By Isha Gupta |
March 7, 2019
Traditionally, customer segmentation has relied on demographics, attitudes and other broad mechanisms to develop customer personas. Using inputs on these personas, templatized sales strategies were deployed to make engagement relevant.
With the evolution of market forces, omni-channel touch-points, easy availability of product information, reviews etc., what we have now are discerning customers who prefer deeper relationships with brands they interact with. Templatized approaches to segmentation just won’t do, as each customer expects meaningful interactions at every touch-point, from awareness to consideration to purchase.
Here are the five big changes in segmentation that have really changed the game:
1. Complicated customer journeys
Gone are the days where customer journeys could easily be predicted. Customers interact with brands and products online and in-store. They access information via websites, social media, review platforms and a host of other sources. They don’t have typical journeys. Each customer has their own path, which means each customer could have different pain-points, different motivations, and different expectations to move along the journey. This means garden-variety segments do not apply any more, and multiple channels and potential journey paths need to be evaluated to monitor behavior.
A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach just does not work. Brands need to harness data collected along all complicated customer journeys to create micro-segments and build tools that allow for personalized nudges and interactions. Customers may be new to your brand, but not necessarily the industry you operate in, which means they expect the very best from your product. They want their own grievances addressed, questions answered, and preferences to be kept in mind. This means personalization cannot just be limited to email subject lines. Personalized offers and tailored messaging and interventions can do wonders to experiences delivered and ensure customer loyalty.
3. Better analytical tools for aggregated customer data
No longer do businesses worry about data sitting in silos. With sophisticated CRM tools in the market, they can store all information about customer interactions in one place. Not only is there access to more data, there are also better analytics to churn the data. Artificial intelligence backed tools use predictive analytics to decipher how customer expectations and decision making are evolving. The smartest organizations further boost this with behavioral analytics to truly decode their customers’ choice patterns and design behavior-based segments that address what jobs and outcomes remain unaddressed, which unmet needs would bring the most value to the business, and what would be the right nudges to build healthy and effective relationships with every customer.
4. Social media as a data source
While there are ongoing concerns about user privacy, and the way social platforms can be used to manipulate emotions and behavior, there’s no denying the significance of the medium, and the power it holds on various fronts. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) now report that they are Facebook users, and roughly three-quarters of those users access Facebook daily. Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter are just some of the other channels that gather customer feedback and can have a significant impact on how your brand is perceived online. Social media reviews and interactions have become a big source of data on customer sentiment and preferences and cannot be ignored while designing segments.
5. Real-time analysis of segments
If you think you can create a segmentation study once and be done with it, you might need to think again. Customer choices and expectations are evolving by the minute, and so brands need to be on top of these in real-time. What you need is a tool that monitors customer sentiment on a continuous basis and provides analytics on the right interventions and innovations for every micro-segment. The key is to anticipate future customer needs so that you can address customer needs even before they realize it themselves.
How can OSG help?
DynamoTM, OSG’s advanced big data analytics platform uses behavioral analytics to learn about your customers on an ongoing basis, designs micro-segments for your business and ensures that all business interventions are personalized, leading to maximum impact.
Contact us to learn more about Dynamo.