Taylor Swift, Danzig and the Art of Segmentation

I talked with the wrong person.

Have you ever found the perfect moment to drop a movie reference – except no one in the crowd high-fives you because none of them have any idea what you’re talking about?

What about mentioning a topic important to you during a business meeting, expecting an excited validation or interested rebuttal– only to see the look of “meh” cross the other person’s face?

That’s not the best use of anyone’s time (and sometimes it’s just plain embarrassing). However, there is a way to avoid it.

Speaking with the right person by targeting demographics, behavioral preferences, interests or product usage makes the conversation more beneficial for all parties involved.

Danzig buys kitty litterWould Taylor Swift’s camp want to advertise to Lil Jon fans or fans of Danzig?

Look at the Facebook advertising or the recently discussed “filter bubbles” at TEDx.

Targeting and understanding what people “Like” will very likely get your message to the right crowd based on how they’ve previously behaved online. There’s no sense in advertising Taylor Swift’s fan page or album to fans of Lil Jon.

Similarly, why ask non-Smartphone users about how they respond to a new app idea? It’s not the best use of money and resources, simply because the product is not targeted for them.

In consumer insights business, you could speak with random folks about your product or service and not learn much. Net result, maybe someone who could use your product/service learns about it and you learn that you’re not speaking with the right person.

Now, if you could quickly target someone – say your consumer audience – and pull someone in for a conversation based on purchase frequency, preference for brand or whatever you needed to talk to them about, you could glean a lot.

Likewise, adjusting factors like household income, age, and ethnicity can give you access to different segments so that you may get a better all-around understanding of how people react to your concepts, ads, packages, websites, etc.

Altering your segments — seeing if 18-24 year olds feel the same or intend to purchase the same as 32-44 year olds – can help a business learn if what they’re selling or advertising will work across various segments of their target market, leading to a successful campaign.

So if you’re talking about an advertising campaign or messaging that doesn’t resonate with the right audience or launch a re-branding effort that fails, you can lose a lot. Business, consumers, revenue take a hit an ensuring that you’ll get the feedback you could have heard if you had originally talked to the right people.