Mastering Precision Marketing Through Advanced Audience Segmentation

At its core, marketing audience segmentation is about harnessing data to divide your audience into distinct subgroups with shared characteristics, enabling you to deliver tailored marketing strategies. In one of our previous blogs, we discussed various types of audience segmentation with examples of each. This blog delves deep into the concept of marketing audience segmentation, exploring advanced techniques, benefits, and implementation methods that can propel your marketing to the next level of sophistication and effectiveness. 

In a survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), participants were asked about the impact of analytics on audience targeting and segmentation. A noteworthy 78% indicated a significant improvement in their performance and efficiency. This serves as a compelling illustration of the positive outcomes achievable through smarter segmentation.  Below is the report snapshot from eMarketer:


Understanding Audience Segmentation

Before we explore the imperative of audience segmentation, it’s essential to understand what it entails. Audience segmentation involves dividing a broader target market into smaller, more specific groups based on shared characteristics or behaviors. These segmented groups are often referred to as “buyer personas” or “customer segments.” Marketers use these segments to tailor their marketing efforts, ensuring that their messages, offers, and content resonate with each group’s unique needs and preferences.

The Need for Audience Segmentation

  1. Personalization is Paramount: In the age of digital marketing, personalization has emerged as the holy grail of customer engagement. Consumers are inundated with marketing messages daily, and generic one-size-fits-all approaches no longer cut it. Audience segmentation enables businesses to deliver highly personalized content, making customers feel like they’re being spoken to directly.
  2. Enhanced Relevance and Engagement: By dividing your audience into distinct segments, you can create marketing campaigns that are laser-focused on addressing the specific needs and pain points of each group. The result is increased relevance, leading to higher engagement rates.
  3. Efficient Resource Allocation: Marketing budgets are finite, and wasting resources on broad, untargeted campaigns is counterproductive. Segmentation allows you to allocate your budget more efficiently, ensuring that you invest where it matters most, maximizing your ROI.
  4. Improved Conversion Rates: Targeted marketing messages not only grab the audience’s attention but also drive them to take the desired action. This translates into improved conversion rates and ultimately, higher revenue.
  5. Better Product Development: Understanding the unique needs and preferences of different audience segments is like having a treasure trove of market insights. These insights can inform product or service development, ensuring that what you offer aligns perfectly with what your customers want.
  6. Customer Retention: It’s not just about attracting new customers; it’s about keeping existing ones engaged and loyal. Segmenting your audience allows you to maintain relationships by delivering ongoing value tailored to evolving needs.
  7. Competitive Advantage: Audience segmentation is not just a strategy but a source of competitive advantage. By identifying niche markets or unmet needs that competitors may overlook, you can carve out a unique position in your industry.

Implementing Smart Segmentation:

One of the most important aspects of successfully engaging with the target audience is to reach out to them at the right time and deliver the right message. AI makes this task much easier by analyzing historical data and behavior patterns to predict the best times for engagement with Engage Time Optimization. For example, by examining when customers are most active on a website or social media platform, AI can recommend optimal engagement windows. Messages can also be auto-triggered based on key events or milestones defined by marketers. This helps in maximizing engagement and the likelihood of the content being consumed by the audience at the right time. AI also helps save time, effort, and resources with Channel Engagement Scores that determine the right choice of channels for a specific audience. These scores are calculated by factoring in past purchases, time spent, page views, conversion rate, channel frequency, etc. With these scores as references, marketers can deepen engagement with their audiences by choosing the channel that is likely to drive the most impact.

Building Precise Segments

Precision is critical when it comes to segmenting your audience into subgroups. A higher level of precision increases the probability of your marketing message being delivered and consumed by the right audience. The power of AI and automation can be easily harnessed to accomplish this. For instance, with the Blueshift platform, you could create segments based on customers’ likelihood to perform a desired action. Marketers can also define segments-based site activity, affinities, transaction history, and other custom data attributes to make the segments more refined. The platform’s AI capabilities continuously update segments in real time and adapt to customer data without impacting storage or speed.

Leveraging Predictive Segmentation

You can make your segments more intelligent by adding a ‘predictive’ layer to them. Blueshift’s predictive segmentation empowers you to identify your customer’s likelihood to engage, purchase, churn, and more. The platform allows you to:

  • Use predictive scores to rank each customer based on their likelihood to perform a desired action.
  • Interact with every customer based on dynamically updated predictive scores and segments.
  • Measure the impact of predictive scores against actual results to ensure the AI is driving your desired outcomes.

But what exactly are these ‘Predictive Scores’?  In simple terms, predictive scores are a measure of each customer’s likelihood to perform a business goal or action. For example, each customer might get a score from 0 to 100, with higher probabilities translating to a higher chance of performing the desired goal. 

Now, let’s look at how one of our customers has used predictive scoring to achieve their marketing goals. 

Slickdeals is the leading and most trusted online community dedicated to sharing, rating, and reviewing deals and coupons. In a recent webinar, Kristina Paulos, Director of CRM Marketing at Slickdeals, shared how they use AI and predictive insights to drive meaningful engagement, retain users, and grow loyalty. A key example of how the team at Slickdeals utilizes predictive segmentation is to determine the frequency and cadence at which they engage with their customers. Using predictive scores, the team can measure and classify their users based on various engagement levels, ranging from the lowest to the highest.

So what does that look like in practice? Take Slickdeals’ ‘deals newsletter’, for example. Users with the highest activity receive the deals newsletter seven days a week. Conversely, for users with the lowest activity, Slickdeals strategically scales back the frequency to once a week. Here’s a glimpse into their strategy:

  • Lowest Activity → 1x weekly
  • Low Activity → 2x weekly
  • Moderate Activity → 3x weekly
  • Frequent Activity → 5x weekly
  • High Activity → 7x per weekly 

By leveraging predictive scores, Slickdeals effectively sends tailored messages at the right frequency for each unique user. By adapting their sending cadences and delivering messages based on engagement, Slickdeals saw an 80% lift in engagement levels and a 20% decrease in user churn. Additionally, the team uses ‘Engagement Time Optimization’ to determine the best time to send each message and channel engagement scores to identify the most effective channel. “We’ve seen a lot of improvements with Engagement Time Optimization specifically. We observed a 26% increase in the improvement in engagement rates when we optimized for the opening click probability, and a 32% increase went to my team for the push click-through rate,” shared Kristina. To learn how Slickdeals have been partnering with Blueshift and to explore their success story, watch this on-demand webinar

As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, audience segmentation remains a fundamental strategy for staying ahead of the competition and building lasting relationships with customers. To learn more about how Blueshift can help you with segmentation, targeting, and more, book a conversation with us and we would be happy to answer any questions.