How (and Why) to Define A Segment


There’s a lot of buzz about customer segmentation. Simply put, you parse your contact base into segments with common needs so you can address those needs with some degree of personalization. The first thing to do is create intelligent segments. This isn’t hard to do; you just need to take a clear-eyed look at your prospects and make a few decisions.

Look first for prospects with identifiable common problems or needs that your product or service addresses effectively. Good segments contain members who are as similar as possible to each other inside the group, and as different as possible from other groups. The more vivid the contrast between them, the easier it will be to define appropriate marketing tactics and content. Other desirable segment characteristics include:

  • Well-defined needs, preferably in strategically painful areas
  • Size—the segment should be large enough and potentially productive enough to justify the effort
  • The willingness to pay for a solution. Look for a shared purchase procedure, and the habit of dedicating budget to solve the problems your solution addresses
  • Reachable through marketing tools
  • Shared reaction to marketing outreach; this makes it easier to test communications and track results

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