CX improvements using product-centric segmentation are likely to fail. Experiential segmentation provides the bridge, argues Tony Mohr
Have you ever paused and thought about how your organization thinks about its customers? There’s a high likelihood that your company’s segmentation model is your biggest obstacle to your CX initiatives— but if you’re like lots of other B2B marketers, you may not even realize it.
Historical segmentation models are great—for a product-centric world
Many organizations are using historical segmentation models meant for a product-centric world. There’s a significant tension at play; these organizations are trying to become more customer-centric and differentiate on the basis of CX, yet they’re using segmentation models based on top-down categorical frameworks like company size, industry vertical, job title or size of spend. Each of these frameworks may help organize and make sense of a
environment, but they fail in identifying a system of meaningful differences relevant to a
Top-down segmentation models do a lousy job of identifying different types of buyers and predicting differences in how buyers will behave within the buying environment. They also do a really poor job of helping anyone involved in the design of experiences—those in marketing, communications, product development and sales—develop empathy with other human beings who they’re seeking to engage and build affinity with.
Connecting with today’s buyers requires a new segmentation approach
Being successful in the experience economy calls for a new type of segmentation—experiential segmentation. This involves a rich appreciation for the context in which buyers conduct their buying journey and decisions, and is built on a deep understanding of customer motivations, goals and behaviors. Experiential segmentation is a strategic resource shared across Product, Marketing, Sales and Support functions with appropriate elements to help anyone involved in shaping the customer experience make more customer-centric choices and decisions.
Bottom line: if your company is using a product-centric segmentation model while trying to get better at creating relevant, emotionally-resonant, personalized experiences, you’re getting it wrong. It’s time to refresh your view of customers and put your organization in a better position to compete based on a customer-centric advantage.