The Basics of Segmentation

Segmenting your Audience…

When segmenting your audience it is important to note where they happen to fit in relation to the customer’s needs and also the customer’s persona. Let’s take for instance Panera Bread: it is part of the ‘fast-casual’ dining craze, yet it doesn’t really appear as ‘fast-food’ due to the healthy options they offer and the level of high quality product that they deliver to their customers. If we were to segment their audience into two email lists, I would go for ‘infrequent guests’ and ‘regular customers’. The infrequent guests are just that – individuals that we believe enjoy Panera Bread, but simply don’t eat there as much as we’d like. While the regular customers are your ‘regulars’ – they are proven to eat at Panera at least let’s say twice or three times a week. Due to this difference in customer behavior, the emails that we send to these segments will have different tones and message.

Shaping the right tone…

Shaping the right tone in our email correspondence will either help to strengthen or hinder the relationship that we are trying to form with the customer. In the case of our example of ‘infrequent guests’ and ‘regular customers’ the messaging and tone will be different due to their familiarity and loyalty to the Panera Bread brand. The tone for the emails directed towards the infrequent guests should have more of an inviting and welcoming tone; maybe spotlighting new meals or limited time offers that are ongoing at Panera Bread – as we are trying to drum up their interest and create brand familiarity. As for the ‘regular customers’, they already have that familiarity and closeness tied to the brand, so those emails should reflect that tone as if we are old friends trying to convince them to hangout and enjoy a great meal together; there is also the possibility for membership rewards or some type of discounts we could offer to ensure that they stay a valued and long-time customer. Tone is incredibly important when speaking to your audience segments, especially since customers are all in different stages of the customer relationship with your brand; never market to ‘everyone’ because not everyone has the same relationship with your brand. Allie Decker says it best, “By leading with a consumer-centric approach, you can be sure that every inch of your marketing is relevant to your audience — thus, increasing the likelihood that they convert, purchase, and become lifelong customers” (Decker, 2020).

Citation: Decker, A. (2020, October 29). The marketer’s guide to Segmentation, targeting, & Positioning. Retrieved April 14, 2021, from

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