Leveraging Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging

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Posted Jun 28, 2012
Susan Gunelius

Consumers are complex, but they're also consistent and predictable. That's a key finding in the new Bazaarvoice, Inc. report, The Conversation Index, and a reason why brands can no longer target consumers based only on traditional market segmentation. Today, brands also need to consider consumers' interest graphs, social graphs, and sentiment graphs. In other words, with access to more information, often directly from consumers thanks to the loud online conversation, creating market segments and messages targeted at those segments is more challenging than ever. However, brands that "get it" and "do it right" have a significant advantage.

The Conversation Index researches online consumer conversations so brands can improve loyalty, sales, and their products. According to the recent study, 82% of consumer opinions published online are positive. That means there are millions of online conversations happening about brands every day, and brands that are listening to those conversations can gather incredibly useful information about consumer opinions, needs, and language.

Furthermore, brands can zero in on words that their audiences are using and use the same words in branded conversations, content, ads, and so on. Speaking in your audience's language is an essential component of effective copywriting, and online conversations are a treasure trove of insights into learning "consumer speak" for a brand.

Taking conversation evaluation a step further, brands can identify the words that different audience segments use to discuss the brand, how they use the brand, what they want from the brand, trends, and more. When a brand combines these findings with segmentation research data, the best words and messages should stand out. Stay tuned to the AYTM blog for my upcoming series about market segmentation to learn more about this!

The Conversation Index also introduced what's being referred to as the "sentiment graph." Everyone is familiar with the social graph of Facebook and other social networking sites that show who individuals know and interact with. Thanks to Facebook and other social networking sites, brands can view consumer interest graphs as well by analyzing users' demographic profiles, their interests and "likes," and so on. The sentiment graph is described by Bazaarvoice as follows:

"The sentiment graph allows marketers to organize consumer-generated information to facilitate better buying decisions that activate purchase and loyalty. When consumers shop, they often look beyond overall rating to find the traits that meet their own specific needs. Listing oft-mentioned pros and cons alongside overall product ratings can help shoppers easily see specific language that speaks to their needs."

In other words, understanding how consumers feel about brands and their level of emotional involvement with brands is a critical part of market segmentation and developing the right marketing messages and overall marketing plan. The Conversation Index revealed that consumers take the time to give feedback about products, services, and brands -- even for every-day, low-cost items. As such, this is something that applies to every brand and in every market.

Bazaarvoice created an infographic that includes all of the highlights from The Conversation Index, which you can view below.

the conversation index infographic

Image: New Bazaarvoice Conversation Index Reveals Who's More Satisfied: Millennials, GenX, or Boomers [INFOGRAPHIC] via Bazaarvoice

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