Building a memorable brand experience requires a multi-segment marketing strategy. Easier said than done, of course. To do this right means dividing your target market into different groups and tailoring your marketing messaging and tactics to each audience group.
This approach will ensure that your message reaches the right people in the most effective way possible.
What is a multi-segment marketing strategy?
A multi-segment marketing strategy can effectively target two or more distinct audiences with different products, services, messaging, creative assets, and channels. This strategy can reach new customers, expand into new markets, or better meet existing customer needs. There are several reasons why a multisegment marketing strategy can be a practical approach for your brand:
- You can customize brand messaging and digital marketing campaigns to the specific needs of each segment.
- You can target multiple audiences with different needs and pain points.
- You can better understand your target market and their buying behavior.
- You can also use this multi-segment approach to manage your brand reputation.
How to create a multi-segment marketing strategy
You’ll need to take a few key steps to create an effective multi-segment strategy. I’ll summarize below:
- Define your target market: Basic, yes, but critical. It’s the foundation of a multi-segment marketing strategy. It breaks down your target market into different groups of consumers by specific demographics like age, gender, location, interests, or needs. It’s a best practice to build a buyer persona for each audience segment.
- Identify the needs of each segment: Also critical. Once you’ve defined each audience, you’ll need to identify the specific needs of each one because I guarantee that they will all be different. Doing so will help you define laser-targeted messaging that can move each audience down the funnel. Again, an audience analysis would be beneficial in mapping their behaviors along the customer journey.
- Develop a unique value proposition: Your value proposition is the main reason someone should buy from you, not your competitors. An example of a unique value proposition might be, “For busy moms on the go, we offer a convenient and healthy breakfast solution.” For a technology brand, an example might be, “We provide the most secure data center services for enterprise brands.”
- Choose your digital marketing channels: Once you know who you’re targeting and what you’re offering, you’ll need to select the most effective digital marketing channels to reach each segment. Some familiar tracks include social media, email marketing, display advertising, and paid search. You’ll want to drill down and get specific at the channel level. For example, Reddit might be an excellent channel to reach tech enthusiast college students, but Facebook would be better for targeting busy millennial moms.
- Develop targeted content: Creating targeted content is essential to an effective multi-segment marketing strategy, requiring you to use various digital content formats (blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.) and messaging that speaks directly to each segment.
- Measure your results: Don’t skip this step. As with any digital marketing campaign, you need to measure the results. What’s the point of launching a campaign if you can’t track and measure its impact on audiences?
A multi-segment marketing strategy can be an effective way to reach new customers and better meet the needs of existing ones. By segmenting your target market, identifying their specific needs, and developing targeted content, you can ensure that you are positioned for long-term success.
Data drives multi-segment marketing
As you create your multi-segment approach, it’s essential to have a robust data foundation. This data will help you better understand your target market, their needs, and how to reach them best. Here are a few types of data you might want to consider using:
- Audience data: You can collect audience data through surveys, website analytics, social media listening, and customer interviews.
- Sales data: Sales data can help you understand what product or service each segment is interested in buying. This data can be collected through your CRM, e-commerce, or retail platform.
- Marketing data: Marketing data can help you understand which digital marketing channels are most effective in reaching each segment. This data can be collected through website analytics, A/B testing, and conversion tracking.
- Historical campaign performance data: Accessing previous marketing campaign data can help you understand what has worked well in the past and what hasn’t.
- Web analytics: This data can be helpful in understanding website traffic patterns, bounce rates, and conversion rates.
This type of data can help you:
- Understand each audience’s perceptions and attitudes about your brand, product, or technology.
- Alter your narratives to better align to specific audience interests and affinities.
- Discover new phrases and language, and then use that to build your keyword list for paid search and SEO initiatives.
- Inform ad copy, post copy, blog titles, eBooks, and even build a media plan for paid social.
Using data as the foundation of your multi-segment marketing strategy is about dissecting audiences – analyzing their sharing habits and conversations to get actionable and defendable consumer insights that you can use to make decisions.
Below is a matrix I put together where you can plot out different audiences. You can map messaging and channels within this matrix, giving you a more cohesive view of your multi-segment strategy.
On the left, you have topics that you want to analyze. For example, brand and competitive mentions can help prioritize tracking media relevancy, reputation, and other brand factors against each target audience.
Also, depending on your industry, you’ll want to analyze specific topics that describe the market and problems you are trying to solve and extract actionable insights. Finally, along the top, you have all your audiences. Of course, this will be different for every company, but I’m sure you can follow the logic here.
- You have your C-Suite-CEO, President, and Founder.
- Business decision-makers can be described as the COO, CFO, head, and GM of a business unit, industry, brand, or product.
- IT decision-makers are everyone from the CIO and CTO to the head of IT and Engineering. It’ll vary depending on the size of the company.
- Senior IT Professionals can be described as the VP or Sr.
- Director of IT, Engineering, Infrastructure, Security, Cloud or Data Science, and everything in between.
- Engineers and developers are pretty self-explanatory. But even this group can be segmented further based on what language they use to develop software and what platform they use — are they in DevOps, AIOps, or DataOps.
- Tech and business journalists can be analyzed as individual audiences, not specifically the media they write for. And while there is overlap, segmenting is still necessary to get insights.
- Here also, we’re talking about analyzing specific analysts and their conversations and sharing habits.
- And lastly, influencers can be described as the top 10 security influencers talking about AI or the top 50 influencers talking about 5G and Data Operations. In other words, influencers are anything you define them to be.
So the next natural question is, “why would you spend so much time and resources trying to get customer attention?
The way the C-suite talks about something is 100% different from how a developer may talk about it — whether it’s a brand/product or a topic like data wrangling.
And on that, I have topics here because you need to spend more time understanding how audiences talk about technology. After all, that’s where you are going to find white space.
If you recall, a few months ago, I talked about the supply and demand of brand relevance — which is about understanding what stories and topics are demanding the attention of your audience (in this case, it’s the specific audience) and then asking yourself if the content you are supplying to the market is meeting the demand for your audience.
A multi-segment solid marketing strategy will ensure that you integrate your approach across all media channels.
You can only get this type of data from audience analysis.
It’s about finding white space at the topic level, so you can uncover unique insights about each audience, mine their coverage, cluster it into subtopics, and then contextualize the results.
As you can see, when you segment audiences and contextualize the conversation at that level, you can get very specific, actionable, and defendable insights that you can use to make smarter decisions. In some cases, you won’t have access to this much data, but don’t let that stop you from getting started. Even if you only have a basic understanding of your target market and a data point here and there, you can still create an effective multi-segment marketing strategy.
Multi-segment marketing strategy challenges
Developing a multisegment marketing strategy can get expensive. You must customize each segment’s messaging, creative assets, audience targeting, landing pages, and digital marketing channels. You must also account for paid media investments for each segment and channel.
Another challenge is figuring out how to reach all of the different segments. You’ll need to identify which channels are most effective for each piece and create content that resonates with them. If not done correctly, this can result in a fragmented customer experience.
Measurement can also be a challenge. First, you must develop a comprehensive measurement framework to track results across all segments and channels. Otherwise, you won’t be able to determine which parts or media are performing well and need more budget investment. It will also be tough to get buy-in from other stakeholders about what to measure.
It cannot be easy to maintain consistency when managing multiple segments. Each segment will have its budget, creative guidelines, and processes. This can make it hard to keep track of everything and ensure that each piece gets the attention it needs. One of the biggest challenges in developing a multi-segment marketing strategy is ensuring that the message is consistent. However, it’s essential to maintain a cohesive brand strategy and customer experience.
Multi-segment marketing strategy examples
Here are a few examples of brands that have used a multi-segment marketing strategy to reach new audiences and drive growth.
Nike is an excellent example of a multi-segment marketing brand to reach new audiences. The company has a wide range of products and caters to different segments, including athletes, young families, and children. Nike doesn’t just create one ad campaign and then target it to everyone. Instead, the company creates separate campaigns for each segment and tailors the messaging to meet their needs. For example, Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign targets athletes looking to improve their performance.
L’Oréal is another excellent example of a brand that uses multi-segment marketing to reach new audiences. The cosmetics company has a wide range of products and caters to different segments, including women of all ages, ethnicities, and skin types. They create highly targeted campaigns for each segment and tailor the messaging to meet their needs. For example, L’Oréal’s “Because I’m Worth It” campaign targets women who want to feel confident and beautiful.
A B2B example is IBM, which creates targeted content for each product, solution and industry to reach ITDMs at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Final thoughts on building a multi-segment approach to marketing
A multi-segment marketing strategy can effectively reach new audiences and drive growth for your brand. However, it can be challenging to develop and maintain. You’ll need to customize the messaging, creative assets, audience targeting, landing pages, and even the digital marketing channels for each segment. Additionally, you must measure results across all segments and channels to ensure that each piece performs well. Despite the challenges, a multi-segment marketing strategy can benefit your brand.