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When I started researching articles about database marketing  I was really happy to find out all the creative solutions which can really help a business make a step further. What does segmentation and personalization actually mean and what do they offer? What are the endless opportunities deriving from them? David Arnoux, co-founder of Twoodo writes about growth hacking, startups and lean methodology. I quote some excerpts from his great article on his the Twoodo blog.

“Customer segmentation means categorizing your visitors/users in a way that achieves a business goal – even your early adopters.”

“The famous anecdote is about how Target figured out a teenage girl was pregnant before her parents did. How? They were able to spot patterns in what women were buying in each of their trimesters – lotion, mineral supplements, blankets – in order to supertarget them with coupons for items they expected them to buy at stages in the pregnancy. And pregnant women are a lucrative market!”

Personalization is more than just addressing the email with the first name of the recipient. It involves the right timing, a compelling CTA and using specific language. Check these stats from Adobe/Econsultancy:

customer-segmentation

Personalization works for customer segmentation

“The shift to the ‘personalized web’ is therefore sadly not being driven by goodwill but because business are reacting to the market. But segmenting merely by location and life-stage are not always going to be enough to appeal to our dynamic and shifting personalities. This is why algorithms that can track and predict our tastes and habits in the future will become so lucrative.”

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Where are all these users, how I find them?

“Find out where your users are on the internet – forums, Google Plus communities, Twitter lists, Facebook groups, Meetups. What is their industry/role? In what way does their local culture affect them? For example, we have in-app messages in our product to check in and see how people are doing. For our American customers, it worked splendidly. They loved being reached out to. However, in The Netherlands, people found it impinged on their privacy and annoyed them. Why? The USA is strongly influenced by customer service and the business taking care of them. And the Dutch are an autonomous people who reach out when they need to, when they want to.”

This is also a great opportunity to find out the language your users speak. It is essential to learn this language so that your service can be developed to present itself in the most enticing way possible to your niche. The Obama 2012 campaign applied this form of personalization in an innovative way. They used not only people’s names in emails, but created a dashboard for them to log in to the campaign, view what was going on, participate in discussion, offer ideas and so on. This was because their user base was used to participating using social collaboration and respected transparency and direct involvement.”

The Obama campaign took the idea of personalization to the next level by creating a full community out of it. Arnoux at the end mentions “Through your researching and learning process of customer segmentation and personalization, focus on what works for your company. Then you can direct your marketing and sales to a focussed area and kick ass!” 

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