Segmenting Your Market

Segmenting Your Market Properly

This is too often overlooked. How do you go about segmenting your market? Is there more than one way? How many segments do you have? Are they capable of being broken done further? If you did segment them further, would it improve or worsen your efforts? How so?

Let’s take an example, let’s say we sell… mmm… surfboards, surf equipment and other surf-related things. The first thought is “Troy, you only have one market! Surfers!” Well, if we try to target everyone that might potentially buy our stuff with the same message (while easy) we will likely be ignored by most.

We want to send them contextual and relevant messages to gain their attention.

Potential Market Segment Strategy:

  • Surfers
    • Leisure Surfers
      • Long Boarders
      • Short Boarders
    • Professional Surfers
      • Further breakdown by style?
      • Further breakdown geographically
      • Further breakdown by price points
  • Organizations
    • Surf Clubs
    • Schools
    • Beach-front hotels
    • Beach-front churches
  • Beach Enthusiasts
    • Near the beach
    • Inland

This is a rough demonstration, but you can see how many different messages may actually need to be developed. Each of those segments has its own set of needs. Its up to you to decide how deep to segment, technically you could go infinitely deep to the individual, but I’d doubt its worth the time and effort. For example, depending on your business, you may or may not want to target the above “Organizations” individually or as a conglomerate. Doing them individually might make you more relevant to them, but that means extra time and effort on your part.



Online vs. offline marketing

I’ve been hearing quite a bit about combining online and offline efforts to achieve the greatest presence. Having both the quick online elements of being instantaneously responsive and perfectly targeted as well as the offline element of community. As John points out in his book “The Referral Engine”, most businesses are heavily one or the other.

Every business is different, but it seems to me each has it’s own unique situation in which to attempt the consolidation of these two very different efforts into one conglomerate machine. What is your situation?

  • Small business,one location, few employees?
  • Mid-level business, three locations, many employees?
  • Sole proprietor?
  • Very large business, global locations?

If your product is worth enough weight per customer, maybe it’s a matter of flying more frequently to meet customers. Maybe your product is dollars per sale, what then? Perhaps you could design a system of incentive-based pulleys or triggers amongst customers, partners, or employees. I’ll have to address this topic more pragmatically in my next post…

Guerrilla Marketing like Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, & Lil’ Wayne

Pink Floyd performed a concert in 1971 for ghosts Live at Pompeii. The recorded footage of the performance has become a landmark of classic rock concerts. Radiohead released their album “In Rainbows” as a pay-as-you-want download in a time where piracy had virtually destroyed common record sales. The stunt sat well with their loyal fan base and generated what appeared to be more revenue than if they had released it at normal cost. Arcade Fire recorded their song Neon Bible with all seven members crammed inside of an elevator. The performance went viral. Perhaps you haven’t heard of these artists? Hell, even Lil’ Wayne managed to turn a prison sentence into a brilliant Free Weezy merchandise opportunity.

There are 100’s of creative ways artists have managed to market their products. Would it be foolish to think some of these concepts may be transferable to the broader B2C business world?

Pattern Recognition & Marketing

Arguments have been made claiming that IQ tests don’t dictate every aspect of intelligence. While those cases should be heard for the perspective they provide, IQ tests certainly cover an important aspect of human intellect. Pattern recognition.

Everything can come down to pattern recognition. Why you can push off an assignment knowing the typical response of a teacher, why an infant can discern that his father is home because the sight of work boots on the floor, why we know that people who attend college tend to achieve higher wages, even the reason why we have found medicines that work better than their alternatives. You can apply this concept to nearly everything you can imagine.

While an important function for any human to succeed, it is perhaps more important to the marketer than anyone else. Marketers need to know what message presented in what way on which medium at which time where will deliver the most bang for the buck. How can they know this? Well, looking at historical examples and relying on inner intuition of course, both of which are formed on past experience (a.k.a. patterns).

There is most definitely a message that could have an extra-ordinary impact on your customers, you just have to know how to unlock it. It involves looking at the chaos and discovering a pattern or logic to the madness, and then taking that logic and applying it to your marketing approach. This is why pattern recognition matters. This is why marketers must think inside the box, outside the box, on the plane of the box, of the box, about the box, around the box, why the box, how the box, where the box, and beyond in a million different ways.

“Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else has ever thought.” – Einstein 

Pattern Recognition & Marketing ♠

Why Nintendo Failed

I don’t ordinarily post my classwork on this blog, but being that Nintendo’s failure can be tied to poor corporate marketing decisions I found it to be suitable.

Why Nintendo Failed

  • Weak Competitive Advantage

In realization of their inability to compete with PlayStation and Xbox, Nintendo decided to hinge on the superiority of their game-play coupled with what was supposed to be a cutting edge form of player/controller interactivity. However, the controllers were buggy and the games lacked the addictive level that the other consoles offered.

  • Poor understanding of their customer base

If Nintendo understood what its consumer base was looking for, they would not have created the GameCube, Wii, or the Wii U. Lets face it, Nintendo has been making simple regurgitation’s of the original Nintendo games and characters for the last few consoles. They understand the nostalgic ties their fans have to the characters and early games, but have failed to create that value in the Wii. Nintendo enthusiasts loved the 8-bit classic compositions written by Koji Kondo. The love the look of the pixelated characters they fell in love with. They also loved the simplicity of the controller. Nintendo has spectacularly watered down all three of those aspects with the Wii, leaving behind their original customers in search for a more “family-oriented” audience.

  • Failure to create a powerful online gaming presence

This is something that has been driving the gaming community for some time now, there’s no excuse for this not being at the forefront of their strategy. Gaming is no longer what it used to be, it is now a highly social activity. Nintendo must be willing to expand its capabilities to incorporate this market necessity.


Why Nintendo Failed ♠