Thursday, 11 August 2011

Tribal Market Segmentation

In the end, it's all about the tribe you are in. Social Media Marketing isn't rocket science. It's knowing the people around you, knowing the tribe you're in. The people you provide with service, information and possibly products. Know your customer, what he does, likes, lives, who he is friends with and befriend him. Interact with him, help, share, tell, engage..and possibly sell. Creating segments online is crucial if you want to use Social Media for marketing purposes. Purposes where people precede profit. In a market where sharing information through Social Media is more important than merely receiving and digesting information. Below you'll read a very practical list of smart market segmentation. A market where every individual has his own niche community he shares with other mutually interested people.
 Create a strategy around passion.
1 Passions
Are there groups of your customers who share common passions?
Aligning with something your customers are already passionate about and delivering content that’s specific and relevant to that theme is a great way to generate a bigger audience of others who are also passionate about the subject. For example, Weleda, a green personal care brand could create a strategy around serving environmentally engaged consumers.

2 Generational Dynamics
Does your brand attract a specific generation or span across multiple generations? Each generation has specific wants, needs and value systems that make it difficult to utilize a broad approach and address.  Each generation has different wants, needs and values. The night-life trend in The Netherlands f.i. shows the demise of the 'good old' disco. A disco that was the place where your brought your target audience in contact with your beer brand. So where are hipsters going out nowadays? How do you reach them with your brand? Obviously not in disco's anymore. 

3 Life Events
Are there large groups within your customer base who have experienced specific life events that create synergy and passion around the subject? For example, you may find that your products provide a unique offering that’s helpful for divorcĂ©es, cancer survivors or new parents. The key to selecting a life event is to discover something that becomes part of how people will define themselves as a result of going through the experience. A passing experience won’t generate the kind of following you are looking for. Think about life-changing events and how your brand can support customers at that time. People who survived cancer is a very good example of a life event that connects a lot of people, considering the fact that the number of people getting cancer is rising dramatically. Furhtermore, the fact comes with the need for celebrating that someone has survived. It involves family members, friends, children. It resolves around life and death, subjects that concern everyone sooner or later.

4 Life Stage
All people go through a series of life stages as they mature, and while they are in each stage they have unique perspectives and needs based on the life events that typically occur at each life stage.
For example, newly married couples may be considering purchasing their first home, balancing work and family life and planning when they should have their first child. This is drastically different from what may be top of mind for empty-nesters, whose children have just moved out of the family home. They may be thinking about what they will do with their newfound 'freedom', downsizing the family home, preparing for retirement, paying for college and planning care for their aging parents. Does your brand have an opportunity to provide value to these conversations? I'm sure, in their campaigns, insurance companies could benefit from focusing on life stages.

5 Demographics
Another opportunity may exist within specific customer demographics. You can look at demographics such as gender, marital status, income and ethnicity to determine if there are unique needs that you can provide value around. For example, AdAge took a look at multicultural targeting today and found that, “delivering of a message about a product or a service is best done when the advertiser understands the lens through which a consumer is viewing both the culture they’re in … and how their own experiences map onto it.” Will segmenting based on demographics allow you to provide more highly relevant, targeted information to your audience? An Amsterdam crowd of young people may have entirely different needs than similar crowd from Emmen.

6 Geography
For brands that use a local or regional marketing strategy, it may be appropriate to use a similar strategy for your social media channels. This is usually important in areas where having a local presence is critical to success. Strategies can vary from moving from global to country-specific and all the way down to cities, counties and provinces. Take a look at the type of geographic targeting you are currently using and see if there is a natural fit that makes strategic sense. A chain of sushi bars might prove more profitable in cities that have an international focus instead of a regional.

Look at your current geographic targeting.
7 Product Choices
The final option is to segment based on which products a customer has shown loyalty toward. Typically, the product a customer buys tells you something about him or her and gives insight into how you can add value to his or her life. For example, Proctor and Gamble has a separate social presence for its Pampers brand where they provide customer service and games that give customers points for diaper coupons. Finding ways to give away their products and services. Before you select a target, consider whether you already have resources to support the group. If you don’t, put together a list of the resources you would need. The largest need in any niche strategy is content. I might add perfect customer care as well. Especially, when involves e-commerce. Nothing more killing than poor customer service.

It’s ideal to have a blog and content calendar for the types of content you will have available that are targeted to your audience segment. If you can’t create all of the content yourself, don’t worry. With a few searches you can probably find third-party sources who are already writing great content that you can leverage with your outreach strategy. What tribes exist within your customer base? How can you give them a voice? What platform can you offer them to help them spread and grow? What are you doing to connect them? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

Source: Social Media Examiner, Nichole Kelly

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