For years, marketers have used customer segmentation as a tool to make their jobs easier. By “lumping” large groups of customers together, based on what those customers have in common, marketers can send mass messages to those groups of customers, and make use of broad media outlets.
The problem: This is convenient for marketers, but it doesn’t do much for customers. While marketers are focusing on what makes one customer like many other customers, each customer is focused on what makes her different from everyone else.
This out-moded view of customer segmentation was valuable in an advertising-based world, because advertisers could look for media habits that customers in these segments shared. Problem #2: We don’t live in an advertising-based marketplace anymore, and media habits are not a very good proxy for purchase intent.
If you want to connect with your customers, and create strong, sustainable relationships with them, it’s time to turn the traditional model of customer segmentation on its head. It’s time to focus on what makes customers unique, not what makes them interchangeable.
Is this easy? No. Is it necessary? Yes. Why? Because this is the way your customers see themselves.