In 2016, intelligent segmentation will play a leading role in marketer’s plans. They need to know among their audience of customers and prospects who are the most engaged and influential. Armed with this information, they can deliver targeted and relevant messages to this group which will boost sales, retention, and overall loyalty.
One technology tool that is now available for insightful segmentation is the Audience Segmentation feature from SumAll, a provider of connected data analytics. This service utilizes data collected from more than 500,000 companies and more than one billion consumers. This massive database contains demographic data as well as the individual’s social media influence. A company can upload their email contact database to Audience Segmentation and receive gender, location, age, and social media data.
Armed with this information, marketers can create targeted campaigns via several different channels, such as social networks, advertising platforms, email, and custom help desk promotions. Segmentation allows the creation of content that is much more relevant to the customer’s actual life. An email that encourages the recipient to “follow us on Instagram” makes a lot more sense when it’s verified that they, at least, have an Instagram account. The action to “follow” then requires a click or two, instead of the entire sign up process.
Here’s an outline of the SumAll Audience Segmentation process and how marketers can leverage the resulting insights:
- A company uploads its email list
- The SumAll engine finds the subscriber’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts
- The engagement and influence levels of each network are analyzed. Engagement is how often the user interacts on that social site, and influence is the number of followers.
- Demographics are pulled by cross-referencing the email address with a massive database
The tool also features advanced segmentation for Twitter users that allows marketers to insert a list of Twitter handles and then pull email and demographic information. Marketers can spend resources to build a Twitter following confident that they can ultimately leverage those followers through multi-channel communications.
It’s this multi-channel opportunity that is the core benefit of such segmentation. Customers expect a consistent and engaging experience, whether they’re interacting with a brand via Instagram or through the chat help desk. A tool such as Audience Segmentation is powerful because it can guide marketers on the degree of engagement a user might have with a social channel. Consider two individuals, both with Instagram accounts, but one has seven followers, and the other has 42.4 thousand followers. If these two are lumped together in the “Instagram” campaign, there will be some results, but it’s not tailored. The customers or prospects with huge followings warrant customized campaigns and promotional offers as their value on that channel is potentially massive.
Social segmentation information can also be used to inform the helpdesk, CRM, and other marketing automation platforms about potentially valuable customers. For example, the help desk chat and phone system could tag users with more than 100,000 Twitter followers, with instructions for the agent to offer them a special Twitter-based deal or promotion. This approach is more targeted, and it also fulfills the need for many customers to be seen as individuals, especially if marketers make such offers in seamless and unobtrusive ways.
Such segmentation that includes age and demographics information also makes for strong AdWords plays, as marketers can match their displayed ads to certain customer sets. This provides them with an avenue to bid on valuable keywords, but only to a targeted audience so the spend doesn’t climb out of control.
Segmentation is evolving beyond simple demographics (20-35 year olds in Massachusetts), into a new realm that includes social network behaviors and other actions that provide marketers with a more layered and relevant view of their customers.