A strong segmentation exercise is a significant investment in an organisation’s growth but can end up wasted all too easily and for a handful of easily avoidable reasons, according to an industry expert.

In a new piece for The WARC Guide to making segmentation work, Gill Edwards, Head of Segmentation & Activation, Kantar Analytics Practice, outlines the reasons why segmentation can fail to deliver.

The WARC Guide to Segmentation looks at how segmentation is evolving, as brands utilise new data sources, and how marketers in markets across the globe are deploying machine learning to identify meaningful audiences. Subscribers can read the full report here

“It can be challenging to create meaningful segmentations that deliver real value for the business,” Edwards writes. “This can be down to a combination of things, including a lack of consensus among different stakeholders, and ensuring a segmentation project has longevity and is able to evolve with your business.”

Three reasons why segmentations fail:

  1. Trying to please everyone without achieving consensus
    “A segmentation project that is designed for product development, strategy, communications, or media buying for example, cannot deliver everything. It is very hard to find a solution that meets everyone’s needs,” Edwards explains.

    “The challenge is that it is not always clear what the business wants to achieve, or perhaps it’s trying to do too many different things and keep too many people happy.”

  2. Not all segments are created equal
    “The ability to create dynamic multi-dimensional groups is vital; what makes people tick, and in what context. Attitudes and behaviour don’t always tally.” Many businesses suffer from rushing, not fully understanding what it already knows about its potential audience.

  3. Segmentations don’t evolve with the business
    “There are far too many segmentations that end up on the shelf having failed to live up to expectations.” Edwards then goes on to note how “one leading consumer goods brand recently discovered that its latest glossy and very expensive segmentation is too attitudinal and is unable to media activate against it!”

WARC subscribers can find out more about effective segmentation in an exclusive webinar with Gill Edwards on Thursday the 12th March, 15:00 GMT. Register here.

The WARC Guide is a compilation of fresh new research and expert guidance with WARC’s editorial teams in New York, London, Singapore and Shanghai pulling in the best new thinking globally. It also showcases the best on WARC - case studies, best practice and data sourced from across the platform.

Sourced from WARC