Segmentation: Identifying Customers’ Needs and Interests

Every day that your customers open their mailboxes, they are instantly overwhelmed with a variety of content at their fingertips. How do you captivate your customers so that they feel connected to the mail they are receiving? Engage your customers from the moment they open their mailboxes by identifying their needs and interests.

Reach every customer personally, and help them feel connected to your catalog with relevancy by utilizing segmentation. Recognize that what may work for one customer may not work for another. To create an environment where customers feel connected to your catalog, work to identify sub groups of customers based on shared characteristics through geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral segments.

While every marketing team has this in place, frequent “spring cleaning” is important to help maintain a competitive advantage. Keep an updated list of those customers who are in a high-yield segment with the potential for exponential growth and profitability. There are many options when it comes to segmentation. Here are a few key areas to regularly review in order to better understand your customers.

Geographic segmentation

This includes not just where you live, but factors in:

The type of climate customers live in
Customers’ region
Town population, and type (such as rural, urban, etc)

Demographic segmentation

This includes the basic “get to know you” information, such as:

Age
Gender
Ethnicity
Marital status
Size of household
Generation
Level of Education
Household income
Homeowner or renter

Psychographic segmentation

This focuses on customers’ lifestyle choices, such as:

Activities and leisure
Personal interests
Opinions and values

This type of segmentation is most beneficial to your marketing plan, as it allows your company to narrow in on the reasons customers buy the items they do. This can help you to discover what motivates customer purchases. For example, if a customer enjoys outdoor sports and activities and loves to fish, that customer will be more inspired to purchase from catalogs based on outdoor living. Target your customers’ needs, and present them with products and brands based on those needs.

Behavioral segmentation

This focuses on a customer’s style by looking at:
Purchasing behavior based on occasion: Quarterly, seasonal, or holiday shopper
Frequency: One-time purchase, regular purchase, or a non-user
Customer user rate/frequency pattern: Monthly, bi monthly, yearly, etc.

How loyal a customer is to your products

Competitive advantage

Connecting with prospective customers and maintaining relationships with loyal catalog customers is vital to maintaining a thriving catalog business. Segmentation is at the core of achieving a competitive advantage by identifying the needs, interests, and buying patterns of your customers.

About the Author: Jim Gibbs

Vice President of Sales & Marketing at The Dingley Press. Jim has been with Dingley since 2002 and lives in Maine near our Lisbon, Maine plant location.