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Segmentation: An offline marketing concept emerging naturally in an online marketing world

Denise Hopkins - Experian

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Segmentation has long been used in offline direct marketing to better understand your customers and market to them more relevantly. The concept of segmentation in its simplest form is understanding who your customers are and then creating clusters or cohorts based upon similar characteristics. This concept has naturally evolved into social interaction and engagement with our customers online.

Social networks have given us channels where our customers naturally cluster. Whether they are called circles, friends, followers or likes they are the emergence of clusters, cohorts and segments -- or put more simply, groups of people with something in common. As a b2b marketer and a b2b customer, you can learn a lot about me based upon the companies I choose to follow, the likes that I express or the groups that I join.  

What is missing from these circles or segments is the understanding of who those customers are based upon their needs, interests, attitudes, firmographics and behaviors. This customer understanding is still critical to your success.  The more you understand who your customers are and what they are interested in, the easier it will be to engage in conversations and meaningful interactions within social media.

Creating personas of your best customers will help you to better understand who they are and engage with them online and offline. Social media isn’t about pushing your message out but engaging customers. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to create content and start up the conversation with your customers.

I welcome your comments.

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Denise Hopkins, VP Strategy
Experian Global Credit Services

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