January 4, 2018
When it comes to understanding and connecting with your customers, segmentation can be an immensely powerful tool. Splitting a diverse audience into distinct groups allows you to reap the benefits of more precisely targeted content, and it only takes a few insights about differences within your audience to increase the impact of your marketing—with significant lift in conversions and revenue to follow.
But segmentation isn’t just about recognizing different types of people: it’s also about differences between the same people at different moments. Customers have changing interests and needs depending on where they are in their buying journey, and the brands who know how to serve the appropriate content at the right moment can not only see the shopper through to conversion, but can also ensure a smoother customer experience and higher rates of customer loyalty. It’s not just the ‘who’ that matters, but the ‘when.’
This mindset is especially relevant for big-ticket items with long journeys to purchase, such as automobiles. Someone who is just beginning to consider buying a vehicle will have totally different needs from someone who has settled on make and model but is wondering how to finance the purchase. And the consequences of lumping those two shoppers together in the same bucket can be big: brands can lose customers by sending a message at the wrong time. Imagine you bought a car and then went back to the website a week later only to discover that the same car was now on special offer for 25% less. Your excitement about your recent buy may quickly sour into a feeling that you’ve been undervalued, maybe even cheated, by the company. Instead, that customer should have been recognized and rewarded with more relevant content, like tips on maintenance and answers to product questions they may have encountered as a new owner. Segmentation can help brands avoid this nightmare situation and ensure that every customer feels supported and prioritized at all stages of the journey.
In a recent webinar offered by Marketing Week in partnership with Monetate, Amaar Mohammadally (Senior Strategy Consultant, Personalization, Monetate) broke down how segmentation can make a difference in the messaging you use for customers at different points. Here’s what specified content might look like for customers at progressive stages of the automobile-purchasing process:
A single customer may have vastly different needs depending on when you’re reaching them. So why treat them as a static entity? Businesses that excel at connecting with their customers know to be sensitive to the particular considerations and emotions associated with the various stages of a customer’s relationship with their brand. Using segmentation to inform the timing of your targeted content can allow you to send the right messages at the right time—and, crucially, avoid the wrong ones.
In the end, lifecycle messaging isn’t just about closing an individual sale: it’s about long-term customer loyalty. Smart targeting ensures the kind of positive experience that makes a shopper feel valued and supported throughout their buying process, and lays a foundation for customer loyalty that will continue to pay you back in revenue over the course of a long relationship.
To learn more about segmentation and how it fits in with a suite of other personalization approaches, check out the recorded webinar.