Nine in 10 marketers say behavioral segmentation is the most effective type of marketing segmentation for their businesses. What’s more, companies that utilize customers' behavioral data (e.g., purchase behavior) outperform competitors in sales by 85%.
How often individuals visit your website. The frequency with which your audience engages with you. The intensity of prospects' activity with your email marketing campaigns.
These are all customer behaviors that, when analyzed through various types of behavioral segmentation strategies, can lead to more relevant, personalized experiences across channels and customer journey stages and greater customer loyalty and revenue.
In short, to leverage behavioral segmentation — and, in turn, adopt a behavioral marketing strategy — is to acknowledge you need more than just basic demographic and contextual data to understand your customers’ intent and know how to market to each one.
Let’s dive into why audience-based, behavioral segmentation is such a trusted technique among marketers today — and how you can make the most of it for your strategy.
What is behavioral segmentation?
The bare-bones behavioral segmentation definition is “customer segmentation amplified.”
Basic customer segments include your audience’s attributes and general engagement metrics (site visits, social media ad clicks, etc.). Ideally, they're automated and updated dynamically (something you can accomplish easily with a customer data platform).
For instance, many marketers start their segmentation strategies with two primary buckets:
"Heavy users": High-value leads and customers, like loyalty rewards program members
"Light users": Individuals who sometimes or rarely engage or buy products or services
Behavioral segments, meanwhile, are based on more intricate customer behaviors. These include browsing habits, engagement recency and frequency, and purchasing decisions.
As we’ve outlined previously on the blog, customer segmentation, at a high level, helps marketers understand their audiences and the benefits' sought by them (i.e., what specific products or services they're most interested in purchasing or subscribing to).
Behavioral segmentation, though, takes this concept of understanding one’s audience to a whole other level. One that allows marketers such as yourself to get granular insights about what really drives consumers’ research process and buying decisions.
Customer behaviors are strong signals of customer lifecycle stage, giving you an opportunity to influence the velocity with which they move from one stage to the next.
Behavioral segmentation benefits
Of all the modern marketing methods you could execute for your organization today, behavioral, multi-dimensional marketing segmentation should be at the top of your list.
(Right behind unifying all of your customer data into a single source of truth like a customer data platform and eliminating redundant martech — a topic for another day).
Segmenting customers and prospects and messaging the most engaged ones is how you eliminate inefficiencies — notably, wasted time, spend, and resources.
Activities like behavioral targeting for Facebook ad campaigns and personalized, on-site messaging are often more successful when based on behavioral segments.
Chance to convert top customers, build loyalty with them
Why does knowing who has or is likely to have sizable customer lifetime value (CLV) matter?
Well, think about all of the marketing tactics and techniques you've implemented for your company in recent years: How often have you and your team said to yourselves:
"If only we had targeted only the most engaged people in our marketing messaging and suppressed messaging to unengaged individuals, we could’ve realized greater return on investment."
With behavioral segmentation (and, in turn, a behavioral marketing program) you reduce the odds of targeting low-value customers or unlikely-to-buy prospects.
For instance, a bricks-and-clicks retailer unified all its first-party data for ecommerce and in-store customers to better understand and engage them over time. This has enabled the retailer's marketing team to create several behavioral segments.
As our case study notes, it helps them know who the high-CLV and -RFM individuals are and target them with personalized messaging across the customer lifecycle.
Your end game with behavioral segmentation is simple: consistently acquiring new customers and retaining the business of your existing customer base to increase the number of loyal, repeat buyers to whom you can continually market.
Behavioral segmentation examples
We’ve discussed customer behaviors to pay attention to before, so we won’t do so again.
However, it’s certainly worth exploring a couple fairly specific behavioral segmentation examples to give you some additional context as to what’s achievable with this approach.
Example #1: Delivering discounts to high-momentum users
Let’s say a known prospect who’s never bought from you visits your website 10 times over three months. Then, that persons visits your site 10 times in the last week alone.
Their momentum score in BlueConic (their last seven days of activity compared to their weekly average) would be rise. This would indicate they might buy from you soon.
You can capitalize on this momentum with a custom-tailored, individualized messaging to them. For example, you could promote a 15% off discount to close the deal.
You’re probably confident when existing customers return to your site they’ll buy again. But if you’re unsure someone who never has will, timely offers like this can help.
Example #2: Retargeting frequent, yet-to-convert visitors
A high bounce rate is a major headache for marketers. Especially when those bounces come from high-frequency visitors who window shop, so to speak, but never buy from you.
In this behavioral segmentation example, you can retarget ads to visitors when they leave your site via email or display and pay-per-click ads to regain their attention.
Let’s say you’re outdoor goods retailer. You know a potential customer viewed camping gear product pages a dozen times in the last 30 days. They’re clearly close to buying.
Based on her behavior, you can retarget her with individualized ads with custom-tailored offers for tents, lanterns, and other gear they checked out as they browse elsewhere online.
The key to doing this effectively is having a single customer view in a CDP.
This view of behavioral data and all other types of customer data (e.g., propensity scoring, lifecycle stage) enables BleuConic customers to deliver compelling, one-to-one ads and emails that go beyond just using generic data points like 'past products viewed.'
Customer behavior analysis: Best accomplished with a pure-play CDP
Identify loyal customers with high CLV, get those customers to buy more in the long run, and turn them into brand evangelists. That's how you win with behavioral segmentation.
Right in the middle of this marketing process, though, is thorough, constant customer segmentation analysis — ideally a task you’ll handle with a customer data platform.
For instance, in BlueConic, you can build customer behavior models in AI Workbench.
You can utilize this machine learning functionality to discover new target audience behavior patterns and construct models to predict future purchases and propensity to churn.
Moreover, you can use up-to-date behavioral data in conjunction with other data points for your customers from external systems (e.g., ESPs, adtech) to enhance behavioral targeting.
Behavioral segmentation simple with a pure-play CDP
By unifying online and offline customer data into our CDP's unified and persistent customer profiles, you can more effectively and efficiently interact with your audience.
There’s certainly other solutions that can help you comb through your customer behavior analytics and better comprehend how prospects and buyers engage with your business.
But only a pure-play CDP like BlueConic offers real-time data activation, segmentation, modeling, and analysis in a single user interface marketers can utilize with ease daily.
Learn how you can leverage our customer data platform to advance your behavioral segmentation and personalization strategies. Request a BlueConic demo today.