Customer segmentation is still time- and labor-intensive for many companies today.
Why? Because they have data silos — and dated tech. That means they are forced to invest lots of money in agencies or rely on analysts or data scientists to make sense of data.
Regardless of who is charged with building target-market segments based on hundreds of thousands (or millions) of data points for existing and potential customers, one thing is clear:
Dated segmentation approaches and legacy technologies lead to data latency, operational inefficiencies, lackluster marketing efforts, and — ultimately — a poor return on investment.
Business leaders have invested in a lot in tech in recent years to facilitate segmentation. And yet, their segmentation efforts are still lacking. Thus, so are their niche marketing programs.
As tech has gotten more advanced and customers’ expectations have grown, enabling more sophisticated and streamlined segmentation strategies has become crucial.
Enter multi-dimensional segmentation and a pure-play customer data platform (CDP).
Both can play a pivotal role in improving your brand’s customer engagement strategy.
Multi-dimensional segmentation: Building rich segments in under two minutes
You know about geographic segmentation (i.e., location), psychographic segmentation (the “why” behind buying), and demographic segmentation (e.g., age, gender, family size, etc.).
But what exactly is multi-dimensional segmentation, you ask? In short it is:
The ability to build dynamic segments using definitional (e.g., consent status) and synthetic (e.g., engagement score) data.
It’s also one of four core capabilities of BlueConic’s pure-play customer data platform (CDP):
- 1) Unified, persistent customer profiles: Data from across systems live in consistently updated profiles accessible to your entire tech ecosystem and growth teams.
- 2) Customer lifecycle orchestration: With lifecycle orchestration, every single marketing interaction is an explicit response to where individuals are on their customer journeys.
- 3) Predictive modeling and analytics: Scores from predictive models update in profiles in real time. This allows you to send relevant, timely, impactful messaging to individuals.
- 4) Multi-dimensional segmentation: A user-friendly UI let’s marketing and other teams build dynamic segments that update in real time. No coding skills are necessary.
The takeaway? Dynamic profiles means customers fall in and out of segments, as defined by your criteria, in real time. Moreover, you can build segments in two minutes. You can then send said segments them to any activation tools whenever you need.
That’s right: Grouping people based on any combination of attributes, behaviors, consent, preferences, interests, or other criteria you define can be done in two minutes or less.
And it’s no longer a task that requires manual list-pulls and handoffs for eventual use in marketing campaigns, social media ads, and other activities day-to-day marketing managers require.
With complete, constantly updated customer profiles, you can properly leverage multi-dimensional segmentation to increase operational efficiency across your entire business.
Notably, you can reduce data latency and iterate on marketing initiatives more quickly.
How one retailer uses our CDP’s multi-dimensional segmentation functionality
Modern, growth-focused brands have far more technology needs than small businesses.
These companies need tools that enable their consumer-centric teams to work quickly and efficiently, adapt on the fly as needed, and provide value and utility to business users.
But this efficiency and adaptability is impossible to achieve without a solution in which all first-party data is persistently stored and accessible to tech users to carry out daily tasks.
And that includes multi-dimensional segment creation and analysis.
That’s one reason why a multi-billion-dollar, multi-brand retailer invested in BlueConic.
The company understood our CDP was the ideal system to empower its brands to better connect with and ‘know’ their customer base. For instance, the organization realized it could identify which segments buy which products or services or engage in certain touchpoints.
One of its outdoor apparel brands realized a first-party database could save them thousands of dollars and weeks of time just by giving its analytics team segmentation capabilities:
- Prior to investing in BlueConic, this company’s customer data was dependent on an external agency to create segments for them. Requesting segments from this agency for email campaigns took nearly a month and thousands of dollars per data-pull.
- This costly dependency slowed their team down. But, equally important, it also watered down the efficacy of certain segmentation criteria, like behavioral and engagement scores. Receiving a segment of ‘highly engaged” customers isn’t as meaningful when that ‘engagement’ score was pulled four weeks ago as opposed to in real time.
- It also had little-to-no insight regarding who they were emailing or if they had consumers’ consent. This put the business at risk for penalties associated with non-compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act and other data privacy laws.
- Delivering irrelevant, poorly timed messaging to individuals in its database led many customers and prospects to tune out — and opt out of — of its emails. A big problem, given the big role personalized marketing plays in the company’s success.
With BlueConic, the brand can now build its own dynamic, multi-dimensional segments for personalized and individualized emails based on various data points.
For instance, it could leverage data related to demographics, engagement, purchase history, and product preferences, then send segments to its email service provider in 30 minutes flat.
Having intricate multi-dimensional segmentation capabilities in its hands, the company was able to test-run a new email engagement strategy that targeted lapsed customers.
From ideation to execution, this new segmentation strategy took them one week. And it came at no additional cost.
Giving your teams access to customer data and enabling them to use that data reduces their dependence on third parties. That is what empowers them to put the ‘art’ back in marketing.
Without barriers to test and iterate on various strategies, marketers and other tech users can get back to their jobs without having to waste time, money, and efforts on process.
‘Knowing’ customers with an advanced segmentation strategy — and a CDP
The days of relying market research and buyer personas to guide one’s are over.
Building dynamic segments in a matter of minutes will save you time and money. Moreover, it will help you utilize your segments to make your customer engagement smarter.
But implementing an advanced segmentation strategy requires both a single customer view and unified profiles to help teams across the business closely examine customer attributes.
A pure-play CDP like BlueConic can help mid-sized and large-scale businesses alike target their customers more intelligently and better understand their audiences.
Belgian Cycling Factor Sr. Marketing Advisor Michel Lenaerts said it best regarding how his business uses BlueConic to elevate its segmentation efforts and better ‘know’ its customers:
“This is the first time ever that this company has a view of who their customer is. Through BlueConic, we built segments of high-end customers, and could locate them and sent bikes to shops nearby. Using this targeted approach, we sold enough bikes to pay back our BlueConic investment in a month.”
Whether you want to compare individuals who purchase products online versus those who buy at physical stores or compare attributes of customers who are likely to churn, our CDP can provide you with the insights needed to better understand and engage with customers.
But identifying who not to market to is equally as important as pinpointing the prospects and customers to whom you should deliver bespoke experiences across marketing channels.
As BlueConic VP Marketing Michele Szabocsik told MarTech Advisor, though, this is a tall task if you lack a CDP in which you can build and refine your segmentation strategy:
“If you don’t have a handle on your first-party data, you can’t know enough about your customers to build segments for the purposes of marketing activation and suppression depending on the individual at that moment in time.”
Our CDP simplifies this task by enabling business users to suppress individuals from receiving marketing messaging if — by their own internally defined criteria and rules set in BlueConic — they’re deemed poor fits for campaigns or lifecycle messaging.
These rules can be tailored to your specific teams’ goals, and you can optimize your advertising spend by factoring in past customer engagement in segments, like:
- Propensity to buy: Based on recent behaviors and engagement, you can identify segments to avoid sending promotional offers. For example, you could suppress deals for customers with low recency, frequency, and monetary value scores, since they’re unlikely to buy. Conversely, you could prevent deals from being sent to those who buy frequently and, therefore, likely don’t need discounts to be enticed to buy.
- Recent transactions: BlueConic can help you reduce your targeted advertising spend waste. For instance, you can have individuals in certain segments automatically removed from a paid ad campaign, if they’ve purchased in the last week.
A pure-play CDP clearly has several benefits for companies of all kinds today.
Specifically, our CDP can save your C-suite a lot of money, save your data scientists and analysts a lot of time, and help others teams make better use of your first-party data.
Data that’s an invaluable resource you now need to realize your desired business growth.
Read our case study on BlueConic customer Belgian Cycling Factory to learn how the brand built its multi-dimensional segmentation strategy with our pure-play CDP.