5 Ways To Become A Segmentation Sniper - And Why It Will Make You A Better Marketer

Malia Hardin, Senior Product Marketing Manager

Marketing professionals are surrounded by data that has the potential to revolutionize their success. Whether it’s CRM, campaign management, email automation, social media or even third-party data, the information exists to become laser-focused about who to target, where to target them and what they want to buy. Unfortunately, converting that data to meaningful target markets often seems overwhelming or even impossible. Instead, marketers often resort to intuition and experience instead of data to make critical decisions. The result: untapped opportunity.

Stop guessing about whether or not you are targeting the right people, running the right campaigns or selling in the right channels, and start gaining a deeper understanding of who, what, where, how and why you should be going after next.

We've also pulled out the first several pages of the whitepaper for you to read. Download the PDF on the right to read the rest.

You think you know.

High rollers versus casual customers – what they want, when they buy, how much they spend. Partners who bring in profitable customers – and those who don’t. Programs worth the bucks because they drive hot leads for a reasonable cost.

Think again.

When you dig into the analysis that underlies strategy and tactics for most marketing professionals you expose more gut-instinct than facts. For a long time this has worked. Experience, relationships and impressions have defined success. But in today’s environment of scrutinized spending and measurable impact, tenure in an industry or a sell-out event is not enough to define success. Marketing must become more astute, more accountable and more impactful.

A cornerstone to this evolution is putting your data to work for you. By expecting more out of your data it will bring precision and depth to your knowledge about everything from which markets to target and which channels to use. You’ve got rich information within marketing and CRM systems, not to mention data warehouses, databases, third-party and social media. But having the data isn’t enough.

Converting marketing data to laser-focused, actionable knowledge requires more. Five strategies stand out to make this data work for you:

  1. Go beyond the basics
  2. Add micro-segmentation
  3. Mix & match data sources
  4. Map your data
  5. Share and refine

With these steps you will become a segmentation sniper, delivering precise marketing impact and measurable results.

1. Go beyond basics

Most segmentation exercises churn out groups based on conspicuous, relevant demographics such as size, industry, gender or age. These are important building blocks, but if you stop there you are likely missing relationships that exist between these foundational categories that can take your segmentation from good to great.

Start by exploring relationships between the data you already use. For example, look at the relationship between gender and age, then add a layer for education, location and married or single. Drill into the connections among channels, product mix and pricing to see if you’re optimizing for all your environments. You might find an audience or a channel that is driving outsized results.

While seemingly obvious, many marketing professionals don’t take these steps. But going beyond the basics is critical to get the most out of your foundational data and generate insight that will help you spend effectively, drive measurable impact to your organization and separate yourself from your competition.

2. Add micro-segmentation

Now that you’ve exploited the basics, you can start seeing new opportunities from your segmentation. Don’t stop there. With the droves of information available today and the control you have over your marketing efforts, micro-segmentation strategies can make your tactics more precise.

Micro-segmentation drills into your topline segmentation and identifies behaviors and preferences that will provide the foundation effective investment. It’s one thing to know your segment of female, 30-39, working professionals like to purchase suits. But what if you can validate that they prefer shopping at one discount retailer more than another and they shop most often on Saturday morning? Especially as technology improves to target real-time actions with relevant promotions and experiences, knowing as much as possible about your segments empowers you to effectively market to key audiences.

3. Mix and match data sources

It’s easy to get in the rut of analyzing what is convenient. But by limiting yourself to data at hand, you risk missing depth, insight and opportunity. Campaign tracking and CRM solutions are great on their own, but are you considering them together? What about transactional data and third-party information?

Connecting data sources reveals deeper insight and should be a mainstay of segmentation projects. If you’re not taking the time to bring together disparate data sources, you’re not seeing the entire picture. Exploring blended data puts a spotlight on new segments or
offers characteristics about the segments you have identified. This in turn drives targeted – and more effective – tactics to go after these opportunities. Overlaying demographics, spending patterns and purchase channel, for example, all of a sudden illuminates relationships that could lead to new priorities about which partners to work with, how much to invest and which subset of products to promote in a given outlet.

Want to read more? Download the rest of the whitepaper!

About the author


Malia Hardin

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Malia spends her time at Tableau focused on content marketing that highlights how customers use Tableau to impact their organizations. Before joining Tableau, Malia led product marketing for IBM's data integration, data quality, and master data management products then developed growth plans for emerging market countries. She's also worked in venture capital, consulting, and investment banking. Malia earned her M.B.A. at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and her B.A. at Wellesley College. @maliahardin