Customer Segmentation of “1” In Conflict With Organizations
Social media and our funky new analytical tools are leading us to customer segmentations of ‘1’. What I mean by that is that marketers (digital ones mostly) can pinpoint and track a single person (maybe you downloaded a white paper) — sending that person specific marketing materials based on their actions (or magic marketing for short).
But there’s a conflict with this heightened segmentation and the efficiencies of an organization. It’s not efficient (yet!) to produce a specific white paper or marketing asset for one person. Nope. Instead it’s much more efficient to write a white paper for groups of people who, for example, all like blue jelly beans (the blue jelly bean segment). Maybe the white paper is on the nutritional benefits of blue dye.
I was reading a good journal article tonight on how organizational function, subjective views of managers and business background all affect the type of research segmentation (and therefore, MARKETING) that a business runs.
So there’s a conflict. The airline manager wants a segmentation study matched to business travelers and economy travelers. But Joe Blogs, wants a bit of business class (extra legroom) and a bit of economy class (he doesn’t need to check a bag).
In this day and day, it’s possible to market to Joe Blogs because of the sophisticated digital tracking tools out there. But it’s not efficient (yet!) to build a marketing campaign asset solely around Joe Blogs (unless there are a lot of Job Blogs out there - but in this example, there are not). Instead, the manager wants to go with the commonalities of people who will consider flying economy - which is a group of travelers that the airline created to match their business. And so he produces an ad for that large group.
It’s close enough, isn’t it?!
But that large group isn’t Joe Blogs - so even though we have the power to track, research and analyze down to the individual … that ability is in conflict with the economies of scale of mass-marketing and organizational business groups.
Hmmm. What to do?