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Iterable's Personalization Playbook on User Segmentation

How to Build Your Perfect Audience With User Segmentation

Here’s a fun fact: the concept and practice of segmentation was introduced way back in the 1950s. As the creator himself, professor Wendell Smith, put it:

“[In lieu of mass markets], attention to smaller or fringe market segments, which may have small potentials individually but are of crucial importance in the aggregate can yield greater consumer satisfaction, continued profitability, and a more secure market position.”

It’s hard to imagine where we as marketers would be without old Wendell there. And yet here we are—70 years later—still championing the importance of segmentation as one of the most important personalization tactics we call upon.

Digital Strokes for Digital Folks

Though the original premise of segmentation as it was devised still rings true, the strategies we use to execute in our day-to-day have significant room for growth. Thanks to modern technology, consumer choice reigns supreme and marketers are tasked with pushing the boundaries of their brands’ experiences.

Thankfully, this tech-driven shift has also armed B2C marketers with more than enough data to create highly specific customer segments. Customers want us to use their data for good and show them that, yes, it was indeed worth handing over their personal information in exchange for something worthy of their time.

And that entire process all starts with segmentation.

Because in today’s digital-first world, it takes much more than simply knowing a customer’s age, gender and occupation to uncover their true motivations behind their engagements and transactions.

Guiding You on the Path to Personalization

Last month, we introduced you to the “Core 4” pillars of personalization:

  1. User Segmentation
  2. Lifecycle Mapping
  3. Workflow Building
  4. Dynamic Content

And yesterday, we unveiled our Personalization Maturity Model so you can see how you score on each of those pillars to better assess your current marketing strategy and how to level up.

But wait—there’s more! Each month this fall, we’re diving deep into one of these pillars, providing several valuable resources to boost your knowledge and improve your skills—including foundational playbooks, insights from marketing experts and video tutorials of how to achieve advanced personalization using the Iterable platform.

In September, we’re kicking things off with our first pillar: User Segmentation.

Introducing Our Personalization Playbook on User Segmentation

Inside our Personalization Playbook on User Segmentation, we expose the flaws of over-reliance on traditional segmentation strategies and present a four-step framework for building the perfect audience for every campaign.

We not only highlight real-life examples and applications from innovative brands, but we also offer an interactive self-assessment for marketers to document the strategic details of their company’s segmentation approach.

Download the full playbook and keep reading for a sneak peek at what’s in store!

The 4 Steps You Need to Build Your Perfect Audience

To build your perfect audience, marketers can use a process called the 4 Disciplines of Execution framework (4DX), developed by the leading consulting and training group behind The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The intent of 4DX to take strategic objectives like segmentation and turn them into an actionable how-to plan.

As applied to segmentation, the four steps are:

  1. Reflect and visual your ideal audience
  2. Select your data points
  3. Build and send a test campaign
  4. Report progress weekly

Let’s break down each of the steps, one by one.

Step #1: Reflect and Visualize Your Ideal Audience

Instead of trying to come up with a comprehensive segmentation strategy for your entire database, reflect and visualize what your ideal audience looks like.

But here’s the caveat: Just choose one.

Why? Because the first discipline of 4DX is to focus on one or two goals. Otherwise, you’ll get caught up in accomplishing everyday tasks, which FranklinCovey refers to as “the whirlwind.”

Your ideal customer may be a new market segment. It could be a set of existing customers that you’re rolling out a new product to. Whoever it is, make sure you’re clear on who you’re trying to attract to your brand.

You can remind yourself who this type of customer is by asking your team and organization members, referencing previous company goals and strategy documents, doing a customer avatar exercise, or conducting a survey.

Once you have a good grasp on who that ideal customer is, now we can focus on the following question:

What is your team currently doing with segmentation that gets you closer to your ideal customer?

So before you try segmenting your entire database, always ask yourself the ideal audience you’re trying to attract.

That’s just a preview of what’s inside the full playbook! Learn the details behind the other three steps of the framework and see how Iterable customers have incorporated these concepts as part of their own compelling segmentation strategies.

User Segmentation, Brought to You By Iterable

When it comes to sophisticated segmentation, marketers love using the Iterable platform for its ability to tap into stack-wide data when designing user segments.

Engagement interactions aren’t isolated to messaging channels alone—extracting valuable nuggets of detail and nuance from websites, apps and social pages, and applying them to your segmentation logic really hones in on the true experiences of unique customers.

It’s through this kind of capability where marketers transcend past target audiences and start reaching exact individuals. This is how marketers achieve step one of the 4DX framework.

Marketers now know who their ideal customers are after combing through their various data—applying it with Iterable’s real-time segmentation logic responds to each individual at the opportune moment. 

Sounds great, right? Well, it looks even better. In the video below, solutions consultant Niki Simonutti demonstrates how marketers using Iterable to connect with millions of their ideal customers.

Segmentation sets the stage for transformative marketing experiences to seamlessly unfold. It’s the first of four critical pillars of the personalization process and one that reaps big rewards when further refined as part of an all-encompassing marketing strategy.

Download the full playbook and set the wheels in motion for a reimagined customer experience. 

Our Playbook to Modern User Segmentation: Get the Guide

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