How you can harness insights from customer data and apply it to the heart of what you do

Knowing who your customers are goes so much further than just being able to identify whether they are young suburban families or city-living professionals or rural empty nesters, or even all of the above. Once you know exactly who your customers are it opens up new avenues of insight that can help you understand what matters to them, what drives their purchase decision making, what marketing messages will resonate with them, and ultimately where best to seed those messages to ensure your media budgets are being spent as efficiently as possible.

Nothing is more valuable than your own customer data. Through off-the-shelf geodemographic segmentations such as Experian’s Mosaic or CACI’s Acorn you can profile your customer data-based solely on their address to provide you with a rich analysis of who they are.

What is a geodemographic segmentation?

Geodemographics is a portmanteau of geography and demographics, the building blocks of these segmentations. Built from millions of different data points that are combined with the latest census data, geodemographic segmentations marry where people live (i.e. urban, suburban or rural settings) and what life stage they are in with behavioural insights, to cluster the population into separate and distinct subsets.

Think ‘birds of a feather’, with people in the same subset tending to behave in the same way and having shared needs and attitudes. On this basis, people in the same subset are also more likely to share media habits and respond similarly to your marketing message.

By profiling your customer data through this kind of segmentation, not only will you understand which subsets make up your customer base but what proportion of your customer base each subset accounts for, so you can more easily understand which ones are most important and which ones you might want to focus a bit more on in order to attract more of.

Making your segmentation work harder

If you are able to append additional data to each customer record it can further enrich your understanding of your customers. Profiling by spend data can reweight the importance of your subsets, i.e. a smaller subset may spend more than a larger one and is therefore not only more valuable but identifies them as a group you may want to attract more of. Or segmenting your customer data by product type to understand how the profile changes and whether you need to focus on different subsets depending on what you are marketing.

Combining your segmentation with other research resources to maximise its potential

Understanding who your customers are is only half the puzzle though. It’s just as important to understand which consumers you aren’t attracting that you maybe should be.

The application of segmentations such as Mosaic and Acorn are so widespread that they are available as a variable on some of the largest consumer surveys in the UK, such as TGI and YouGov, which include detailed questions across a broad range of product sectors and consumption of the brands therein.

Each survey respondent has their segmentation typology appended to their responses so that you can run a profile of all consumers in your product sector and then compare the survey results to the profile of your own customer data and see how you compare, and who you’re missing and should be targeting.

These consumer surveys can also help you understand what motivates your potential customer in their purchase decision making, what their barriers and motivations are, or what their mindset is, all of which can in turn help align your marketing messages to what will resonate with them best.

Last, but by no means least, understanding exactly who your customers are can better inform us on how to reach them as efficiently as possible with our media planning. Consumer surveys such as TGI, YouGov and IPA Touchpoints are regularly updated to ensure our understanding of media consumption habits are current so that we are making the right activation choices.

By employing and applying the insights harnessed from your customer data to the heart of what you will empower your marketing strategy.