Customer Segmentation: How to Identify New Target Audiences

Marketing is all about precision, especially when it comes to defining the right type of customer to target. Wild guesses don’t have room in the industry-wasted fund and energies make businesses lose a lot of dollars, and deals, and create an undefined path towards reaching your return on investment (ROI).

No one can sell to the whole world, but smart companies know who they can sell to. To be effective marketers who give customers the best value and experience, you should be able to break down your target audiences into segments where you think you can sell your products and services. You also need to find people who would want to be brand ambassadors and loyal customers.

What is customer segmentation?

Customer segmentation refers to the process where you divide or classify your customers into segments based on common characteristics, like behaviors and demographics, so you can market to them more efficiently.

This approach is utilized by both Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing. B2B customer segments are typically based on demographics, needs, lifestyles, and values. B2C marketers, on the other hand, divide their customers according to payment, industry, location, or the particular products a company purchased recently.

Generally, customer segmentation is divided into 6 types:

  1. Demographic Segmentation
  2. Geographic Segmentation
  3. Behavioral Segmentation
  4. Psychographic Segmentation
  5. Technographic Segmentation
  6. Firmographic Segmentation (specific to B2B companies)

For businesses: Identify New Target Audiences through Customer Segmentation

Your entire marketing strategy’s tone, including how you develop and label your products/services and the marketing channels you use to promote them, depends on your target market.

When you’re in a business, you serve a particular segment of the population. When businessmen are asked who their target market is, some may say “ everyone. However, that’s not always the case.

Your main goal as a marketer is to narrow your focus while widening your reach. This is easier to achieve when you’re able to identify and understand a smaller and relevant niche that’s easy to dominate. Hence, the importance of customer segmentation comes in.

When it comes to B2B lead generation, finding new leads, and prospects, customer segmentation plays an important role in identifying the kind of people you see as your ideal customers. It’s also crucial in establishing whether the market is enough for your products or services. The goal of segmentation is to be able to send out tailored and pertinent marketing messages to each grouping and get good and qualified leads from them.

The trick is quite simple: Draw in your mind a clear picture of the company or the individual that characterizes the type you’re targeting. Taking two very different prospect types, you’ll see that they have very unique wants, needs, opinions, and values. You’ll also notice that they’ll respond differently depending on what marketing method you use.

Defining target audiences, especially new ones, isn’t an easy job for any business. Here are some steps on how businesses can identify new target customers through customer segmentation.

1. Surveying your current customer base

Although underrated, surveys provide valuable data you can use in defining and reaching your target audience. That is, as long as you ask the right questions and keep your questionnaire short. Your customers are busy people so make your survey worth their time.

The average market research survey, according to a SurveyMonkey study, has approximately 13 questions, while all other surveys have 4 to 14 questions.

Be more succinct while asking more probing inquiries. Fill-in-the-blank questions are preferred since they encourage the respondents to give more insights, compared to true or false/scale style questions.

Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What [your niche]-related issue[s] are you most frustrated with?
  • Which price range do you prefer for [product] with [list of features]?
  • Which social media platforms do you use the most?
  • Do you have any urgent inquiries about [niche]?

You can use the responses to these questions to build buyer personas and create emails, landing pages, and other marketing assets.

2. Interacting with your audience

A good content marketing strategy doesn’t only focus on driving website traffic, it also opens up topics for discussion. Interacting with your audience doesn’t always mean that you’re going to answer every question. You can give connect and let your audience know you’re listening.

Paying attention to your audience’s questions, criticisms, anecdotes, and comments can give you a view of what they need, want, and think.

3. Turning frustrations into motivations

After surveying your audience and engaging with them in conversations, be alert for pain points and objections. Find out what issues your audiences and followers are facing. By listing them down, you can refer to them as your business changes.

4. Knowing who isn’t your target audience

As much as you are getting good at identifying your target audience, you should also know who to weed out. This skill is useful especially when you’re advertising via social or search.

Excluding potential customers who don’t align with your target audience’s description saves your time and attention.

5. Keeping tabs on your competitors

Copying your competitors can lead to a disaster, while keeping tabs on your closest ones may give you an edge especially when you’re aiming to refine your target audience.

Find out what they are NOT doing on their landing pages, home pages, product descriptions, and squeeze pages so you can give your target audience something they might be looking for.

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