What is Customer Segmentation? The ULTIMATE Guide

Explore how customer segmentation targets diverse consumer groups by tailoring products, marketing, and experiences to their preferred needs.

Author

Soham Saha

Date

May 3, 2024

Customer segmentation is a crucial strategy for businesses to understand better and cater to the diverse needs of their consumer base. 

Customer segmentation helps businesses shape their products or services and marketing strategies according to each group’s preferences. This targeting leads to more specific types of interaction, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Read this blog post to learn more about customer segmentation and its various types.

What is Customer Segmentation?

Customer segmentation involves dividing a customer base into smaller groups based on age, location, interests, and buying habits. This helps businesses understand their customers better and adjust their products and marketing to fit each group's needs. This allows companies to improve their marketing, make customers happier, and increase profits.

Customer segmentation attempts to understand the dynamics of the various customer groups better. Correspondingly, this approach enables companies to smoothly categorize their offerings and marketing efforts to each segment's specific needs and wants. Multiple companies leverage segmentation to achieve the marketing team’s goals and enhance customer satisfaction and retention, leading to overall growth and profit.

Example of Customer Segmentation

Let us take an example of an athletic shoe company that can use customer segmentation to understand better and cater to their customer's different needs and preferences.

Here's how customer segmentation can help them target their audience more effectively:

Segmentation by Needs

The Fitness Enthusiast

This segment prioritizes performance and functionality. They might be interested in shoes with advanced cushioning, stability technology, and breathable mesh. Marketing could target them with messages about performance data, celebrity athlete endorsements, and technical specifications of the shoes.

The Casual Athlete

This segment enjoys physical activity but doesn't require top-of-the-line features. They might be interested in comfortable, stylish shoes for running errands, walking, or hitting the gym occasionally. Marketing could target them with messages about comfort, versatility, and trendy designs.

The Fashion-Conscious Buyer

This segment prioritizes style over performance. They might be interested in shoes that complement their outfit and fit the latest trends. Marketing could target them with celebrity fashion influencer promotions, new collection launches, and the aesthetic design of the shoes.

Segmentation by Demographics

The Young Athlete (18-25)

This segment might be more budget-conscious and influenced by social media trends. They could be targeted with influencer marketing campaigns, special student discounts, and promotions on social media platforms.

The Weekend Warrior (26-40)

This segment likely has more disposable income and values convenience. They could be targeted with email marketing campaigns highlighting new products, loyalty programs with reward points, and features like easy online ordering and fast delivery.

The Health-Minded (40+)

This segment might prioritize comfort and injury prevention. They could be targeted with messages about arch support, pain relief technology, and podiatrist endorsements.

Why is Customer Segmentation Important?

Customer segmentation is important for several reasons, which are as follows:

1. Targeted Marketing

Small business owners segment customers to achieve a more effective form of targeted marketing that is based on subdividing clients into smaller and more homogenous groups. This application results in the higher levels of customer engagement and conversion because the advertising message is particularly personalized and contains certain content in favor of the clients’ specific needs.

2. Enhanced Customer Experience

Segmentation allows small business owners to deliver individualized products, propose each group’s customers relevant services, and engage in individual customer interactions.

3. Optimized Resource Allocation

Segmentation helps businesses to allocate resources more profitably through targeting only the most profitable segments of the market. As such, focusing on the high-value customers allows the company to maximize their return on marketing investment, and minimize waste .

4. Improved Product Development

Segmentation is extremely vital in the personalization of products, services, and customer interaction for business. Understanding the unique needs of their segments helps businesses to provide a more rewarding customer experience since customers know better what they want. By doing this, satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat businesses are increased. 

5. Competitive Advantage

The companies that have segmented their customer base more effectively tend to enjoy a competitive edge by understanding and serving their customer better than the competitors who are batching all the customers together. By providing clients with more tailored solutions to their needs, businesses are able to distinguish themselves in the market and attract more customers.

How to Segment Customers?

Segmenting customers involves several steps to effectively divide a customer base into distinct groups based on relevant criteria. Here's a general process for segmenting customers:

1. Identify Segmentation Criteria

Determine the factors used to segment customers. These criteria can include demographics (age, gender, income), geographic location, psychographics (lifestyle, values, interests), behavioral patterns (purchase history, brand loyalty), or firmographic data (for B2B businesses).

2. Collect Data

Collect information on the current customer base from multiple channels, including CRM systems, surveys, social media analytics, website analytics, and market research reports. The data collected should align with the chosen segmentation criteria.

3. Analyze Data

Use statistical analysis and data mining techniques to identify customer patterns and similarities. Look for clusters or groups that exhibit similar characteristics or behaviors.

4. Develop Customer Profiles

Create detailed profiles for each customer segment based on the segmentation criteria. Include demographics, preferences, behaviors, needs, and pain points.

5. Validate Segments

Test the segmentation scheme to ensure the groups are distinct, meaningful, and actionable. Assess whether each segment is large enough to be profitable and whether it responds differently to marketing initiatives.

6. Implement Segmentation Strategy

Customize marketing strategies, product offerings, and customer experiences to align with each customer segment's needs and preferences. Craft targeted messaging, promotions, and campaigns tailored to each segment to optimize their impact and effectiveness.

7. Monitor and Adjust

Continuously track customer behavior and feedback. This helps fine-tune the segmentation criteria and strategies as required. Remain flexible and responsive to shifts in the market and customer preferences. This ensures that your approach remains aligned with the required needs and expectations.

What Are The Different Types of Customer Segmentation?

1. Demographic Segmentation

This form of segmentation categorizes customers based on readily identifiable demographic characteristics. This includes age, gender, income, education, occupation, marital status, and family size.

For example, a company selling baby products might target families with infants or toddlers, while a luxury fashion brand might focus on high-income individuals.

2. Geographic Segmentation

Geographic segmentation categorizes customers based on their location. It includes factors like country, region, city, climate, urban or rural areas, and population density. It benefits businesses with products or services influenced by location-specific factors, like climate or culture. 

For example, a surfwear company might target coastal regions with warmer climates.

3. Psychographic Segmentation

This type is based on the psychological qualities of customers. Psychographics combines lifestyle, personality, values, interests, hobbies, opinions, attitudes, and behavior. It reflects the reasons for the purchase. 

For example, a company that sells adventure tours can consider people who often travel and focus on new experiences and excitement.

4. Behavioral Segmentation

Behavioral segmentation is defined by customers’ actions, behavior, body language, and interaction with the brand. It considers customers’ purchase background, regularity, brand amplification, and response to advertising. 

For example, an online retailer may approach promoting frequent shoppers with a discount or customers who left their carts with their promotions.

5. Firmographic Segmentation

Firmographic segmentation is more common in B2B companies. This segmentation is used by the firm’s customer criteria: industry, company size, revenue or number of employees, geographic location, and purchase behavior. For example, a software company targeting small businesses might also focus on specific industries.

6. Technographic Segmentation

Technographic segmentation focuses on customers' technology usage, preferences, and adoption patterns. It includes device type, operating system, software preferences, and online behavior. 

This type of segmentation is valuable for technology companies seeking to tailor their products and marketing messages to specific user preferences.

7. Life Stage Segmentation

Another type of segmentation is the life stage, which classifies customers according to their life phase or cycle. A life cycle could include being a student, young professional, parent, retiree, or having an empty nest.

Examples of life stage segmentation may include: A financial planning company may promote solutions for future retirement for those close to retirement.

8. Value-Based Segmentation

Another type of segmentation, value-based segmentation, prioritizes customers based on their lifetime value, profitability, or potential value to the company. It allows businesses to identify and focus on high-value customers who generate the most revenue or have the highest potential for future purchases. This segmentation helps optimize resource allocation and marketing efforts to maximize returns.

Disadvantages of Customer Segmentation

1. Complexity

Implementing a segmentation strategy can be complex and resource-intensive, requiring significant time, effort, and investment in data collection, analysis, and segmentation development.

2. Overgeneralization

Segmentation might oversimplify customer diversity, leading to stereotyping. This can result in overlooking individual differences and preferences within each segment.

3. Costs

Developing and implementing segmentation strategies can be costly. This is especially true for small businesses with limited resources. Costs include data collection, analysis, technology, and marketing efforts.

4. Data Privacy Concerns

When businesses collect and analyze customer data for segmentation, they encounter privacy concerns, especially with the rise of regulations like GDPR and CCPA. It's crucial for businesses to prioritize compliance with these data protection laws and regulations.

5. Segment Drift

Over time, customer segments may evolve or change, leading to segment drift. Businesses must continuously monitor and adjust their segmentation strategies to remain relevant and effective in meeting changing customer needs and preferences.

How Can Decode Help Overcome The Challenges?

While customer segmentation has several benefits, we have seen that it has some challenges. Fortunately, innovative solutions like Decode, an integrated consumer research platform powered by Insights AI, can empower market researchers to conquer these challenges and reveal the full potential of customer segmentation.

These are some of the ways Decode can simplify customer segmentation in research: 

1. Simplified Data Collection

Decode is a one-stop shop that integrates data from a range of sources like surveys, social media interactions, website behavior, and loyalty programs. This makes it unnecessary to juggle multiple tools and saves crucial time and resources.

2. Privacy First 

Decode ensures data privacy. It operates with anonymized data and follows strict privacy regulations. This is the way that builds consumer trust in research.

3. AI-Driven Segmentation 

Decode's Insights AI, which includes Emotion AI, Behavior AI, and Generative AI, automates the segmentation process. This simplifies creating and maintaining segments, enabling researchers to concentrate on strategic insights.

4. Beyond the Past 

Decode's AI capabilities can more accurately predict emerging trends and the future behavior of the customers. This future-oriented approach complements past and present insights.

5. Cost-Effective 

Decode is a single platform, which can potentially lower the number of research tools and subscriptions required. In addition, by simplifying the collection and analysis of data, Decode helps researchers optimize their workflow and maximize efficiency.

To conclude, Decode is a powerful tool for market researchers, handling the complexities of customer segmentation while unlocking its full potential. Leveraging its functionalities, researchers understand customer behavior in-depth, develop highly targeted marketing strategies, and achieve tremendous market success.

{{cta-button}}

Supercharge your research with actionable insights faster on Decode's integrated consumer research platform with Insights AI.
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Build the Right Products, the Right Way: Elevate your UX with Qatalyst's integrated user research platform with Insights AI.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four types of customer market segmentation?

The four types of customer market segmentation are demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral segmentation.

What is the most effective customer segmentation method?

There is not one one-size-fits-all-response to the most beneficial customer segmentation method. It frequently relies on one’s goals, industry, and target audience’s characteristics. However, many individuals or organizations benefit from combining a variety of demographic, psychographic, and behavioral segmentation methods.

What is the difference between market and customer segmentation? 

1

Log into 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

2

Click on Study templates

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

3

Start from scratch

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

4

Add blocks to the content

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

5

Saving the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

6

Publish the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

Market segmentation establishes the broader market into smaller, distinct groups based on shared characteristics or behaviors. Meanwhile, consumer segmentation refers to slicing a company’s customers into smaller groups based on similar traits or behaviors.

1

Log into 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

2

Click on Study templates

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

3

Start from scratch

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

4

Add blocks to the content

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

5

Saving the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

6

Publish the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

1

Log into 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

2

Click on Study templates

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

3

Start from scratch

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

4

Add blocks to the content

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

5

Saving the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

6

Publish the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

Author Bio

Soham is a true Manchester United fan who finds joy in more than just football. Whether navigating the open road, scoring virtual goals in FIFA, reading novels, or enjoying quality time with friends, Soham embraces a life full of diverse passions.

Soham Saha

Product Marketing Specialist

FAQs

What is a usability testing template?
Why use a usability testing template?
What should be included in a usability testing template?
Who typically uses a usability testing template?
Are there any tips for using a usability testing template?
How do I use a usability testing template?

Related Articles

Maximize Your Research Potential

Experience why teams worldwide trust our Consumer & User Research solutions.

Book a Demo

Thank You!

We will contact you soon.