The Importance of Audience Segmentation in Marketing
Logic dictates that the larger your target audience, the more customers you will convert. After all, sales is a numbers game – the more people you pitch, the more product you sell. The issue with this logic lies in the pitch itself and the advantages of relationship building in content marketing.
Marketing messages lobbed at all females between the ages of 18 and 25 are not likely to land. Consumers are looking for a more personal experience. They want to develop a relationship with the brands they choose to do business with. Often the choice between one brand and another offering the same product is made based on the brand feel that resonates with the consumer.
Segmenting Your Audience
Within the demographic of females between the age of 18 and 25, there are many variations. Some of those women are still in school while others are beginning their career. Some ride public transportation to their favorite night spot, others ride their bikes to the public library. Some are planning their wedding, some are planning a vacation with their parents, some are pregnant with their first child.
To reach your target audience with marketing messages, you have to know who they are and where to find them. If you can speak to one segment of your female audience, the ones who ride public transportation for example, you can craft a message that will resonate with them. You can connect with that segment on a personal level; Each individual might believe you are speaking directly to her. Deliver that message in a bus stop or a subway station and your conversion rate doubles.
Benefits of Audience Segmentation
Audience segmentation is the difference between marketing to thousands and connecting with 1% or reaching out to hundreds and resonating with 10%. As your conversion rate goes higher, your cost per lead or cost per customer goes down. Here are some clear benefits to marketing to a select target audience:
Reinforce customer-centered messaging
Potential customers want to hear about themselves. That’s what gets their attention and engages them with your brand. When you talk as if you know them, you know what their lives are like and why they need your services, they hear you. The more specific you get about defining your audience, the easier it is to craft messages that will make them feel like you are speaking directly to them and you understand who they are and what they need.
Lower acquisition costs
Your cost per customer will be lower because your sales cycle will be shorter. If it takes five touches for you to convert a customer, with a more targeted marketing approach you can reduce that to three touches. Think of your sales cycle like your production facility. Every time you have to move materials, each time a team member has to touch the product, it costs you more money. When you keep the number of touches down to a minimum, you eliminate wasted motions and increase efficiency, reducing your production costs. If your marketing messages go straight to making a direct connection with your audience, even if that audience is smaller, you will convert in fewer touches, reducing your cost per sale.
Highlights new opportunities
While you are slicing and dicing your audience into smaller, more specific segments, you may uncover a niche you hadn’t considered. Those females who ride public transportation could be a good example. While you are reviewing their demographics, you might discover that the bus riders live further out from the city center than the subway riders do. Maybe the subway riders are more likely to be renters while the bus riders tend to own single-family homes. Now you have an opportunity to craft a different message and maybe even add a new product or service specifically designed for those bus riders who come in from the suburbs.
The idea of audience segmentation suggests dividing your audience into smaller pieces, and that can sound counter-productive. After all, you want to make more sales, not fewer. Why would you pitch to a smaller audience? The bottom line on audience segmentation is that it protects your bottom line. Targeted marketing messages are going to convert at a higher rate than more general pitches.