Why is Audience Segmentation Important?

How well do you know your brand’s audience? Who are they? What compels them to engage with your company?

Your answers should already be defined, documented, and known to your marketing team. If not, you’re behind the competition.

Audience Segmentation Will Save You Money and Increase Your Return

As you well know, marketing is expensive. The operating and opportunity costs are high. Whether you are buying an ad, writing a blog post, or sending an email, you need to achieve a 100%+ return on investment — no matter if that return is a direct conversion or an increase in brand recognition.

The problem: if you haven’t segmented your audiences and defined your personas, you’re leaving money on the table and throwing some in the trash.

As a marketer, you should be the foremost expert in your product or service. Due to this, many marketers fall into the trap of developing a strategy around what they consider to be important. These thoughts will inevitably clash with what your audiences find to be important.  

Imagine that you work for a car company. You’re excited that a new model earned a 5-star safety rating. You decide to push this message in every channel to highlight a tangible key differentiator of your brand.

However, your company has several types of car buyers:

  1. The parent who prioritizes safety
  2. The budget-wise consumer who prioritizes reliability and gas mileage
  3. The enthusiast who prioritizes performance and customization

While your marketing efforts will resonate with Segment #1, Segment #2 might only find it mildly appealing and Segment #3 won’t engage at all. Focusing your tone around safety will waste money for over half your audience and cost you the business of buyers you haven’t provided value to.

A key objective of defining personas is to identify where you need to direct your effort while also allowing you to remain consistently on-message with each separate audience.

For example, we were developing a new website for our student and youth travel client, Global Works. Global Works realized that they had two main audience personas:

  • Students and educators researching planned teen summer service adventures
  • Educators, administrators, and private groups looking for custom experiential learning opportunities

While these segments may seem similar, they had distinctly different needs and conversion points. To speak to these audiences on their website, we built two different specialized home pages. These home pages were supplemented with sub-pages, copy, and media that spoke directly to each audience.

This example highlights an ambitious way of tailoring your brand’s message by manipulating the content on the homepage of your website, but an easy way to measure the impact of audience segmentation is through email campaigns. Email offers easy reporting tools, in open rates and click-through rates, that allow for direct comparisons between segmented and non-segmented mailings.

To test the effects of audience segmentation on email performance, the marketing automation platform MailChimp sampled 2,000 users who sent both segmented and non-segmented campaigns. On average, the segmented campaigns produced 14% higher open rates and 101% higher click-through-rates.  

Quick tips for building personas and segmenting audiences

When you set about the task of defining personas, you may think to rely on demographics. However, remember: personas are not defined by what you consider to be important. They are defined by what influences your buyers’ decisions.

If an age, gender, job title, or region is key to a specific buyer’s journey, then separate the segments and include that information. If they aren’t, then the data is not actionable. The purpose of audience segmentation is to streamline content and communication. Too many segments that don’t actually require separate messages will obscure that purpose.

Here at 829 Studios, we use data-driven marketing processes to identify our clients’ untapped persona groups, tailor the message to their existing audience segments, and expand their reach. Want our help with your audience segmentation process?

Contact Us Today