Sit through any ABM presentation and eventually you’ll be told about the critical role your marketing segments play in a successful ABM program. Make no mistake, it is essential that you segment your customers with insight and precision, while in pursuit of a killer ABM program; however, proper market segmentation offers a host of lesser touted, but by no means less important, benefits. Below we have gathered nine of the benefits you should be reaping from your current market segmentation strategy. Of course, if you are still in the developmental phase of your market segmentation strategy, we’ve got your back. Check out our blog series: 6 Steps to a Stellar Segmentation Strategy — Part 1 and Part 2.
Big Benefit #1: Identify Unprofitable Prospects
The primary function of dividing marketing lists into segments is to better target core customers (customers you have) and ideal customers (customers you want). However, over time your segmented lists will reveal an equally important group on your lists — unprofitable prospects. To suss out these budget suckers before your sales and marketing teams waste valuable time and money on them, use your Customer Data Platform (CDP) to monitor your segment data over a set period of time. Depending on the typical length of your customer journey, patterns will begin to emerge that will enable you to profile future unprofitable customers and spend your budget and time on those with greater potential.
Big Benefit #2: Increase Market Share
When segmenting your lists, it’s good to pay attention to commonalities found via psychographics, demographics and firmographics, but it is equally important to pay attention to how customers like to engage. After all, increasing engagement with prospects and customers is one of the fastest ways to increase market share. As you monitor each customer segment, take note of who is interacting via chat, social media, email, SMS, MMS, etc. Consider creating micro-segments of these lists and developing highly personalized campaigns designed for each preferred channel. To make personalized campaigns scalable across multiple channels on a micro (or even macro) segment basis, add an automated content personalization tool to your martech stack. These dynamos automate the process of pulling and sending content personalized according to your segment’s interests via their channel of choice.
Big Benefit #3: Find a New Niche
As you segment your lists according to interests, make a habit of checking in with individual customer segments from time to time. You can do this via short surveys if your budget is tight, or if there’s money to spend, consider creating a customer-led innovation community that offers incentives for participation. Essentially what you want to know from each segment is how they are using your products and services. Be sure you offer both multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank as options for answers. It’s important you do this whether surveying customers via an online community or individually. The multiple choice answers will help confirm or highlight actual use cases and the fill in the blank approach will open the door for discoveries. The revelations that come from alternate ways customers are using your products/services will reveal potential niches you should consider pursuing.
Big Benefit #4: Be Fiercely Competitive
If you have been using your CDP to monitor segment data for any length of time, you have no doubt chronicled the types of customers who are at-risk for churn. Instead of seeing this list as a cause for ulcers, turn their inherent challenges into your competitive advantage. Assemble two micro-segments: one list should feature lost prospects and the other lost customers. Next, contact them and ask for candid feedback regarding their expectations vs. their experience; what attracted them to the competition; what was a deal-breaker for them with your company; what was a deal-maker for them with regard to your competitors. The insights you will glean from this process should allow you to make some informed decisions and lead to some course corrections that will put your products, services and offerings in position to dominate the competition.
Big Benefit #5: Discover Under-Served Markets and More Profitable Markets
This benefit is sometimes a byproduct of finding a new niche, but it is also as easy as taking another look at the geographics of your segmented lists and finding areas of opportunity that line up with your current lists of both core and ideal customers. Finding more profitable markets is often as simple as comparing your data across your top three geographic locations and then finding a similar zone with a larger population of ideal customers to target. The big thrill of being the first to enter an underserved market is you will by default gain loyal customers who are grateful you brought your products and services to their space. However, don’t get too comfortable. As bestselling business author, Jim Muehlhausen says, “If you choose a niche in an easy-to-identify growth area, keep in mind that competitors can easily find this niche too. Count on lots of competition.”
Be sure to check out Part Two of 9 Big Benefits You Should Be Reaping From Your Marketing Segments, where we will cover the final four benefits hidden within your marketing segment data.