Creating a loyalty marketing strategy is critical to understanding that every customer is unique. Every member has different needs, preferences, communication channels, behavior and emotions. Approaching all these unique members as one via mass communication is a big mistake when trying to scale your business. Segmenting your customers is critical to your success. But what is customer segmentation, why is it important and which segmentation models should be considered?
Customer segmentation is the practice in which marketers divide their customer base into specific groups in order to deliver more effective communication and a personalized experience. These segments can be based on one or several characteristics that clients have in common, such as demographics, psychographics, preferences, or even behavior.
For example, customers can be split based on demographics such as their age, gender or location – then these characteristics can be combined with preferences such as how they want to be contacted – in addition to account history, say the number of transactions made in the last few months or their lifetime value. Segments can be as simple or as detailed and granular as you prefer.
Defining a customer segmentation strategy requires your organization to understand who your audience is, as well as their needs and behavioral tendencies. This will allow the right allocation of budget and resources to provide more personalized communication and make your business grow faster.
Defining a customer segmentation strategy will bring many valuable benefits to any business. Here are some examples of why customer segmentation should be a top priority:
It is also important to consider the number of times per day and days per week a customer should be contacted. Optimizing the communication time will prevent overcommunication and its potential consequence of losing the customers’ trust.
While most brands tend to target their top-spending customers to reward them and maintain their engagement, it is imperative not to forget about your underperforming members. Those who gave the company a high benefit in the past and whose purchasing trend has dwindled over time can receive special attention to bring them back to their old spending habits
Personalizing these communications depending on loyalty segments and/or trends also improves customer service and the way the business assists in customer loyalty and customer retention.
When embarking on your customer segmentation journey, you must first ask yourself, “What is the goal?” What are your brand’s unique selling points? How many members of the marketing team will be involved? Once this is established, the focus shifts to your customer base. Some tasks could include determining the audience size, the number of potential segments needed, identifying which customer will spend more and which will spend less, etc.
Then, decide what data needs to be collected and how it will be collected. Remember that this information is crucial when creating your segments and will be the foundation of the marketing campaigns and initiatives. To execute any of these segmentation exercises, you must ensure you have access to the most important piece of it all… the data!
Data can be collected in different stages throughout the loyalty lifecycle, whether mandatory upon enrollment or optional after the fact, in the form of a survey. Now, all information received will come directly and voluntarily from clients. This is what is known as zero-party data.
What’s more, these data points can be compiled into segments. It is recommended to start with a broad focus and continuously narrow them down over time. AI and ML can do wonders in unearthing and analyzing behavior and trends, as well as shaving time and resources off the shoulders of your workforce. While defining these customer segmentation models, set up the main strategy to retain and gain customers loyalty, and after that focus on acquiring new ones.
Customer segmentation models are the different ways in which a company decides to divide its customers. In loyalty, there is a wide spectrum of customer data points to consider, but the most relevant across the industry are:
Now, member activity can be tracked, and trends can be identified automatically. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, segments can be created according to customer lifetime value (CLV) trends. Just to give an in-practice example, retail customer segmentation models should focus on targeting their best performers in stores whose lifetime value is greatest, but also send out communications and promotions to those members who have had a high spend in the past, but their trend is now decreasing.
Understanding your members needs, preferences and behavior is the beginning of your customer segmentation journey. Defining goals, resources, unique selling points and crucial data points will prepare your business for all segmentation possibilities. Customer segmentation helps target the right clients, who present more profitable opportunities at the right time and in the most efficient way. With it, their retention and satisfaction will be ensured, as well as the maximization of sales and revenue.
To learn more about customer segmentation models and how to build the most effective loyalty marketing strategy, request a demo with our Loyalty Experts! They will match you with an experienced Loyalty Consultant with experience in your unique market space and industry.
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