This is the second post in our Horizon: Deep Dive video series. To follow along with the series, click here.


 
In the video above, you’ll see how Horizon makes it easy to segment your customer data to create highly targeted groups for personalised marketing. Read on for our take on why the traditional approach to marketing segments needs to adapt.

(And if you haven’t watched the previous Deep Dive video, you can check it out here.)
 

Segmentation in a “one-to-one” world

Over the last few years, with the rise of big data and hyper-personalised marketing, there’s been lots of talk about the in-the-moment interactions and the “segment of one”. But there’s been far less talk about how to actually make these micro-tailored moments achievable.

While most marketers know the tech is out there to make these things possible, finding the right platform, developing a strategy and putting it into practice can be a challenge. How do you create a marketing strategy that’s tailored for every customer? Are traditional marketing segments still relevant in a “segment of one” landscape?

Over the years, we’ve had the chance to research, experiment and observe what works and what doesn’t – and we’ve come up with a few thoughts on segmentation and its place in real-time, one-to-one marketing.

 

Static segments are no longer enough

Segments used to be more or less set in stone – and for many marketers they still are. When data must be sourced from multiple systems or another team altogether, pulling together the right groups of customers for a new campaign can take weeks. And that means plenty of time for data to go out of date.

Let’s say a marketer wants to send an app-push message to users who haven’t logged in to the loyalty app for a while to promote a reward that’s likely to be of interest to them. To do so, they’ll need to target customers who haven’t used the app in the last month, are likely to be interested in a particular reward and haven’t already redeemed it.

But if it takes even a few days to analyse the customer base and build the right group, there’s a chance that one or more of these criteria will have changed by the time the message is sent. That means a customer who has just logged in and redeemed the reward since the data was pulled might receive the message – which doesn’t make anyone, particularly a loyal customer, feel valued and cared for.

To create a “one-to-one” experience for customers, marketers must be able to generate the segments they need much faster – preferably within minutes.

 

Data goes beyond demographics and purchase history – so your marketing segments should, too

Traditional marketing segments were based on demographic information – age, gender, location and the like. If you were lucky, you might even have some purchase data in there to narrow things down.

Now though, the breadth of customer data available goes much further. And as such, your marketing segments should too.

Things like value, social influence, sentiment, lifecycle stage and more can be collected and inferred from customer data and used to create more relevant (and more effective) marketing groups.

 

Segments don’t fit every situation

As technology advances, customers are beginning to expect more from marketers – particularly when it comes to personalisation.

And these high expectations mean that marketing segments – where customers are grouped based on common characteristics – simply won’t be specific enough for every situation.

For example, when a customer’s lifecycle stage changes from “active” to “lapse risk”, you’ll want to respond as quickly as possible to retain them. That means that, rather than scheduling in a campaign to a segment of at-risk customers, you’ll want a message, with an offer or content that’s relevant to that particular customer, to be sent right away.

Segmentation, then, must be used in conjunction with automation. You’ll need tech that reacts in real-time to individual customer behaviour, to trigger interactions that are truly “one-to-one”.

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Horizon is built to make advanced segmentation fast and simple – and to react to events in real-time for true “one-to-one” marketing. To find out more, get in touch today.