Segmentation, and more recently micro-segmentation, are established sales and marketing techniques for dividing customers into very specific groups (segments) based on common characteristics, which enables extremely targeted connections and engagements.
Don’t worry, this isn’t yet another best practice guide for something you’ve probably been doing since day one of your career.
Instead I want to talk about building long term relevance and value into these activities, and the role Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play in not only segmenting customers and narrowing down to the lowest common denominator (micro-segments), but also in modelling behaviour to understand and predict the actions that will deliver the greatest impact, even in the most dynamic of markets.
Relevance and value
Honing in on specific targets can be challenging when there’s a deluge of data to sift through.
It’s no longer enough to simply segment by demographics, geographic location, market, industry sector or even role. This kind of firmographic data is not granular enough to achieve the kind of highly personalised engagement or targeted sales and marketing campaigns that customers expect today.
Broad segments have very limited effectiveness. True micro-segmentation requires you to delve deep. You need to pull out both the qualitative (descriptive buyer-level insights, attributes and sentiments) and quantitative (firmographic) data points that will really help you understand customers and what matters most in their world. Only then can you truly maximise the relevance and value of every contact.
There are tech solutions to help of course – layer your CRM systems with specialist segmentation software, and keep your intelligence fresh by integrating solutions (such as Artesian) to deliver that constant stream of relevant, timely and valuable data about every customer in every segment.
A great start, but true relevance and value comes from having the power to determine in advance what audiences in each segment need, and predict which sales and marketing actions will have the greatest impact tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year.
Long Term Value
We live in a constantly changing and competitive world, where customer behaviour is dynamic. Tracking them is a must for micro-segmentation to continually accelerate revenue growth, focus sales efforts in the right places, finely target content, and develop product strategies. But what if you could stop tracking and start predicting? Now that would be a true game changer!
Artificial Intelligence offers the opportunity to derive true long-term value. Mathematical modelling, predictive analytics and machine learning will enable you to find new patterns of event types, market challenges and opportunities even in the most well-defined of segments.
And importantly, it will offer the opportunity to analyse which actions are most likely to have the greatest impact, which content will have the highest open and share rates, and which delivery mechanism will work best for each segment, as well as predict the most likely customer response to any engagement.
AI will build true long-term value from micro-segmentation activities, by keeping you one step ahead.
The result? Greatly enhanced probability of success, better sales engagement, hyper-personalised marketing and happy customers.