If you’re marketing within the financial services sector, you probably know by now how difficult and frustrating it can be to get the market to respond to your promotional efforts. How do you stand out from the pack with a growing field of competitors, while trying to keep up with a dizzying array of evolving consumer trends and emerging technologies?
There is an answer; it’s called audience segmentation.
It’s essential that we realise that the rules of marketing to attract new customers or retain existing ones have changed. These days, if you are not having a direct marketing conversation with the people you are trying to reach, if you do not understand who your customers are, where you need to go to reach them, and what bothers or motivates them…then the chance of converting them is almost zero.
So, if you are feeling like your efforts are being ignored by your target market, chances are this is the biggest reason why. The fastest way to lose out on potential customers and fail in your digital marketing efforts is to misunderstand the very people you’re trying to attract.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at market segmentation. We’ll explain what it means and why it’s so important for financial services organisations to be using it as a guiding principle in their marketing strategy.
Before we get to the definition of audience segmentation, let’s learn a Golden Rule of marketing today:
Creating content meant to serve everyone will usually end up serving no one.
Indistinct, generic messaging will only push your customers away. Got it? Let’s move on…
Audience segmentation means dividing your market of potential and current customers into groups or segments based on a set of defining characteristics, such as product needs, location, job role and seniority. These segments can then be used to create a level of personalisation. Because you are only focused on a specific group of customers, you can tailor your marketing strategies and relevant communications to them. Along the way, you can collect data that can enhance the customer experience, improve your products or services, and even make your business’ operations more efficient.
Financial services brands need to define and understand their audience segments and then build a digital marketing plan specifically for them. You wouldn’t market an investment app for 20 somethings in the same way that you’d market an investment app for retirees.
Let’s take a look at an example to drive the point home. Say you have a financial product designed for middle-to-upper income Millennials. You do a little research and you discover that Millennials only want to do business with financial companies they trust. They are independent and like to research their options before making a purchasing decision, and they also want an easy, convenient banking experience.
Remember, trust comes from speaking the language of your target audience and building the digital experiences your customers want. So, in this case, you could build that trust by creating content that answers the questions many of them have or that helps them to do a financial-related activity better or more easily. Offering a simplified version of your app for free could be a good option here. Once you can prove that you can add value to their life, an up-sell to additional services or membership levels will be a lot easier.
When it comes to B2B sales, as you design your marketing plan, it is essential to understand who is making the decisions in the organisation. Will you need to target the owners, a marketing director, a CIO? You should also consider what factors will influence the purchasing decision. For example, are they looking for specific features, are they price-sensitive, do they want a lot of implementation support? Finally, you should be aware of how they go through the research and buying process. All of this will help you to create marketing campaigns that meet your business customers where they are.
In the end, segmentation marketing done right will help you to:
In short, the more you know about your target market, the more personalised your digital marketing activity can be. The more personalised your marketing campaigns, the greater the chance that people will actually engage with them, leading to more tangible and cost-effective results.
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