secrets to a successful segmentation

“We need to update our segmentation” is often both one of the most exciting and painful phrases that a client-side researcher can hear. A good segmentation should be followed by a strong period of growth for your organization – why else identify and prioritize target segments if you aren’t going to build products and services to meet their needs? However, more often than not, segmentations fail to penetrate into an organisation and drive the direction of marketing teams – why is this?

In a series of papers, Research Strategy Group will explore some of the tools and approaches we feel can ensure that a segmentation has a long and successful life in an organisation.

For our first post, we want to simply state 3 easy steps you can employ to ensure your organization is ready for segmentation:

  1. Ensure senior sponsorship of the segmentation program. If the most senior leaders of your organization are not willing to get behind this way of looking at your target consumers, a segmentation is never going to be fully adopted by your colleagues. The most successfully adopted segmentations have the most senior leaders referencing segments in their plans and growth objectives.
  2. Create a clear and concise path-to-action document. This document ensures all of your business colleagues and partners understand the role and scope of segmentation and how the organization will use it. It should include:
    • The path to segment activation
    • The steps that will be undertaken to ensure continuing education around the target segments
    • The critical elements that will be used to monitor success for the organization as they target segments.
  3. Prior to beginning any segmentation, engage in a consultative phase. As part of our segmentation process at Research Strategy Group, we strongly recommend an initial phase of consultation with the key teams and agencies who will use the data. This enables those who are conducting the research and those within the organization who are guardians of the research to clearly understand what segmentation research can achieve and deliver.  Through an initial phase of discussion and alignment, the key users of the segments can understand what information they will have and can start planning accordingly. This phase is key to building excitement but also managing expectations.

In our next post on segmentation, we will discuss how to ensure a successful kickoff to a segmentation program.