Tag Archives: segmentation

Stop Listening, Start Watching. How Interest-Based Segmentation Gets to the Heart of Consumers

By: Hannah Chapple
In recent years, we’ve seen companies increase their
reliance on social data. Why? Today there are more social signals than ever.
Consumers are sharing comments, their interests, thoughts, and more online. The
result being an incredible amount of consumer-provided data at our fingertips.
The problem facing marketers is trying to make sense of the
deep end of social data. One way we’ve seen businesses and big brands try to
make sense of this data is by investing in a little something called social listening.
If we watch and listen to what consumers are saying in real-time, we’ll paint a
more accurate picture of them, right? Wrong.
Social listening is biased. Many times our online persona is
different than who we are or doesn’t show us in our entirety. And only a small
percentage of those online ever actually engage or vocalize their thoughts,
interests, and beliefs ‘ the consumer insights that companies crave.
I’ll use myself as an example. If you comb through my social
feeds (and please, don’t feel you have to) you’ll find my comments and a flurry
of articles shared on all things marketing. While I am interested in this
stuff, yes (it’s my profession after all), it is not the complete picture of
who Hannah is as a person.
So how do we get to
the heart of the consumer?
One way companies can figure out who their consumers are and
what they want is by leveraging interest-based segmentation.
Interest-based segmentation is when individuals are
clustered and segmented into naturally-occurring, unbiased clusters, by looking
at who or what they choose to follow. Instead of focusing on the vocal
minority, at Affinio we consider
following patterns and interest data to be paramount to listening or
traditional research methods. 

 Image: Interest-based
clusters generated by Affinio
Following and connecting with other people is a fundamental
property of social behaviour. It is also a silent action, whereas social biases
might keep individuals from being honest about their interests (who they
follow) or what they talk about in person. The takeaway: you wouldn’t know
everything that I’m interested in just by looking at what I say, but you would
understand my interests by looking at who I follow.
By focusing on how an audience is connected (analyzing their
shared interests and affinities), interest-based segmentation gets to the very
heart of the consumer. Instantly, companies can identify who and what their
audience cares about, even if they’ve never vocalized it. Or if they have, this
method validates that finding. This approach places focus on the honest
relationships consumers have built and maintained and lets marketers understand
their audience as human beings and not one-dimensional data points.

About the Author: Hannah
Chapple is the Marketing & Content Coordinator at Affinio, the marketing
intelligence platform. Hannah holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with
a major in Marketing from the F.C. Manning School of Business at Acadia
University. 

Live from #TMRE14: Food Futures: A Portrait of the Food Connected Generation

Being a prolific foodie, which I learned was a word with negative connotations, I was pleased to attend the Food Network and Cooking Channel VP talk about millennials from Gabe Gordon.

Talking about an interesting juxtaposition of millennials, who don’t inherently watched TV, connect with shows, celebrities and reality television. The joy of cooking is an analog and senatorial experience in the digital world for the younger generation. The joy of cooking has grown exponentially over time, as well as just the need to consume more interesting food.

In terms of drivers, Facebook remains the key driver of conversations on food, as does Pinterest for repeat sharing, ideas and inspiration. Suprisingly, a social media addict’s favorite Instagram falls to the bottom of the pack.

Some interesting factoids include

  • Consumers are hungrier – 70% of people are finding food more important than 4 years ago!
  • Roughly half of food connectors are millennials, and half of those are me. Men have a deeper relationship with food than millennial women
  • 90% of women think a man that cooks is a turn on. 77% of men find cooking makes them feel good about themselves.

Probably one of the most disturbing thoughts was that millennials like their parents and GenX don’t, which is why the family phenomenon and the learning from parents is coming back as a saving behavior via food.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.

Live from #TMRE14: Leveraging Superstar Products to Build Brands

Fresh from the heels of the New York Food and Wine Festival (NYCWFF) was Cynthia Soledad of Whirlpool talking about bringing the iconic KitchenAid Brand, a superstar in its category, to build other brands. For, like many feel, KitchenAid is more than a mixer – it is a kitchen lifestyle brand.

The cycle that unraveled from understanding the consumers of three segments ranging from enthusiasts to obsessers was as follows: Aspire (the emotion of trying to do something), seek (the quest for finding the right products, which is where KitchenAid comes into the picture), learn (using the tools as your “sous-chefs” as the brand puts it) and master (to become a chef in your own right). An interesting cycle with the analogy of being an engineer or any corporate career by day, but a chef by night.

The findings reflected that in the kitchen, you are an appreciator as well as a critic. However, the three key truths that were found were that tools from Kitchen Aid are important for creative facilitation, identity reflection and usage outcome. Of which, usage outcome was most important with both small and large appliances.

A fascinating tale of unraveling consumer stories through primarily qualitative research, the two lessons that stay in my mind that can be applied to virtually any category are: consumers are born inherently irrational, and a brand can truly win by playing on the intersection of its equity with deep human needs.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf

Live from #TMRE14: The Culture Shift of Segmentation

Rob Barrish, SVP at GfK, LeAnn DeHoff, Senior Manager,  Consumer Insights & Competitive Intel at ADT Security Services.

Focus was critical for this collaboration, segmentation program wass widely embraced by ADT. They focused on a framework based on Maslow’s hierachy of needs, connecting needs-based segments which they studied via digital ethnographies. They made sure to prioritize segments so that they were spending time and focus on those key categories and size them.

One typing tool may not fit all needs. Be prepared for multiple.

ADT employed  a four stage process for activation:
Immersion
Prioritization
Activation
Socialization

Think strategically:

Have a framework to guide strategy planning
integrate the segmentation into all the research
Deeper dives among the segments with our online community

Segmentation is so much more than a project, it can change the way you do business.
Enlist a cross-functional team
Take the time to do the early stage exploration
Really build a solid strategy to value segments and size those markets and opportunities

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.

Four Consumer Segments of the Modern Shopping World

Shopping seasons often fall around holiday seasons, and absorb anywhere from weeks to months of our time as shoppers and consumers, and even more so if for marketers. The season evokes the anxiety, well pondered over in days when brands battled for loyal consumers.

On drawing comparisons between the online and offline world, alongside the regularity of last minute versus planned shoppers, a two by two matrix on uncovering four shopping personalities can be deduced. Let’s call it The Timed Shopping Framework, since it can apply to any phase of life when we have to shop with a deadline.

The full length version of this post can be read on: Where does Online Shopping leave Glamorous Window Displays?

Holiday Shopping Framework @sssourabh
Bandwidth Basher
Purchasing Power: High. It’s unlikely that these
shoppers will be looking for deals, but are more in a frantic rush to
buy something while multitasking a busy corporate or bustling
alternative life; thus the restraint from going in stores.
Retailer Benefit: Shipping fees. Consumers in this
segment may be blind to free shipping coupons in all the haste, so
retailers can gobble up any margins on those exorbitant overnight fees.

Strategic Sprawler
Purchasing Power: Moderate. These shoppers will likely have scouted the deals, almost as early as Black Friday and Thanksgiving.
Being deal hunters, it’s not to say they are budget battlers: rather
the contrary, they are likely to spend in volume. Call them indecisive,
or on the other spectrum, simply smart with a cool variety of friends.
Retailer Benefit: Volume purchase and loyalty. It’s
likely that these shoppers will seek deals with enough prowess to use
coupon codes or minimum purchase requirements to benefit retailers,
either with volume or future loyalty.
  
Methodical Maneuverer
Purchasing Power: Moderate. These are traditional
shoppers that would rather drive to the stores come fall, and load up
their trunks and rear seats with less shopping on a periodic basis. And
they never forget the wrapping, bows, cards and frills. These shoppers
either have a sense of detail, or are simply preventing an anxiety attack, as per a former framework.
Retailer Benefit: Traditional store sales, which as we
all know, may not be real value sales, but well marketed ones.
Nonetheless, courtesy of methodical research, retailers should not
expect these consumers to be strong spenders.

Splurging Sprinter
Purchasing Power: High. These shoppers have simply had
no time in bustling lives, and tend to leave things to the last minute.
With about half of their preferred selections disappearing off shelves,
they are likely to be struck by anxiety and spend more than they need.
Sans details, they may skip the frills and even ask for gift wrapped
gifts altogether! Just beware that these folks may be struck by stress
more often than not; even in public.
Retailer Benefit: Revenues from last minute shopping.
Retailers can expect high spending from these consumers, with a slight
dose of stress depending on the level of shopper persistence. It will be
easy to entice them with leftover, often non-sale items, or with
stocking stuffers.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.

Live from #MediaInsight: Synthesize the Data to Create Actionable Insights

Kirsten Rasmuson, Manager, Consumer Insights, Netflix, explains how research works at Netflix while taking us through a number of case studies 

Highly aligned and loosely coupled – this Netflix mantra provides a rich foundation for mining insights.

An example involves their attempt to increase retention among new streaming members – these members are the focus, and keeping them with Netflix is crucial.  They brought all of their internal teams together to set up an AB test for certain new subscribers, who participated in an online survey several days after becoming members.  The trick was that they had to wait 30+ days to determine actual retention, as they needed subjects to move beyond the Netflix free trial period.  

In analyzing the initial findings, it was interesting to see that there were people who said that they would continue their membership during their first week but ultimately ended up canceling.  Here, the mix of attitudinal and behavioral data painted a more robust picture than a single modality ever could have – which helped Netflix realize that they had to dig even deeper to understand their audience and subscriber retention habits.

Netflix has also tackled segmentation, which again required the participation of numerous internal research teams and also applied to everyone within the organization – from membership teams to the people coming up with original content.  

Some Netflix tips for avoiding “analysis paralysis”:
1. Start with the end in mind: focus on objectives, not methodologies
2. Getting to the “so what” – brevity can be an effective approach

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ben Proctor is Insights Strategist at Miner & Co. Studio, a New York-based consultancy

The Marketing of Creating Product Anxiety

Daily, we hear of a new fad in the world of thirsty consumers. Apple rules the roost of having new products yearly. Recalling the years when Harry Potter and Twilight releases meant brands clamoring for attention still rings a marketing bell. Teetering on borderline obsessive, the anxiety attack is something I have explored several times before, and its a psychological facet that continues to amaze me.


What
makes these tremendous launches a mega success even before they hit the
earth are the hype  that they generate, which in turn induces anxiety
amongst a majority of populations. Hype truly resonates with today’s
yuppy and less yuppy generations alike, and is the apt verb used by lookbook.nu‘s
ecstatic fashionnistas trying to carve a name or make a few friends
based on inspirational looks. With multiple footholds of hype, anxiety
comes into play, which in turn represents the gap between needs and
wants.

While
needs and wants represent the degree to which we aspire something, it
is the level to which its utility and our anxiety align that predicts
how popular it will be when it hits the public. This in turn can allow
firms to manage their marketing expenditures, for if something creates
an unaided hype, it can be profitable to reap the benefits of this
induced anxiety. Yet, for a sustained hype, the product must also be
positioned as somewhat useful; hence the utility aspect.

This gives rise to the Anxiety Framework, whose parameters and quadrants need not be confused with the Shopper Psychology framework. Utility describes the usefulness of something that we desire ‘ a movie, a product, or anything. Anxiety is the level to which we want it (where notice that the want can be created, as  in aforementioned examples).

Necessity

When high on utility and anxiety,
products and experiences become a necessity. They are useful on many
fronts of daily life, and with the ability to create enough anxiety to
make the waits worth it, this is where every company, manufacturer, and
experience maker wants to ultimately be. Apple often holds this enviable
spot, being a category creator for MP3 players and tablets alike. The
Macbook Pro (so frequently not called a laptop), with its
portability and ease of working ability, is by far a necessity. Other
laptops are substitutes in comparison, or perhaps a functionality.

Functionality

A functional product or experience is
one that is high on utility, thus incredibly useful in the objective it
fulfills, but low on anxiety. Marketers have often either not adequately
created the hype, or have not felt the need to create it at all. And
yet, if sales are high, then unaided awareness shows that the product is
truly a success. Showbiz underdogs and word-of-mouth movie hits like
Slumdog or Million Dollar Baby exemplify this. And of course, the
underhyped releases of laptops that still place Dell and Sony in
business sans inflated anxiety shows that functionality can be a
bread-and-butter winner for any corp.

Craving

Products and experiences that are so
high on anxiety with a low relative utility are a craving. Our urge to
watch cinema, for most, falls into the craving quadrant, unless of
course we are aspiring showbiz stars seeking inspiration. A craving is
the dream of modern day marketing, where with the use of public
relations and social media can enable the creation of hype to fulfill
the initial costs of investment. Thus, even though media showed a slump
in the Deathly Hallows penultimate theatrical revenue, the tremendous hype ensured record openings. iPads can fall into this category, as many have reviewed that they are not the best for what they cost. And yet the sales refuse to
plummet, as competitors come out with their own versions. My favorite
craving was from Spanish accessory and jewelry line Uno de 50 ‘ claiming to make only 50 pieces of any ensemble that was created. Scarcity indeed induces anxiety!

Support

Low on anxiety and low on utility? While
this lethal combination would make it sound like a company ought to
close shop, products and experiences here thrive on the fact that they
are a support to others. Often product complements, and sometimes even
substitutes, fall into the support category. A cool multi-functional
gadget (where the strangely shady advertising does not indicate the
longevity of the product), a cheaper tech gadget, an unhyped, marginally
ineffective but more economical smartphone would fall here. For even
the worst of smartphones still have a market! As would the series of tech accessories ‘ from
underperforming stylus pens to low budget unexpected hits  that garner
revenue nonetheless ‘ Snakes on a Plane, anyone?

Notes to take?

As a corporation,
try to always allocate marketing budgets wisely, bearing in mind what
position your product, experience, or consumer output is attempting to
take. Hype is a useful tool to generate anxiety in both your target
market and growth opportunity markets. The key is to learn how to
sustain the hype.

And consumers,
watch thy anxiety level! Always try to match it, or rather pre-empt it,
with utility. The ‘do I really need this’ clich?? never fails, albeit is
often forgotten or found to be duller than a ‘I want it!’ urge.
Emotional drivers are always challenging to manage, as discovered in a
study of emotional decision making. As always, things are easier said than done.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at
s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on
@sssourabh.

Cluster analysis for segmentation

Segmentation is key to successful marketing. Mineful looks at the importance of segmentation, and how it should put you in touch with your customers. After dividing up segments, each ones should be: measurable, relevant, accessible, distinguishable and feasible. When using cluster analysis is used, some of the parameters include:

  • Behavioral parameters
  • Attitudinal parameters
  • Psychographic variables
  • Demographic data

Read the full article here.

Could segmentation lead to stereotyping?

Caleb Hannan of Seattle Weekly recently wrote a piece that questioned whether or not Starbucks was write in sponsoring Nascar. Was Nascar the right choice for them? Did Nascar fans drink coffee? Read the article here.

He does bring up an interesting point. Does your company seek out customers in places that might not be typical? While we see certain customers frequenting Starbucks and other frequenting races on the weekend, could there be an unexplored market you haven’t yet tapped yet? What are other examples of companies reaching out to markets that aren’t typically suited for them, but have found success.

As the article points out, racing fans are some of the most loyal customers in the industry. What does Starbucks have to loose from reaching out and investigating a new market? They’re both potentially letting new customers know about their brand and showing returning customers that they’re a diverse brand.

Public library looks at segmentation

The Topeka and Shawnee Public Library System has segmented their market in order to better provide for the members of their different branches. By looking at the populations around the branches of their library, they’ve been able to get a sense of what they should carry at each library. For libraries surrounded by lots of elementary schools, they’ll have a larger children section, and for areas where lots of adults live, they’ll provide more best sellers, etc. Watch the webinar of their findings here.

Source: EIS Education Community