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10 Segmentation Tactics To Understand

  • Jules McGinlay
  • 3 min read

Segmentation is the difference between talking directly to an audience that’s interested in what you’re selling and standing on the street corner with a megaphone. It always has been. But the rise of new digital channels, new data and new tactics have taken segmentation to a whole new level.

Today, people-based marketers don’t treat segmentation like an annual planning exercise. They use it on a daily basis to target their audiences with a laser-focus and level of relevance that would make a sales person blush.

This is great, because it makes a lot of important things possible:

  • More efficient, cost-effective campaigns that divert media spend away from people who’d never buy in the first place
  • Consistently relevant customer experiences that span different channels like digital ads, emails, and websites
  • Highly relevant content, offers, and recommendations that convert more and annoy less


The Key is Identity Resolution

70% of retailers have at least one factor preventing them from creating a more integrated customer experience, with technology (38%) being the most common factor missing.1

How you segment your audience will depend on what you’re trying to do. But the foundation of every successful people-based segmentation strategy is data. Data that’s cleansed, updated and crucially, ties back to real people.

That calls for identity resolution – the ability to tie 1st, 2nd, 3rd party, behavioural and contextual data back to real people in a privacy-safe way.

Without it, both segmentation and targeting suffer.

First, identity resolution gives you a clearer picture of your audiences. It lets you analyse customer and prospect activity across touchpoints. So you aren’t building segments based on misleading fragments of data.

Then it allows you to activate all that people-based data across all your digital touchpoints and platforms. So everything you do with Vendors A, B and C ties back to the same prospects and customers.

Now all the cool, dynamic display, social, search, video and mobile ad units you’re paying for can actually be used to their full potential.

Below are some of the ways that the most sophisticated marketing teams are using identity resolution to power a whole range of effective segmentation and targeting tactics:

10 Smart Segmentation and Targeting Tactics

1. Audience suppression: Audience suppression is all about making sure certain segments aren’t exposed to certain ads.

2. Look-alike modelling: Look-alike modelling is all about understanding the key attributes of a small subset of your most active customers.

3. Segment-based retargeting: The most common form of retargeting is a function of cart abandonment, where the pair of shoes you nearly bought (but then didn’t) follow you around the internet.

4. Segmenting loyalty tiers: If you think about it, marketers have used loyalty tiers to segment their customers for years. …targeting those tiers with specific offers is really just low-hanging fruit.

5. Dynamic creative and site optimisation: When home pages, emails, ad units and more are supported by a smart segmentation programme, you create a living, breathing campaign that can deliver exactly the right experience to each consumer.

6. Targeting based on anonymous online activity: Just because a site visitor is anonymous, doesn’t mean you can’t use them to create actionable segments, based on their behaviour and their browser.

7. Geo-targeting: Initially, geo-targeting can be used to ensure home pages are in the right language, prices are in the right currency etc. But taken further, geo-targeting can be used to personalise messages and even push certain offers depending on where someone is in a real-life store.

8. Segmenting based on offline purchase behaviour: By tapping into your offline transactional data, you can create segmentations based on the products that were sold most.

9. Segment-based cross-selling and upselling: If you’re to make relevant recommendations to consumers, context is key. Considering purchase history and behaviour data in addition to what product page someone’s on allows more accuracy.

10. Reactivation: Reactivation is all about identifying the customers who haven’t engaged with you in a while and targeting them with unique, relevant offers.

Using Segmentation to Evolve Your Marketing

Segmentation is nothing new. Along with targeting, it’s been a feature of effective marketing for decades. However, we’ve only recently been able to use data technology to enhance segmentation in a smarter, more effective way; for proactive, intelligent and relevant marketing.

1Rethinking Retail, Infosys