There are so many ways to skin a cat and even more ways to segment customer data, and no one way is right or wrong. How you break the data down will give you a wide range of different insights and angles, each suited to different needs. Let’s take a look at four different ways to segment customer data.
1. Market Research
If you’re starting out and you know nothing about your customer and his or her needs and desires, you would be best starting off by doing market research. The old-fashioned stalwart still holds its place, especially via conducting surveys, interviews and focus groups. By speaking to your surrounding community about your product and what it offers, you can gain some valuable insight into what the general public feels about it. You will also then be able to gain a glimpse of who your customer is based on the feedback you receive, while finding easier ways to segment your customer base by using this data.
Once you have an actual customer base, you can start to segment them according to demographics. Using fields such as location, sex, income, education level and career niche can help you define different characteristics about each customer group. This in turn will help you determine the ways in which they like to be communicated with. Be careful not to discriminate against certain groups in your segmentation.
3. Customer Sentiment
Using customer sentiment and opinion on various different channels can help you identify exactly how your customer base feels about your brand and the overall offering. You need to keep your ear to the ground in order to pick up these insights, as they’re not always in the most commonly expected places. Social media channels will obviously have a treasure trove of insight for you to delve into, but so will areas like product forums and interactions with customer support agents. You can use this information to further segment your customer data based on their sentiment and level of brand advocacy.
4. Customer Activity
The most persuasive data is that of customer activity. Not only the activity of converting into paying customers, but all the actions that are taken along the way to becoming a paying customer. From signing up to newsletters, to reading those newsletters, to clicking on the links that take the customer to your website, to actually browsing through your available products or services. Each interaction and action is a milestone in the customer journey that can help you segment your data more effectively.
It’s also important to look at the actions that weren’t taken along the way. Perhaps your customer went through that entire process and then left the website without making a purchase. This “inactivity” is as important as the “activity” and that data can help you better the experience offered to your customer.