This article is part of a series of articles from the WARC Guide to Segmentation. Read more.

We need to simplify everything we do. But not how we understand people.

Our time with IKEA shows that segmentation can’t become a shortcut for better understanding consumers. Technology and data are just enablers, with strategists – and in our case – interior designers, as the true custodians of audience knowledge. Segmentation is just the jumping off point for adding depth and breadth to the portrait of life at home.

This segmentation has fuelled a programme of communications that is now six years old and counting. One that has delivered over £800m in incremental revenue at a return of 7:1 and grown the number of shoppers by 540,000 households.

What we’ve learnt

  1. Bind your segmentation to your strategic goals
  2. Use it to reach more people, not less
  3. Segmentation should be less about a moment in time, but an evolving portrait
  4. Look for similarities, not differences – plan horizontally, not vertically
  5. Be curious – continually deepen your understanding of human behaviour
  6. Quantitative data gets you to two-dimensions, not always three
  7. Tech and data are enablers. People are drivers.

IKEA are curious people