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The latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

To Segment or Not to Segment: We Weigh the Pros and Cons

When is segmentation a smart approach for marketers? When is it not the best way to go? Like Hamlet debating his fate, marketing chiefs have to decide whether to segment or not to segment.

There are pros and cons to segmentation:

PROS

• Helps focus your marketing efforts 

• Lets you set more specific and measurable goals

• Creates different, more suitable content for each segment

• Crafts more specific calls to action for each segment

• Can move prospects through the sales process faster and more efficiently

CONS

• Can be expensive. It takes research to survey customers and define segments, and surveys can cost many thousands of dollars.

• Time-consuming. Market segmentation entails developing customer profiles and personas from the research data, and that takes time away from potentially more pressing tasks.

• Can miss important customers. A significant consumer segment may fall through the cracks. The Houston Chronicle gives the example of a small cereal company that markets its sweeter products during cartoons or kids' programs, forgetting that lots of adults also love sweet cereals for breakfasts and snacks. “The failure to target secondary consumers may cause a small company to lose significant sales,” the paper reports.

If you misread the desires of a target segment, it can cause consumer backlash, says the Content Marketing Institute.

Segmentation is a key aspect of marketing automation. Get started thinking about marketing automation with this report that dispels some of the common myths of marketing automation.

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