20 year content strategy veteran, Sharon Burton. Sharon Burton consults about content strategy, content business issues, social media and managing post-sales customer experience issues.

Are you helping your customer segments?

Are you helping your customer segments?
Are you helping your customer segments?
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Customer segments are the definable differentiations in your customers. For example, your customers over or under XX number of dollars in size, or the number of Spanish speaking customers or really any other way your customer base can divide out.

Why is customer segmentation important?

Customer segmentation is getting more important to businesses as big data becomes more available. It allows us to better understand who our customers are, what they are doing, and what we can do to help them stay engaged with us. Engaged customers are worth more than non-engaged customers, in that their lifetime value (CLV) is higher.

Marketing groups typically use customer segments to direct marketing message. And this intuitively makes sense to us. It’s obvious that one size does not fit all messages because the problems facing a company with 20 employees are similar but different than a company with 2,000 employees. And if these companies are in different industries, they have very different challenges to solve.

Sales and sales leadership is also looking at customer segmentation to identify the best customers to focus on. They want to find the customers who are most likely to purchase more product. Again, this makes sense to us even if we know nothing about sales.

All this means that the C-levels in our companies are watching the customer segmentation closely, as it matters to the bottom line.

Are you supporting the customer segments?

What are you doing in the product instructions to meet the needs of the customer segments? Many Tech Comm groups are now using personas to help them identify who they are developing content for. And this is a great thing. Understanding the content needs of our users makes the product instructions more appropriate and more useful.

In my experience, though, personas are not accounting for customer segmentation. At best, there are 2 or 3 product-specific personas, typically based on roles available in the products. Which is a great start, don’t get me wrong. But it means generic product instructions for a generic client.

Is that meeting the needs of our customers?

With your company putting so much effort into identifying customer segments and their needs, perhaps it’s time for the product instructions to also focus on that.

Go talk to marketing or sales. Now.

Do you know what your customer segments are? Who is your company focused on selling to? What are the content needs of those customers? And what are you doing to meet those needs?

I strongly suggest you talk to your sales and marketing teams to find out what segments your company is focusing on. And then look at the product content you’re developing. Do they match? What would need to change to make it match more closely?

Our product instructions are a touchpoint in the total customer (segment) experience. If we’re missing the needs of the segment, we’re negatively impacting the customer experience. Which impacts the bottom line for our companies.

Your thoughts? Are you doing anything to meet your customer segment needs?

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By Sharon Burton

1 Comment

  1. Sharon, thanks for your thoughts. We have been using personas for a while to create content. We are now working with marketing departments of a couple of clients to distribute some of that content to the use segments.

    I would add that if no department in the company routinely distribute content to segments, it is hard to make the case. Product based personas are the easiest because this information is know. But to gather segmentation data and target content to that segment requires an additional level of stultification.

    If the company is there – yes, jump all over it.

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