Many small- and mid-sized businesses are loath to launch a segmented marketing campaign. They’re so used to generic campaigns that the idea of launching a marketing effort that only appeals to a sub-group can be downright frightening.
The key: Remember that marketing to sub-groups is almost always much more lucrative than any generic campaign. Sub groups with a real affinity for your product or service will buy more, buy more often, and spread the good word about your business.
Generic advertising is everywhere, and people have learned to simply tune it out. If you want to open their eyes to what you have to sell, you’ve got to present it in way that resonates with them on a personal level. That’s what segment marketing is all about.
Determine a Primary Objective
Before creating any customized marketing materials, determine an objective for each of the marketing segments you’ve targeted. Sure you want to make a sale, but that may not always be the best primary objective for each sub-group.
Take, for example, a sub-group made up mostly of older, established residents. If you’re a real estate agent, your best bet may be to ask this group for referrals instead of a listing (the residents may not be interested in moving, but chances are good that their children and grandchildren are in need of a real estate agent).
Mimic Each Market
When marketing to these sub-groups, mimic the look, attitudes and behaviors of the people residing there. Instead of using generic photos and messages, customize your marketing materials to more accurately reflect who the people really are. This is especially true when using quotes and testimonials in your marketing. While praise from past customers is always influential, these testimonials are especially powerful when they’re from customers who look and speak just like the people in your targeted sub-group.
The bottom line: The easier you make it for your customers to imagine fitting your product or service into their lives, the easier it’ll be to make the sale.
Set Yourself Apart
With a traditional marketing campaign, you pick out one special thing about your product or service (cost, quality, customer service, etc.) and use that to brand your business. That’s how you set yourself apart from the competition. But with a segmented marketing campaign, you can brand your business separately for each sub-group you’re targeting.
For example, a health club may want to position itself as an aerobic center to one segment of its target market, as a family-oriented health club to a second segment, and as a place to slow the aging process for a third segment.
Different Offers Make a Difference
Special offers are always compelling selling tools. But not everyone is interested in the same offer. And some offers are so good, you only want to provide them to specific prospects. Segmenting your list allows you to deliver the best offer to the best prospect.
Here’s a suggestion: Instead of discounting your product/service (and undoing all your efforts to raise the price to where it is), create a special product/service that can be offered at a special rate. Or, try bundling multiple services or products together and offering them at a reduced price; add an exciting new feature to an existing service; switch from a flat rate to an hourly pricing structure (or the other way around).
Match the Message to the Market
Whatever your offer, your branding or your overall objective, be sure to communicate those things in a way that resonates with your target market. This is not the time or place for generic messages with wide appeal; you want to target a specific message to a specific audience.
In the most literal sense, that means writing your marketing materials in a foreign language for those segments of your target market that are ethnically skewed. However, English-speaking prospects have their own communication likes, as well.
For example, younger Americans (those in the 20- to 35-year-old range) are especially attracted to marketing messages that address their concerns about the environment. Older Americans (those in their 60s and 70s) typically respond best to marketing messages that emphasize customer satisfaction.
Other writing tips:
- Stick to the point. You usually have a limited amount of space. Say one thing, say it well and forcefully.
- Make sure the reader understands how they’ll benefit – and why they’ll be better off – using your product or service. Talk about the benefits, not just the features.
- Consumers today are jaded. Include facts and figures whenever possible to try and overcome any concerns they may have.
- Try to motivate the consumer to take action right away. Good copywriting compels the reader to do something, overcoming their natural do-nothing inertia.
Don’t Forget Your Old Friends
Segmented marketing campaigns can provide a powerful boost to your marketing efforts. But you can’t forsake the other marketing tools that have also served you so well. Businesses that lean too heavily on any one marketing medium are sure to find themselves stuck in the mud sooner than later.
Continue marketing to your past clients. Keep after your sphere of influence for referrals. Make sure you continue leveraging the combined power of both digital (e-mail) and traditional (direct mail) marketing. And with multiple list options available from , including geographic and demographic lists, you have everything you need to effectively segment your market and present the right customers with the right message.