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What is audience segmentation research and analysis?

How to segment your customers for more effective marketing and sales

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Copper Staff

Contributors from members of the Copper team

You might think you know your customers like the back of your hand, but how well do you know them, really? If you’re making assumptions about your leads and customers without hard data, it becomes pretty tough to make solid sales, marketing or product decisions about the people who buy from you.

Without a solid understanding of your audience, you risk wasting time and money — and we’d say those are the two most precious things in your business.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to figure out everything you need to know about your customers: audience segmentation research and analysis.

What is audience segmentation?

You can’t sell to every person in the world — it’s just not realistic.

Your business is going after a very specific subset of people. This is your audience.

But even then, not everyone in your target audience is the same. There might be different types of buyers, which means that there are sub-categories of people within your audience. Which is where segmentation comes in.

Basically, every business needs to put its leads and customers through a sieve, grouping people into different buckets based on shared traits. This is audience segmentation: it’s the process of categorizing leads and customers in meaningful ways.

Every business has to define its own segments by creating your own criteria and deciding how you want to group people.

And honestly? You can’t do much in marketing without first segmenting your audience. It’s the critical first step for every business, regardless of your size, audience or product.

If you sell to customers or clients, performing audience segmentation research will help you:

  • Attract higher-quality leads: Are you sick of spending time on wishy-washy leads who aren’t a good fit for your services? By performing research first, you’ll know how to attract the right type of people. And yes, this has a direct impact on your business: brands that segment their audiences are 1.6X more likely to understand their leads’ needs.
  • Produce better content: Content success comes down to proper audience segmentation. This makes your marketing stronger and gives you the power to personalize the experience. Translation: use segmentation to create better content that turns heads and converts more leads.
  • Achieve your goals: Did you know that segmented email campaigns get 101% more clicks? They also bring in 77% more ROI and boost revenue by 760%. If you want to grow your biz, audience segmentation research is a must.

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4 places to source audience segmentation research

Segmenting your audience is marketing 101, and yet, a whopping 42% of marketers don’t perform any type of segmentation. Which means doing so will help put your biz ahead of the curve.

To get started, you’ll need data — and lots of it. Check these four sources to find useful quantitative and qualitative data for segmentation:

1. Analytics

Are you gathering data on your customers and leads? Look for analytics on your:

If you have transaction or revenue data in your accounting system, that counts, too. Gather all of the analytics reports you can — we guarantee that you’ll find plenty of juicy tidbits of information during your audience segmentation analysis.

2. Experiments

Next, have you conducted any split tests or A/B tests? This is common for email campaigns or landing pages, so if you’ve ever tested one version of your content against another version, look for the results of those experiments.

What did certain audiences enjoy? What were they less receptive to? You don’t have to make any judgments on the data right now; simply compile it in one place for your analysis.

What content attracted the most people according to your split tests?

3. CRM data

If you’re using a CRM like Copper, you can quickly pull some pretty cool data on your current leads and customers.

Who are your most valuable customers? Who brings in the most revenue? What are their attributes?

4. Qualitative information

If you’re a smaller business, you won’t necessarily have hard data for everything — and that’s okay. Qualitative data can be just as valuable for audience segmentation research.

Life isn’t just about the numbers. You need to understand how people feel about your brand, too. Look for qualitative information from:

  • Sales or customer service call recordings
  • Customer reviews
  • Forums
  • Social listening

If you have the time and the budget, you can also speak directly with your customers. Conduct surveys, focus groups or paid interviews to really dig into your customers’ experiences. (Read more on customer research here).

How to conduct an audience segmentation analysis

Okay, so you’ve done the hard work of compiling data on your audience. Now you need to analyze the results of your research and create a clear strategy.

Follow these steps to clean up your audience data and turn it into useful customer segments that will transform your sales, marketing and customer service efforts:

1. Gather and clean your data

During the research phase, you gathered a lot of information on your audience. But at this point, you haven’t checked it for quality or sorted it. It’s time to do just that. If possible, organize your meaningful data in a spreadsheet for easy access.

Review your data to see what’s actually useful. For example, if your website doesn’t get a ton of traffic, your Google Analytics data might not be very meaningful.

2. Pick your shared traits

You have a lot of raw audience data on hand right now. It’s time to take that raw data and transform it into useful segments.

But how should you segment your audience? It comes down to your goals; but typically, businesses segment customers based on:

  • Demographics: This includes data like age, gender, education, marital status, job title or income.
  • Psychographics: What values does this segment have? You’ll want to know their personality, lifestyle, hobbies and even the media they consume.
  • Behavior: Know which buyers are loyal or brand new. You might also want to know their buying frequency or shopping habits. This includes data on which social media platforms they frequent and how often they’re online.
  • Location: If your business serves specific areas only, you might want to segment based on a lead’s city, state or country.

Remember, the goal of audience segmentation is to build out different segments based on traits that you find meaningful. So, if age or gender don’t matter, segment by psychographics instead.

All of your segments need to be distinct from each other, too. They should also be large enough that it warrants creating a segment — after all, if a segment has just two people in it, is it really helpful for your marketing team?

3. Build customer personas

Customers are 80% more likely to do business with you if you personalize your marketing. That’s good news for businesses that invest in segmenting their audience.

The key is taking your segments and transforming them into a tool that you can easily reference in your daily work.

In other words, you need to create a customer persona. Personas bring together all of your audience segmentation data and organize it into a fact sheet that marketing, sales and customer service can quickly reference.

Go through a customer persona exercise to convert your different segments into personas. A CRM like Copper will even let you create a custom drop-down so you can categorize each lead as a certain persona, automating your segmentation efforts from the start.

Image for post The ultimate guide to building buyer personas + free worksheet
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The ultimate guide to building buyer personas + free worksheet

Target smarter by uncovering your company’s ideal customer personas.

Use a CRM to speed up audience segmentation analysis

Every business owner has bias, which is why it’s so critical to let your audience segmentation findings speak for themselves. Follow these tips to make decisions based on data, not your gut.

Genuine audience connections start with better data, but managing this customer data yourself isn’t a walk in the park. Copper helps business owners track and foster better customer relationships at scale. Try Copper free for 14 days.

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