Grow Your Business With Segmentation

Market SegmentationIt may seem complex and difficult to do when marketing your brand.

But it can turn out to be a much simpler path to follow if you want greater results from your marketing efforts.

Many small business owners shy away from market segmentation and one reason is the fear of missing out.

Especially so when they start up and need customers to get some income happening.

But it does come back to bite you.

As it is too time consuming and wastes money going after groups of potential customers who will never buy what you offer.

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation has been around for a long time. It is simplify dividing up a total market and identifying the different groups of people with common characteristics.

Unless you learn which segments are worth targeting you end up with hit and miss results.

Take an example from your personal life. You have a number of people who you connect with, from your immediate family to your neighbours to the people you work with.

If you were trying to work out how to communicate certain news you wouldn’t send the same message in the same way to everyone. In fact you may even ignore one group because it isn’t relevant to them.

The same goes for a celebration dinner where you have to bring a dish. Knowing who will be attending, the type of celebration it is and what their preferences are all helps you decide what to bring.

This is the same thing in marketing and it pays to ignore certain segments as it is just not profitable to try and attract and retain everyone.

Working out the customer segments and build a customer profile simplifies your decisions regarding your marketing strategies:

Marketing Decisions

There have always been 4 and some now like to include people, however whatever the number your decisions will always revolve around your customer relationships.

Some of the advantages of market segmentation are:

Products/Services – you are able to refine what you offer based on their preferences and needs rather than being generic.

Price – the guesswork is taken out these decisions and you be able to identify the pricing limits that for your market segments.

Marketing tactics – understanding the needs and desires of your market segments means you can develop your communication that you know will have meaning with your customers.

It also means that you don’t have to follow the latest ‘should’ as you have reference points and know what marketing activities are the most appropriate.

It is easy to fall into the trap of complexity however taking small steps to embracing simplicity is far more rewarding in the long run.

Marketing Simplicity Tip:

Start looking at the common characteristics of your repeat customers.

Now over to you, have you used market segmentation for your business?

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28 Responses to Grow Your Business With Segmentation

  1. great post, i really enjoyed reading it. I am still new in the game so any bit of information i can learn really helps me so thank you for sharing this interesting post of yours.

  2. Is segmentation what you called identifying demographics as well? Can’t remember my college lessons anymore. This post will come really useful. My daughter is now working on her marketing plan so every idea counts. Thanks!

    • Hi Felicity,

      Demographics are one part of market segmentation. On their own they don’t tell you much that is why you need to go deeper. All the best for your daughter’s marketing plan.

  3. Hi Susan,
    Thanks for sharing with us this kind of information. I’m happy to learn from your blog of what marketing segmentation can provide to us…

  4. I think marketing segmentation is really great, thanks for sharing with us this kind of knowledge Susan…

  5. I have to admit, I have not. I know running a business, even a design one, have similar foundations, but I agree that it all revolves around customers no matter what. You’ve given me some things to consider.

    • You are not alone Dennis as many small business have not thought about market segmentation. As you are considering it if you need any help just email me.

  6. Hi Susan,
    Thanks for encouraging me to consider marketing segmentation. My repeat customers are small businesses with 20 employees or more; therefore, I need to focus on acquiring more of these types of customers. My biggest clients have come from word of mouth referrals. Because of this, I’ve recently joined a couple new networking groups.

    • Hi Catherine,

      Hope you had a great Easter weekend. Finding out where they are is one of the things we need to know and good for you joining the network groups.Sure you will get lots of new business. I am in the final lap of finishing a new program to help businesses with market segmentation so if you are interested let me know and I will send you a copy.

  7. Susan,
    Does segmentation by industry count? A few years ago, we worked on a couple projects in a somewhat specialized industry. Our initial research revealed many factors that showed the industry as a whole was under-served in what we could offer.

    So, we dedicated a specialized team to it, threw in some traditional marketing efforts, and started selling. Fast forward to today, and we’re recognized as a leader in the space, with nearly a dozen of the industry’s “big players” on board as clients.

    I think our case was more an instance of identifying a new arena that could benefit from what we offer, then investing the time, talent, and treasure to actually become an experienced leader in the industry.

    • Hi Vincent,

      Segmentation by industry is one factor in the whole exercise and you followed through with other aspects and the interesting thing is you dedicated a specialised team which is a good example for other readers to follow. Thanks for sharing this Vincent.

  8. Love this! We have two distinct business services running under one brand, and we’re walking the fine line between crossing over services and still staying relevant to each niche. It turns out it’s a lot easier (and a lot more effective!) to keep each separate aspect separate, and market to each set of customers separately, than to try to cram everything we offer under one umbrella. Thanks for the food for thought!

    • Hi Sarah,

      Glad you liked the article and it is easier to keep them separate. Have you thought of giving your 2 services names to differentiate them?

      Thanks for your comments.

  9. Susan, Do you recommend tying products/service packages to different market segments? For example, if I were to segment my clients by their skill levels, I could package services with more detailed how-to’s geared to someone who wanted responsibility for managing their own blog and a separate service package for someone who wanted to outsource the technical aspect completely.

    • Hi Sherryl,

      Absolutely as that is one of the advantages if you segment your market. Your example is sounds good and an opportunity for your business.

  10. Having a market segmentation is very important in the business. You should know your prospective customers. We have three different types of market- A,B and C market. What market A needs not necessarily it is needed by market C too.
    What i’m trying to say is that, we should consider the needs and wants of the customer so that we as a marketer we can produce a product which are suitable to them.

  11. Susan — I couldn’t agree more. I’m practicing what you preach now and targeting organizations where I have the requisite experience and they have the money to spend. It’s important to say no to some business – I just ended a relationship with a very nice client, but my investment of time did not pay off. Frankly, it was relief and freed up time to pursue other business.

    • Hi Jeannette,

      When you make those sort of decisions it is a relief and I am sure working out the right segment or segments will really pay off for you especially with your experience and skills.

  12. Hi Susan

    Love segmentation..I know I’m a little weird 🙂

    Maybe its the systems gal in me, but to me its just the most practical and useful thing you can do in your business. Like you say the sooner you start the better.

    It’s also brilliant for improving customer retention and increasing loyalty, because you are matching your marketing strategy or offers to a better defined target, its a win win all around in my opinion.

    • Not weird at all Jackie or at least we are weird together. It is absolutely a win for all and it is just makes it easier. We are also lucky today that instead of spending thousands of dollars doing research we can find out some of the data online.

  13. What you suggest makes perfect sense. Having our unique needs honored as a customer makes us feel special.

    When I deliver parenting workshops, I tweak the content to my audience by addressing the nuances of their age group of children. When they hear me talk about pressure points that they’re feeling “right now” in their life, they respond!

    Loved your analogy of bringing just the right dish to a celebratory dinner!