The importance of behavioural market segmentation: it’s not just who they are, it’s where they are

By now, it should be a given that any strong marketing strategy starts with defining your target audience. The importance of market segmentation can’t be overstated; you, of course, have to know who it is you’re trying to talk to with your marketing.

Consumer profiles, target audiences, core demographics; there’s plenty of names for the process but the consistent factor is the breaking down of your target market into groups based on certain identifiable traits. 

Knowing their age, income, education level and socioeconomic status all help to build a picture of your target market’s lifestyle. And where your business’s product or service might fit into it. 

But, that isn’t the whole story. 

It’s all well and good knowing who you want to talk to. 

But, how do you get them to listen? How do you know where to find them?

There are plenty of ways to segment a market, but many don’t go deep enough to understand how and why audiences behave. That’s the importance of behavioural market segmentation, it’s not just who they are, it’s where they are and what they do.

Market Segmentation creating strategy

‘When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one’ 

That quote is thrown about a lot in marketing. 

And for good reason; your single marketing message can’t possibly connect with every generation and demographic all at once. 

That’s why we drill down into our target markets and speak just to the people we want as customers, right?

Defining who you want to talk to and engage with your marketing is all well and good, but, just as you can’t speak to everyone at once, you can’t be everywhere at once either. 

If you’re not putting your content in the right places you’re just going to be shouting into the void. 

A core part of your behavioural market segmentation should be to know their media consumption habits. What television they watch, what newspapers they buy and the radio they listen to are all key pieces necessary to build the complete picture of your target market. 

And for digital marketing strategies, there’s even more to consider. Such as the social media they scroll, the blogs they read, the devices they use to browse, their preferred search engines and if they’re using a Smart Assistant

It sounds like a lot, and it is. But it’s a necessary step in getting your brand’s messaging seen by the most people; the most people that are right for your business.

When you know where your customers are consuming their media and spending their time, you can begin to position your messaging in the spaces they already occupy. 

A meeting made by calculated serendipity 

Placing your content in the spaces you know your target market already inhabits does the legwork for them.

Meaning they’re more likely to discover you. 

You’re already where they are, so why shouldn’t they have a quick look at what you’re offering. 

It’s a bit like if you know the person you fancy is going to be at a certain bar on a Saturday night. So, you put on your pulling pants, tousle your hair and make your way to the bar. 

Dolled up and perched on a stool, you wait for your crush to notice you sipping on their go-to drink, laughing at the same jokes they laugh at and realise you’re everything they’ve been looking for.

They think it’s a chance encounter, seeing you there ticking all their boxes. 

But, because you’ve done your research (in a totally above board, not at all cyber-stalking way…) you knew where they’d be on a Saturday night, their go-to drink and the sort of jokes that make them weak at the knees.

Meaning you could appear like the perfect option, giving them exactly what they want while also giving them the space to discover you. Making your crush think the whole thing was their decision, their idea.

It’s the same with knowing where your target market hangs out online and the keywords they use.

Based on the in-depth understanding of their needs, desires and pain points that you’ve gained from your behavioural market segmentation research, you can construct content that you know will address those needs. 

And, by positioning it in the spaces you know they inhabit, you can be confident that those target customers will see it; this is what a strong SEO strategy is all about. 

It’s calculated serendipity – they think it’s natural, you know it’s planned. 

Market Segmentation Instagram user

If you hang there, they will come

When you place your content in the spaces your target market is already hanging out, you’ll draw in more similar, like-minded audiences. People with the same needs and interests as your target customer.

In our ‘Saturday night in a bar’ analogy, it’s like hanging out at a bar filled to the rafters with buff bankers. Even if your crush is a bust, there’s plenty more people with the same likes and needs waiting to snap you up.

When you enter the spaces your target market is already inhabiting, and leave your content there to be discovered by them, it makes the process less heavyhanded and forceful than traditional sales messaging. 

Engineered organic connections

You know I said earlier about meeting your target market where they are?

Well, really it’s more like you go 90% of the distance and let them take the steps to the last 10%. Which can seem like a lot of work on your end. If you’re doing 90% of the work, why not do the last 10% too and go knock on their front door to pitch to them, right? 

But, by making the effort to find where your customers are, constructing content that solves their problems and placing it where they can find it, you’ll let them make the natural last step to conversion. 

Because you’re already where they are, you simplify the journey for your target customer. So all they have to do is make the final commitment to engage. And because your content solves their pain points and satisfies their needs, they’ll know you’re the business for them. 

It all makes for a much more natural brand-customer relationship. 

Creating these moments of calculated serendipity allows your target customers to discover your business. Leading to an organic connection of your own engineering. 

And, when your customers find you, you know they’re ready to engage because they’ve been looking in these digital spaces for services and goods like yours. 

So, there’s no need to go for the hard sell anymore, you don’t need to pitch them or shove offers in customer’s faces. 

When you know who and, importantly, where your target market is; you can sit your content in that space and wait for them to come to you.

About the author...

Alice CassA detail-oriented, aesthetically driven creative copywriter, Alice works to produce content across web, blog and social platforms. She joined Hedgehog in September 2019 after graduating from Falmouth University with a First Class degree in Journalism. Whatever the topic, Alice produces creative, meticulously researched content filled with wit, passion and an ingrained understanding of what makes a good story. When she’s not hard at work producing content, you’ll find Alice dishing out cake to everyone in the Hedgehog office.
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