Customer segmentation and data-based marketing with customer personas and micro journeys

from | 28 February 2019 | Basics

Customer segmentation is one of the most important fields of application for data science in marketing. In this blog article, you will learn how customer personas and micro journeys can be used to create data-based marketing that generates real added value in companies.

If you sell a product to your customers and sell it via Social media If you want to advertise, you have an almost infinite number of ways and means at your disposal today. But which of them are really important for you and how do you use them successfully? To answer these crucial questions data-based to answer these questions, methods such as the Customer segmentation available.

Customer segmentation answers important questions such as:

  • How does my Target group I would like to address?
  • How do I address these target groups in order to achieve the greatest possible Resonance to achieve?
  • Which Expectations do my customers have of my company as a brand?

Link tip: Read also our blog article on the topic "Next-Best-Action-Marketing" to give their marketing strategy a turbo boost.

Customer segmentation focuses on the individual needs and ideas of customers

The central problem in choosing the best marketing and sales strategy is that the Customer wishes and the Performancesthat are associated with a product are in part very different. Nevertheless, the aim is to many customers as possible as individual addressed as possible.

A helpful tool in this situation are Customer Personas, or in other words: The Customer segmentation. These receive particular attention in times when "Micro-Moments and "Micro-Journeys" increasingly important, are of decisive importance.


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Explained in an easy-to-understand way: the connection between mobile marketing and micro-moments.

The right moment decides when customers need to be addressed

In order to plan methods and strategies accurately, it is necessary, potential Customers to categorise. The time in which customers make their purchase decision is becoming shorter and shorter. This makes it all the more important for companies to provide the right information at the right moment.

With customer segmentation it is possible to address even larger customer groups as individually as possible. With Data Science customer segmentation can be done much more accurately and realistically. In other words, the key to customer segmentation are Data.

How customer or buyer personas work

A customer or buyer persona is first and foremost a fictional characters. These are invented for the purpose of getting a more accurate picture of one's potential customers. In the process, an attempt is made to find a good cross-section that can typical customers characterised. There are often several different personas because customers have different ideas and expectations of products or services.

In order to create such personas, no sophisticated technology was needed at the beginning of development - on the contrary: the persona concept arose precisely because software in the early days of computer history was not tailored to specific user groups.

Customer personas are the solution to a problem from software history

The development of the personas goes back to Alan Cooper a pioneer in the history of computers and programming, to whom the programming language Visual Basic goes back. Initially, the personas served to identify certain User groups of software a user interface specifically tailored to them. After Cooper published a book on this method, the concept began to gain acceptance in other areas as well.

Especially in the Marketing The persona concept is used to carry out a customer segmentation and to assign each customer segment a perfect match. Customer Journey to guarantee the success of the project. This can be achieved, for example, by providing appropriate content.

Technology became the driver for the development of customer segmentation

Customer segmentation originated as a reaction to new technologies and an attempt to improve the way they were used. Today, new Technologies and Data science methods in turn drive the development of customer segmentation.

Buyer Personas no longer have to be based on mere assumptions. Rather, by analysing social media data, customer data and click behaviour, a new basis can be created on which to build customer personas. As a result, a user can be identified on the basis of his or her behaviour on a Home or landing page be assigned to a specific customer segment. Based on a few parameters, customers can be effectively categorised and evaluated:

  • Does the customer look at a product only once or many times?
  • Which payment method does he choose?
  • What information does he give about himself and what information does he not give?

On the basis of this customer segmentation, both the Pricing as well as conclusions about future behaviour, so that, for example, individual suitable offers can be created (Up-selling, Cross-selling). Also Big DataAnalytics can be used to better understand customers and improve the customer approach.

Micro-journeys as a promising variant of the customer journey

The Customer segmentation will be of increasing importance, especially in the mobile age. Since access to the internet today is mainly mobile decisions are made by customers in ever shorter time, very spontaneously and on the basis of emotions.

The Customer Journeywhich was long assumed to have a long, long life. Touchpoints customer journey, is increasingly focused on the customer's a brief moment. One touch of the smartphone is all it takes to find the best price, order a product or find the nearest local shop.

These so-called Micro-Journeys will play an increasingly important role in the future. The crucial question that companies have to ask themselves: What can we do to make these short relationships between customers and companies more effective? as optimal as possible to design? Customer segmentation is a crucial means of ensuring that even with short customer journeys an individually appropriate address guarantee.

Micro-journey using the example of the insurance industry

Insurance is a product category that clearly demonstrates this change. More and more often, insurance policies are taken out "en passant". While a certain product is ordered online, a suitable insurance policy can be taken out directly with it.

This applies, for example, to insurance policies for smartphones themselves, which are readily booked in addition to the devices, even if other, already existing policies also cover the technical devices. The study by TNS Infratest "Mobile Path to Purchase" showed that over 50% of motorists now also buy their car insurance via smartphone.

Today, customers inform themselves online, even if they then shop offline - companies have to react to this

However, the experience customers have online is becoming increasingly important even for policies taken out offline. In this context, one speaks of the "ROPO effect (for: "Research Online, Purchase Offline"). This means: insurance customers largely first inform themselves on the internet about Insurance products and possible Alternativesbefore they sign a contract with the estate agent.

Insurance companies have to adapt to these new realities and for each customer, they must the appropriate online content provide. In addition, there are many other use cases for data science in the insurance industry, such as Telematics tariffs.

The advantages of customer segmentation in marketing

Customer segmentation, especially when it is possible thanks to the Data-based analyses based on customer data, opens up a whole range of benefits for companies. In addition to customised offers, a better content strategy and optimised risk assessment, customer segmentation as a whole promotes an Market-oriented corporate positioning.

By producing more knowledge about potential and existing customers, businesses can better identify and respond to needs. By categorising customers into different segments, entrepreneurs can focus on a Communication mix which does not lead to arbitrariness, but to a better Differentiation to the field of applicants contributes.

Customer segmentation thus helps companies to Securing competitive advantages and thus represents an important building block of a strategy for the digital age.


Michaela Tiedemann

Michaela Tiedemann has been part of the Alexander Thamm GmbH team since the early start-up days. She has actively shaped the development from a fast-moving, spontaneous start-up to a successful company. With the founding of her own family, a whole new chapter began for Michaela Tiedemann at the same time. Hanging up her job, however, was out of the question for the new mother. Instead, she developed a strategy to reconcile her job as Chief Marketing Officer with her role as a mother.

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