If you’re like most marketers, you probably start with an idea in your head of the product you want to sell, a rough feel for who might buy it (or if you’re really confident -
a very clear idea of who will DEFINITELY, probably, maybe might buy it!) and an estimate for where that “person” exists for advertising purposes - like Facebook or Pinterest. If you’re really good, or really lucky, that approach just might work. But, unfortunately, more often than not, this approach does not work. In fact, it’s one of the leading causes of failure. For those selling products and services online, it is absolutely critical that you conduct proper market segmentation.
Market segmentation is the prospective consumer research one would conduct that identifies characteristics such as age, income, personality traits, and behaviors, to divide target markets into smaller categories for the purpose of optimizing products, content, copy/headlines, and advertising campaigns. Personally, this market segmentation activity drives the most value for me when it comes time to write sales copy. My copy just wouldn’t be as good without conducting proper, and thorough market segmentation.
Types of market segmentation are geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral. Here are the four critical errors I see the most often:
1. Not conducting market segmentation
A lot of people and businesses don’t take these steps to identify their target consumer and the market segment in which they occupy. They skip this process entirely. They get an idea in their head and just start, setting out blindly and ending up broke, wondering why their offer didn't work. The marketers/advertisers/businesses that have a firm grasp on who they are, the market(s) and customer(s) they serve, and their place in it, tend to be more successful - and usually, downright dominant.
2. Creating segments that are too small
This is a bit tricky. Typically, trying to be all things to all people will fail. That’s to say, trying to appeal to the broadest market segment possible usually results in a very vanilla approach that doesn't stand out and isn't effective. Conversely, “niche-ing” down too far is also bad. If you attempt to get so specific (too specific), your message won’t hit enough people to be profitable either. To summarize - be specific, but not too specific and be broad, but not too broad. Clear as mud right? The point here is to maintain a broad enough market segment that you still have prospects to sell to.
3. Not updating your segmentation
As your business grows, and you acquire more and more customers, your knowledge and understanding of your offer and the demo it serves should evolve too. It’s important to circle back from time to time and repeat the various segmentation exercises. You and your marketing should get smarter the longer you are in business.
4. Not targeting the money
Finding the exact right target demo is pointless if they don’t have the means or ability to buy. It’s important to key in on markets that have the ability or influence that leads to a purchase. If they don’t have that, then what’s the point? Again, you want to be broad enough to have a good market segment size to market to, and they must possess the ability to buy.
Conducting proper market segmentation is critical to your success. If you need help or want more information - Click Here.