Marketing segmentation: what it is and how to make it effective – Marketing 4 Ecommerce – Your online marketing magazine for e-commerce

Segmentation is taking something and dividing it into smaller pieces. Hello. It is done.

Everything that comes after this is basically padding.

I’m doing it because writing a one-line post is horrible and because you’re wondering if I’ve stopped taking my medication. And as I have already explained to the pink elephant who is with me as I write, anti-cancer medication delirium tremens it’s overrated.

So let’s talk about segmentation in marketing, which is one of the vault keys that support (or should support) the marketing architecture of any business. And when I say anyone I mean anyone, be it SpaceX or the “Let’s dip the churro” churreria. And if we go a little further: An adequate segmentation does not only refer to marketing, but also affects all areas of a business in one way or another.

What is segmentation in marketing

Marketing segmentation is nothing more than divide the market or the mass of potential customers into more or less homogeneous groups. That is to say, that of totum revolutum that the general public supposes, we extract the segments of the population that we want to target and focus our messages on them. It is about moving from a passive attitude (I offer things to everyone and wait for someone to come and buy them) to an active attitude (I am going to look for a specific target audience and focus on that)

Segmentation, when done well, is something a priori: immediately after conceiving a product or service and before defining it completelywe think about who might be interested in buying it and we finish designing it and giving it attributes that make it even more interesting for that target audience.

Many times, especially from the agencies, we create a fake person who has the average interests of the market segment we are targeting, and we give him a name, a face and we invent a life. To this it is called “”, something that is very helpful when designing marketing messages and actions because it allows us to imagine that person and how they would react to a specific message or product. Actually, it is still a remix of features of people we already know. And it has a danger: that in that remix we include many people that we don’t like.

For example: imagine that a attractive population segment For us, they are women between 25 and 35 years old, who live in urban environments, who are crazy about technology and who have a medium purchasing power.

Our buyer persona could be Isolina, who is 31 years old, has a partner but no children, works in a bank, has an indefinite contract, lives in a rental apartment in Alcobendas, has a high-end smartphone, a smartwatch and a She moves around the city by subway or on an electric bicycle because she is very aware of climate change and loves to travel, read her eBook, cats (she has two) and kill zombies in Fortnite as if there were no tomorrow, where her avatar is a Mad Max-type warrior who has been baptized “Lady Death”.

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Well, I’ve gone a little too far with the details, but you get the idea.

Basic keys of segmentation

Before dissecting the segmentation thing further, there are some basic concepts that we will introduce swiftly like swallows that return their nests to hang from your balcony:

  • Segmentation is a must, even if you have a generalist business. I’ll give you examples later.
  • One of the basic reasons for carrying out a good segmentation is that money is saved, or said in marketing language, the available resources are optimized. If we don’t have to address everyone, the cost of our marketing actions will be lower.
  • segmentation conditions (or should) the design of the product, in such a way that it responds as best as possible to the expectations and needs of the market segment to which it is directed.
  • Obviously, to properly segment the market we have to a) know our products well and b) know who our potential customers are. Everyone thinks they know those two things, but sit down, put a blank piece of paper in front of you and ask yourself these two questions: What do I know about the products I sell? What about the clients to whom I want to sell? My advice is to do it with a fan, because I assure you that you will sweat.
  • Market segmentation allows you decide which segments are a priority for your business and delve deeper into how you can meet their needs, that assuming that your company has the capacity to address multiple segments at the same time. If you are very small, the normal thing is that you greatly reduce the number of segments you are going to address (remember, optimize, etc etc)
  • This is a very complex step in the development of a marketing strategy and the logical thing is that you count on the help of specialized professionals, or you will make such a mental cocoa that you will end up curled up on the floor babbling unconnected phrases.

Segmentation levels

Market segmentation can occur at different levels, which are not mutually exclusive but define a hierarchy: higher levels condition lower ones. Like this:

1. Company level

In this case the company’s business is oriented to a certain segment of the market.

Example: haute couture brands, which obviously look for people with a high purchasing power and with certain social characteristics, generally derived from their personal or professional prestige, since a person can be rotten with money and not be interested in fashion in the least ( Mark is the epitome of this). That is, one (if you have a lot of money) dresses in Chanel or Prada (like the devil) to go to an important soiree, not to go to the .

“Already”you will tell me, “But not all Prada or Armani clothes are haute couture, what they really live off of is selling more affordable models.” Patience, please, now we come to that. But we will agree that if you are a mileurista you do not wear Armani jeans, right? Well that.

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What if one of these brands wants reach the whole world? With the same brand it is difficult to achieve it, so they resort to creating other brands aimed at lower segments.

For example, the French group LVMH, the great luxury giant that owns brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior or Loewe, is also the owner of the Sephora franchise of perfumery and cosmetics stores, where not all the cosmetics that are sold are luxury. Or its great competitor, the Kering group (Balenciaga, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent), which also owns the Printemps department store, or the queen of low-cost fashion mail-order at: La Redoute (now converted into an eCommerce and marketplace ).

Though the example of segmentation based on brands is, without a doubt, , that has been creating different banners precisely to attract different audiences to its stores. In fact, you remove the clothes hangers from a Bershka, you put a bar on it… and it’s just like a cocktail bar.

2. Product line level

The same brand can have different product lines aimed at different segments.. It is something much simpler than developing a battery of different brands.

This is where the fact that haute couture brands manufacture items that, while still being expensive, allows them to reach broader segments of the population comes in. But they do not skip the hierarchy that we were talking about before: they continue to look for people with a higher than average purchasing power, simply because if we were to find a Prada t-shirt for 30 euros (or a new iPhone for 300 or a Tesla for 20,000, which would be more close to what is reasonable), it would no longer be exclusive and the brand would lose its main attribute.

Also exist mixed models in which the mother brand acts as an umbrella but develop sub-brands (which are not independent companies) to provide them with attractive attributes for different segments.

An emblematic case is that of danone.

30 years ago Danone manufactured Danone yoghurts, Danone custard (we repeat?), Danone flan… Now the only thing that carries the Danone brand is yoghurts… and not all of them. On the dairy shelves of supermarkets we can find, under the umbrella of Danone, a very long list of sub-brands: Danet, Danonino, Danacol, Activia, Actimel, Oikos, Vitalinea, YoPro…

Why such a marketing effort?

Well, because each of these sub-brands is oriented to a certain market segment. In the case of Actimel, there are two: people with young children (so they can give them to them) and older people who want to take care of their defenses (it’s what the brand says, I’m not saying it, let’s be clear). However, in the case of Danonino, what the brand wants is for children to ask their parents to buy it… and so on with the rest of Danone’s banners. It is a way to cover as much of the market as possible by targeting multiple segments at the same time, but each with a brand designed for them.

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3. Product level

It is probably the most common level of segmentation. brands develop specific products for each market segment who are interested in reaching

You will see it clearly with an example: 30 years ago car brands manufactured 3 or 4 models (developing a new model is very expensive). So the options in most brands were the small car, the medium car and the large car. And, if anything, the flagship, which was the VERY big one and served as a technological demonstrator because practically no one bought it (those who can spend 80,000 euros on a car usually go straight to the premium brand, because giving the valet the Renault keys have no cache).

Today the big car manufacturers, in addition to having a multitude of brands, have at least 7 or 8 different car models, each one aimed at a market segment: the very small, the small, the small SUV, the medium, the medium SUV, the minivan, the medium-large, the large, the large SUV and, less and less, the very large… Each of them has been specifically conceived and designed for a different target. The cars are designed with single people, couples, families with children, urban use, travel, for those who live in the outskirts or in the center in mind… and all this because it is the only way to be able to cover practically the entire market.

4. Campaign level

It is the lowest level but in which we have to refine more. In addition to everything seen, we can focus the same product on different segments in different campaigns (always without forcing the machinery, remember that there is a hierarchy). In other words, before launching a marketing campaign, we need to define clearly and as precisely as possible which segment we are targeting.because that will make the campaign work better, simply because we will speak to these people in their language and what interests them.

Targeting Types

There are many different ways of segmenting the market, depending on what interests us in each case and the level at which we find ourselves, but we can distinguish four main types:

a) geographic

We want our message to reach people who are in the immediate environment or in…

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