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market segmentation and data segmentation

We all collect a lot of data from our customers and prospects, but how do you use that information to tailor your marketing campaigns for maximum effectiveness? To be effective, you need to target the right people with the right message at the right time. If you target the wrong people, you can end up doing more harm than good.

For example, if you're running a campaign for a new product, targeting people who aren't interested in your product is a waste of time and money. Worse still, sending out marketing communications to customers with no need for the product at that time will lead to a spike in 'unsubscribes'.

In the 1970s, database segmentation was a relatively new discipline. The field of computer science enabled companies to create databases that were organised by customer demographics and purchasing history because they could now store large amounts of information on physical hard drives. In 1979, Andrew Sorensen invented a way for businesses to retrieve specific data from their database with queries – this is called SQL. This advancement allowed business owners to make better decisions about how to market to their customers and sell more products or services by providing them with insights into who their customers are.

So segmentation is nothing new, but should we use market segmentation or customer segmentation?

Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into smaller sub-markets where each one has different needs and wants. On the other hand, customer segmentation is when you divide your customers into groups based on their behaviour or demographic information.

In my previous business (large-format printing) we had customers in organisations as diverse such as licensed clubs and venues, to churches and religious organisations! We also had customers with clearly defined buying-cycles. How to we keep this targeted and personal?

Fortunately, part of the segmentation solution comes inbuilt into the most popular digital marketing platforms - tags. This is a way of mapping your database in a way that allows personalised marketing that addresses the customer needs, while keeping the communications both appropriate and timely. This enables us to segment the database using any combination of geographic, behavioural, psychographic or geographic mapping and filtering.

Combine this with marketing automation and you can create personalised messages that are sent at just the right time and place. You can also automate email campaigns so they don’t get lost in spam filters, or go unread by customers who have no interest in what you have to say. With these tools, it’s easier than ever before to reach out and engage with your audience on an individual level while still maintaining consistency across all of your messaging initiatives.

Duncrahill Marketing can help!

Database segmentation can be a daunting task. If you are looking for some guidance on a segmentation strategy – we can help. Email at or call 0417 285 938 and we’ll organise a free 90-minute consultation with yourself and/or your staff.

Segmenting your database will allow you to create targeted communications that are relevant to each group’s interests. You can also use it for lead nurturing by sending personalised emails that encourage prospects along their buying journey towards becoming customers. With this approach, you’ll be able to generate more leads at lower costs while increasing conversion rates too!

Alan Macdonald


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