3 Steps to Get Deeper into your Customer Segments

One common challenge our clients have is how to get deeper into their existing segments. They may have lots of data and segmentation studies, but they need new ways to understand and dimensionalize consumers and act upon that. We call this process micro marketing.

General Mills CMO Mark Addicks really says it best:

“to go back to the original definition of marketing, which really wasn’t just advertising. It was really about finding markets, defining them, developing a brand that could deliver something differential and superior for them.”
– Mark Addicks in AdAge

#1 – Start with data from consumer communities segmented on their interests

With the right data and tools, this type of exploration can be done. LRWMotiveQuest segments our data into communities of shared interests, which then allows us to dive in with our tools for deeper analysis. A segment that interests many is moms; specifically, let’s start to dig into the world of mothers of young children. We’re going to dive into data representing nearly 300,000 mothers with over 7M posts from January 5th to March 29th 2014 (dates chosen to provide full weeks within Q1 2014).

#2 – Use tools to sift from the obvious topics to dig beneath the surface

ThemeStream is one of the many tools in LRWMotiveQuest’s software suite, used by our strategists in developing reports for our clients, and it applies exponential scaling to highlight the dynamic changes in the topics of conversation. On first glance, the data is interesting in showing how conversation about months of the year increases at appropriate times due to new communities of expectant mothers forming around the month of expected delivery dates. In addition, we can understand the top topics of conversation around babies and related but obvious topics in this segment.

Digging deeper, we’re going to remove all the words associated typically with pregnancy and early childhood parenting and see what’s left.

Woah! The one day a year where new moms turn the focus back to themselves. Also peaking at the same time to a lesser extent: cake, wine, chocolate and dinner. Apparently the stereotypical Valentine’s Day is just what new moms want to have.

If we want to look even deeper, by removing the holidays can give a little more resolution on what’s left.

Now we’ve gotten below the surface and are starting to see some more interesting topics emerge. Not that understanding the content of millions of posts isn’t interesting, but the findings so far are not very surprising.

The February snow storms were a big topic, we also see the three biggest brands in this group emerge: Google, Facebook and Target. Finally, the interests, passions and concerns beyond parenting & pregnancy emerge. These are key areas for brands to capitalize on, namely: money, insurance, cars.

#3 – Identify key opportunities for your brand to capitalize on

Based on a better understanding of the target segment, we can identify ways that a brand can capitalize on this knowledge.

How can your banking brand tie itself to moms’ money conversations? What is your automotive brand doing to capitalize on the car conversation taking place? Can you create some simple YouTube videos about how to choose a car for your new family and seed that through social programs? What about insurance? A lot of the energy is on health insurance, as for many healthy adults this will be their first experience with large medical bills (yearly deductible, max out of pocket, I certainly never read those terms with any understanding in my 20’s). How can health insurers innovate to ensure that this critical first big experience is a positive one and build brand loyalty?