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Audience Segmentation and Messaging: Tools Every Marketer Needs

Phillip Reinhardt

Communicating with people at scale is a challenging task, but how can you create information and messages that will resonate with individuals who are at different stages of their buying journey? You wouldn’t want to send an email to a prospect who is currently enrolled in college talking about your offerings for retirees, right? Audience segmentation does take some upfront time to implement, but the benefits to your business are far-reaching. It’s not uncommon for organizations who fully implement audience segmentation and targeted messaging to see double-digit increases in conversions, simply because they’re providing the right information to the right person at the right time.

What is Audience Segmentation?

Not all segmentation is created equal, and you really can get quickly carried away in overdoing it. Many organizations start with very simple audience segments and then break them down further as needed. Think of it first in terms of groups:

  • Prospects
  • Buyers
  • Advocates (multiple purchasers who love your brand)
  • Naysayers (yes, you’ll have some!)

You might also group on demographic or psychographic data, such as personas, which can include everything from age or stage of life to hair color — all depending on what would require a change to your sales message. Any or all of these attributes could play into how people flock to and ultimately purchase your products or services.

Segment Your Audience and Messaging

When Segmentation Matters

It is super easy to get carried away with segmentation, to the point that you want to create multiple versions of each piece of content. Generally, this is overkill — so don’t get sucked into that time void! Start small with segmentation, perhaps by testing on your email list or on a single landing page. When you have multiple products that serve different audiences, or a single product that audiences buy for different reasons, you might need segmentation. Anytime you’re speaking to people who have different needs, segmentation can help you differentiate your business by solving their unique pain points. This is when you’re truly going to move the needle on your sales.

Targeting Your Marketing and Messaging

How can you tell if your segments will be effective or not? It’s all about the message that you share with your audiences — finding ways to engage their emotions and reassure them that your brand will solve their problems. Your segmentation may also include things that are specific to the way the message is delivered, such as the media use of your prospects. Creating a high-end marketing video that you micro-target on Facebook isn’t very helpful if you’re going after teens and younger Millennials because they simply aren’t on that media platform in large quantities. Review your segmentation to be sure they’re not getting too “micro” or capturing a small subsection of your potential demographic. You may work very hard to create a distinct profile of user types, but if you run it against the information in your database and only capture a few prospects that way you may want to rethink how narrow your segmentation has become.