that they actually want. It will also help your audience solve problems and introduce you and your brand as an expert.
If your company has never thought of marketing segmentation, it is time to get going. Call me!
Buyer Persona Versus Market Segmentation
The next question that I always get is, “why not a buyer persona?”
A buyer persona is a fantastic tool, we use buyer personas all the time. However, the buyer persona is merely a profile of your ideal customer. The buyer persona is more of a final product with quotes and questions from your potential customers.
Think of your market segmentation as the parts or building blocks of the buyer persona. In order to build a concrete buyer persona, you need to divide the market into relevant segments.
This might sound like more work, but it really is not. As you are going through the discovery stage, listening to your customers, your segments will start to appear. Then you can create a complete profile of your customer or buyer persona.
I want to make sure you know how important this is to your marketing. This is the light bulb that went off and helped grow my business. Do not skip this!
9 Market Segmentation Examples To Improve Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
Let’s start to get dirty with some market segmentation examples that will help your marketing plan take off. Some of these might sound too easy, but keep them in mind as you push forward.
I know what you are saying, duh. However, customer location can mean so many things. What continent, what global region, what countries, what region, what state, what city, what city size, and even what climate.
Think of it this way. You are a small local business (love you guys) in Phoenix, Arizona. You do not need to market to Utah, California, or Texas. So you must create content that is for local Phoenicians (yes this is what we call ourselves).
On the flip side, you are a large CPA firm and your marketing strategy is to target only larger urban cities in the US.
These are two completely different segments. Knowing this will help your inbound marketing find the right customers. Customer location is step one to your marketing segmentation strategy.
Age is another market segmentation example that will help you nail your inbound marketing strategy.
One of the best small business marketing ideas is to market based on age. Are you marketing to first-time home buyers, families, or retirees? There are huge differences here and the content and communication preference is going to change drastically.
Knowing the age of your segment is going to change your social media strategy, your email marketing, the images you use on your website, and the time of day you communicate with your audience.
I am going to state the obvious here. Males and females are different.
Knowing the gender of your audience is going to help in your web design, imagery, tone, and so many other aspects of your inbound marketing.
Gender might be one of the easiest segments you create and you might decide your segment is both male and female, that is okay.
4. Buyer Journey
Do you create different marketing pieces for different customers at different points of the buyer’s journey? No? Well, you should start.
You are going to create different content for a prospect than a marketing qualified lead. You are also going to communicate differently to these different segments.
For example, a buyer that is just becoming aware of your product and is in the research stage is going to want to know high-level information about your product. Someone that is a lead is going to want to get info on pricing and how to buy.
These customers act differently and need different marketing material and your inbound marketing strategy will provide this information.
5. Company Size
This is going to be to those B2B peeps out there. The company size is going to be a factor in your targeting. Are you creating content and marketing for small business, less than 100 employees or large business that have over 1000 employees?
For example, if you are providing food services to a company and you offer premium foods that are fresh, you are most likely looking for larger companies. This way the food does not go bad.
If you are a food truck and you make multiple stops per day, the size of the company might not matter. You can move to the next location to sell your product.
We offer inbound marketing services to medium-sized companies, but we knew there was a segment not being served. So we created an inbound marketing training site to help the small business, startups, and DIYers.
6. Brand Loyalty
Would you give the same offer to an existing customer and a new customer? Maybe, maybe not.
A market segmentation example for an existing customer would be providing different ways to use your product. Give them another reason to buy a refill or upsell to a better model.
A new customer is going to be very different. You might want to just introduce the features of your product to them.
For example, if you own a swimming pool company it would be wise to set up marketing automation to walk your new customer through the first year of pool ownership. How to test chemicals, how to backwash the pool, and talk about pool safety.
Market segmentation on brand loyalty will help you create brand advocates. We can all use some of those.
7. Ideal Outcome
Do you know what your customers are expecting from your product or service? Maybe you should start listening to your customers, they will tell you.
If your product has multiple uses, then you might think about segmenting each use. This will help you pinpoint your inbound marketing strategy to deliver content to the right person at the right time.
8. Communication Preference
Email, social media, direct mail, phone call, etc. Do you know how your customer wants to receive their marketing?
If you are the real estate agent targeting retirees, then you are probably going to use direct mail more than social media. However, if you are targeting the first time home buyer you better buy some ads to improve your Facebook marketing strategy.
Knowing how your customer segment wants to receive their marketing can be a huge advantage to your inbound marketing strategy.
9. Organization Type
Organization type is the last of our market segmentation examples. For-profit, nonprofit, LLC, Inc, etc. Again this is for those B2B marketers, but this can be another huge advantage. The type of organization can change the needs and wants of the business.
There you have it 9 market segmentation example that you can use in your inbound marketing strategy today.
Once I got my bearings straight and started really marketing again, things started to happen. I now generate 90% of new business for my company through the inbound marketing methodology. The best part is I now charge to do inbound marketing for companies.
Market segmentation is vital to your marketing strategy. The importance of market segmentation goes beyond your target customer, it is how you are going to message your target market. I hope these market segmentation examples help you take your inbound marketing to the next level.
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