Creative Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is one of the most tried and true methods of reaching your customers in meaningful ways. By targeting your advertising, communications, and messaging according to each customer’s known characteristics, you are far more likely to share information that is actually of interest to them, building a stronger, more trusting, and more productive relationship between you and your customers.

However, there is a tendency to just stick with the status quo when it comes to customer segmentation. Segmenting by age, location, gender, or previous purchases has its place, but many businesses could benefit from taking the opportunity to create more creative segments that are unique to their particular businesses. Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to take a good, hard look at who your customers really are and what sets them apart from the customers of other businesses. That type of analysis can lead to more effective segmenting practices that benefit you and your customers.

What’s Your Business?

When planning your customer segmentation, the first thing you should look at is what type of business you operate and how that affects the way you can categorize your customers. For example, a sporting goods store might not have much success with segmenting by age because they don’t carry any products that cater to a specific age demographic. Rather, finding out information about your customers’ sporting interests and segmenting them that way can be very effective. Those who have shown an interest in camping should be targeted with messaging on camping goods, runners should be offered deals on running equipment, and so on.

New Spin on an Old Classic : Customizing Previous Purchase Segmentation

Customer segmentation by previous purchases is something that is used a lot in online retail, where all purchases are tracked and often connected to an email address that promotions can be sent to. You’ll notice when browsing online that you will often be shown similar products or products that other customers bought, along with the one you are looking at. The principle behind this is great, but many companies don’t take it far enough. Simply showing a product with a similar description isn’t always good enough—you can go much further. Take, again, the example of a sporting goods retailer. It has already been established that you can market your customers’ items based on what sport they are interested in, but you can create broader or narrower segments as well. Consider grouping all wilderness sports together so those who are interested in rock climbing are also shown rafting or kayaking products. Or you can do the opposite and narrow things down further. Instead of lumping together all runners, create segments for runners who purchase often, indicating that they may be at a professional level, or winter runners. The combinations are endless, and you can keep adjusting them until you find segments that work.

Changing it Up

Once you find customer segmentation practices that work for you, keep in mind that they can change. Keep watching the market and buying habits to see how things change. Once you’re in the habit of customizing your customer segmentation, you will be prepared to adjust your segment to respond to the market, and that’s a win for both you and your customers.


Kelton, a market research firm in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London provides actionable strategic plans with a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies like brand tracking, customer journey mapping, market segmentation, copy testing, omnibus surveys and many more.



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