Market Segmentation in 2022 … Now What? 🧐

Here we are again—2022, but perhaps with a little less optimism and a lot more hope? Another fresh start in front of us, as marketers, as brands, as customers and citizens, we are given an opportunity— Yes, it’s exciting, but what now?

Many of us are ready to put that strategy together but are still dealing with uncertainty every day. In some cases, we look to the recent past for guidance, as things have changed dramatically, and they continue to change— rapidly!

For example, how do we know who to target if we want to launch a new product in 2022?

Since 2020 it’s hard to fully depend on our existing market segmentation reports because it feels as if so much has changed. This includes the way people shop, live, eat, travel, and who they spend money with.

As brands, we must refine our segments, or at the very least, seek confirmation of the old segments to help us understand how these behaviours hold up.

Here are some common segmentation questions we hear:

  • How will my market segmentation hold up?
  • Will my current breakdown of my customers still be relevant?

Without question, the pandemic has a significant impact on people’s lifestyles and their mindsets and also their priorities. But, as we continue to cope with changing government mandates, lessening of restrictions, and returning to a “normal,” it’s anyone’s guess what we’ll have to adapt next as consumers. Meaning the way we used to act or think could have shifted, and what was previously necessary to us may have become less so.

Getting a Pulse On Your Current Segmentation

Getting a pulse on your current segmentation is critical to regaining trust in your strategy and focusing on the key indicators that define how it may have changed. It’s better to know now if your segments are no longer relevant than to find out after spending thousands on a new product launch that it missed the mark, or worse, missed the opportunity to target the ideal customer.

The key is not to disregard your existing segmentation as ineffective but rather to view it as a baseline. In other words, a peek into where we’ve been and where we might want to go. Perhaps existing segments may still be relevant. Still, your consumer outlook on how they want to be reached has shifted drastically, such as the rise in the use of TikTok during the pandemic. Our Syndicated Research Study, The Insightrix Media Usage Report: Answering Your Advertising Questions shows that in 2021, TikTok became one of the fastest-rising social media platforms in Saskatchewan.

In this case, it might be helpful to re-run the same segmentation with the same methodology to see what’s changed and validate that where we are focusing our strategy and spending is where we should be.

Assurance in our data and decisions

Since the size of each segment has shifted, our priority customer group may be less relevant when it comes to the dollars we want to spend on marketing, or perhaps this group is more prominent now.

Suppose we already anticipate changes or the re-run of our existing segmentation highlights considerable new information. In that case, it may be time to reevaluate our methodology, develop a new set of statements, and ultimately redefine our customer base.

Here are some key questions to ask when deciding if your market segmentation is relevant:

Does my framework suddenly not “fit” with how society is being asked to live its lives?
For example, is your primary segment based on how many hours one spent commuting to work or attending outdoor concerts/events?

Is there a decrease or increase in a particular segment over time?
For example, does your traditional tracking study indicate that more males aged 34-45 are interested in your brand, and were these demographics previously in a secondary or tertiary segment where you did not spend key market dollars? This may indicate that your primary segment has shifted. If you need help in looking at your tracking data to identify some of these key changes, we are happy to help! 😄

*Has there been a significant change to the marketplace you used to ‘play’ in?
For example, were your goods/products primarily purchased face-to-face before Covid-19? Are your customers now seeking alternative ways to buy the same product, expanding the competitive landscape in which you used to play?

*Note* This may not mean your segmentation is irrelevant, and certain things like purchasing behaviour can easily be verified using other methods by running a quick pulse study with a primary segment.

If you answered yes to any of the first three questions, it might be time to dig a little deeper into your existing segmentation and evaluate its relevance.

Reviewing segmentation typing tools to help answer the following two key questions:

  1. Do any of the current statements in the typing tool represent certain behaviours that your target audience cannot engage in right now but are likely to resume later?
  2. Are any of the current statements insensitive to the current environment?

Perhaps the segmentation is still relevant, but at the very least, the target segments you have been working with are likely to have shifted. Consider conducting a profiling survey to help redefine the size of these segments.

Right now, we’re all in a world of flux. Things are changing, and if the last two years have taught us anything, we need to adapt quickly.

To discuss segmentation and profiling more, please contact Insightrix Research at info@insightrix.com.