Customer segmentation categorizes potential buyers into “like groups” and provides valuable insight into anticipating future behaviors. Psychographic segmentation—which categorizes based on customers' attitudes and beliefs—is one common approach. Another is behavioral segmentation—which categorizes based on customers' actions and behaviors. We have found the key to success lies in combining one of, or both of, these two approaches with “hard” variables, such as demographics. This combination helps clarify what customers do and why they do it, and provides critical insight into what is required to make the segmentation actionable (i.e. how to reach target customers).
While some forms of consumer segmentation require extensive research and analysis, we have developed approaches to help clients cut to the chase more efficiently and pragmatically. Whether derived through a qualitative or quantitative research methodology, the key is to ensure the effort results in customer profiling that is both robust and actionable.