“A segmentation won’t sell itself. Even if everyone agrees it’s desperately needed and the solution is robust and genuinely useful. People will quickly revert back to doing their usual jobs in their usual ways unless you make the change stick. To do this you’ll need support to change their behaviours. A rule of thumb is to allocate about 20% of total budget to socialising the segments.” Paul Carney, Managing Director

For change to be successful, it needs to be locally owned and delivered. Our approach focuses on communicating frequently, with tailored messages delivered through appropriate channels. We want to allow individuals to feel listened to as part of the approach and win hearts and minds.


Real-life example

We recently worked with a national Insurer on their segmentation programme. When we first introduced the segments, we asked the team using Miro (a virtual whiteboarding app) to link the segments to existing propositions or products currently in development. We then challenged the team to look at each proposition through the lens of the consumer segment.

This opened their eyes to how to communicate the proposition better, using consumer language, and also how the same proposition can be applied to different business areas. After this, we allowed the team the opportunity to develop new innovations using the segmentation materials. Had we done this step first (as many others often do) we would probably have been met with silence. Instead, we had a whole virtual whiteboard full of comments and new ideas.


The way that the segments are presented should focus on the needs they are looking for brands to fulfil, and the commercial potential that each segment has. We work with our partner company, STRAT7 CrowdDNA, and their design team, to create amazing videos using ethnos or even found footage on the internet, to bring the segments to life in ways that a PowerPoint presentation can only dream of. While there is still a need for detailed Pen Portraits of each segment these should rarely (if ever) be presented and instead used as workshop materials to help breakout groups bring their targets to life.

With your segments rolled out across the business, it’s important that you keep providing the teams with fresh news on the segments. Identify quick wins where the segments have been used (product launches, CRM campaigns, an uplift in ROI) and publicise these successes internally to generate momentum and appetite. It’s the quickest way to generate adoption.

Segments tend to become caricatures of themselves over time, so it’s important to refresh people’s understanding periodically, by adding and layering insights. People often say that a segmentation has a shelf life of 3-5 years, but that doesn’t mean you have a single dataset that gradually loses relevance over time. Ideally you should be updating your understanding of the segments throughout that time, in a whole range of ways.


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