Danone, the French food giant, has made some major changes to the way it approaches segmentation and has seen significant uplifts in campaign metrics as a result.

Instead of the usual demographics, the company’s brands now think in terms of tribes, according to chief strategy and insights officer Elaine Rodrigo

Tribes are groups of people united by their passion points, she told the IIeX conference in Amsterdam this week.

“These are people with meaningful similarities, but also people that we can find online and offline,” Rodrigo said. (For more, read WARC’s report: Tales, trends and tribes: how Danone makes sense of data.)

“It’s a combination … of the data and the human,” she continued, “but in this case, starting with data – a data-driven approach to actually understand your people segments.”

That means looking at audience data, “working in this case, with Google and Facebook, and our media agencies, and our digital and media colleagues”.

Then, having identified who these tribes might be, the next step is to “live your tribes” – marketers spending time with people, getting up close and personal.

“I call it bringing down the glass wall between us,” said Rodrigo. “We're encouraging our marketers to do this more and more.”

In the UK, water brand Volvic identified 16 tribes, and for each of them was able to come up with a short-form bumper ad on YouTube, each communicating ‘your own personal volcano’.

Very short-form – “blink and you’d miss it”, Rodrigo admitted – but also very effective. “It gave us a 40% lift in ad recall,” she reported.

There is also a useful learning process there as well. “You identify, you create content, you measure, but it's an iterative learning process which feeds back. And then you realize that some worked and some didn't.

“So then we know which of the tribes actually means something to your brand and you keep them, keep learning and going deeper.”

Sourced from WARC