“Market segmentation” is typically defined as a process of dividing consumers (or businesses) into groups based on some shared characteristics, such as demographic profiles, lifestyles, common interests or needs. It is an extremely useful tool for targeting these groups and developing strategies and tactics to effectively reach them by assuming that different market segments are motivated by different things. This has worked effectively and has been a successful process since marketing was a “wee thing.”
Today, by actually understanding more about these consumers and businesses and what they represent, we can do an even better job of target marketing… reaching them in a way that expands the data about the segment into descriptors of the people who “reside” in the segment. We can go beyond data and create personas, bringing to life the people for whom strategies are created by providing sketches of the people representative of key segments.
Consider a wealth management firm looking at ways to reach a target audience…
By adding behavioral, opinion, motivational and attitudinal dimensions to market segmentation development, marketers are better able to know what makes customers and prospects tick, what they need, what they are willing and able to buy from them (and competitors), and how to tell the target segments their story. Personas are more than the sum of data points – they are the vehicles that bring your target market to life.
In future posts, we’ll explore more on this topic – stay tuned!