Segmentation in Action

We love segmentation, but it’s sometimes hard to understand exactly why it’s so useful and powerful. There are a number of segmentation approaches and while they vary in terms of the particular variables that are available to define the segments as well as the scope of their application, they all aim to solve the same problem - How do we find people who are similar to other people?

Depending upon the methodological approach selected, segmentation can provide a variety of insights, including customer needs, attitudes and behaviors. Most often we’re using segmentation to help clients find customers who are similar to their current customers or assessing the opportunity certain types of people represent to the business to make strategic decisions regarding who to target. It’s a tool that our brand strategists use often and our research team is skilled in.

The team at FiveThirtyEight.com came up with a novel segmentation that is probably not super useful for many clients, but does give a good sense of how segmentation can work.

Using stats from the NBA in 1996 and today, they aimed to find the best modern equivalents for the stars of the classic Looney Tunes basketball film Space Jam. While finding corresponding basketball stars isn’t how we typically talk about segmentation. This works and makes for a fun video.

We usually say that segmentation provides a data-driven means of understanding and targeting the various groups of customers your organization or the category serves. It identifies these homogenous groups of consumers, each of which shares a core set of attributes that are both distinct from other groups and actionable from a messaging, marketing or media perspective. Without segmentation, organizations are at risk of a one-size-fits-all approach to strategy, which can result in inefficient marketing and media investments.

In the Space Jam case, this data segments the NBA to insure aliens steal the talents of the right set of players to save the Looney Tunes.