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Audience Segmentation–Best Practices that Drive ROI

Jane Sarles Larson

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When talking about audience segmentation, it’s first a good idea to understand why you want to segregate a group of people. Are you looking to generate a lead or change behavior? Or do you need to segment your audience by demographic or past purchase history to align with a product launch? What you want to accomplish affects who you communicate to and how.

 

Let’s start with five audience segments where incentive programs can best be used:

  1. Business-to-business customers 
  2. Channel partners: retailers, agents, brokers, distributors, etc. 
  3. Sales employees 
  4. Employees: administrative, customer service, production, etc. 
  5. Consumers

Within each of these sections, you can segment even further to ensure a rules structure that is meaningful to your target audience. Knowing specifics about participants fosters reasonable goal setting and appropriate individualized communication. 

Understanding the following information about the participant audience is critical in designing a rules structure.

  • Segmentation by audience type based on job title, responsibilities, productivity, geographical location, etc. What makes sense given the business objectives?
  • Management hierarchy—what is the reporting structure? Which management levels should be included in the program?
  • All audience segments—how many participants in each segment? Demographic and psychographic information by segment—locations of each and quantity? Country of origin? Translation required?
  • Should segmentation be based on an individual or an entity? How does turnover impact individual segmentation?
  • Is this a captive audience? If so, does the audience have a quota for the program metric?
  • What is the product mix?  Do all sales reps have the opportunity to sell the same product mix? Does the profitability vary greatly from product to product?
  • If goals are set for an annual basis, how does the program encourage engagement throughout the year?
  • If goals are set for a monthly or quarterly basis, how does the program ensure an incremental production?

Answering the questions above will put you on the right path to strategic audience segmentation and powerful ROI.

Jane Sarles Larson's picture

Jane Sarles Larson

As the Research Manager for ITA Group’s Marketing Strategy, Jane is on the forefront of market research and thought leadership. Her interest in neuroscience and how it applies to human behavior and engagement has led to the development of ITA Group’s approach to motivation called Motivology. Her 30+ years of international advertising, sales and marketing experience is second only to her knowledge of dark chocolate.

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