Every day I feel act like a detective. Not looking for a suspect in a crime, but rather information to explain what a business is doing. I speak with businesses every day about segmentation and targeting – uncovering what they are doing today and what they aspire to do, as well as gently suggesting what they could be doing to be more successful. I find this segmentation maturity model to be a great tool in those conversations.
In the first phase, operational reporting, we see many organizations today using report filters as segments, but they aren’t putting any of this information for into action. They claim to do segmentation but it really for reporting, not targeting. I’ve never seen a company make money from reports but I have seen plenty take action on the data to make money. Subtle, I know.
The crawl stage houses companies who are doing some targeting but typically doing simple segmentation to fuel this. They are likely only using one or two attributes or behaviors as the basis for their segment and conducting targeting in a single channel like email. These targeting efforts are ad-hoc or opportunistic as opposed to programatic and ongoing. Scalability and repeatability are even considered.
We find that 80% or more companies fall into these first two phases. Why? My crack detective skills have exposed that most companies don’t have the resources to be successful – personnel bandwidth, expertise, and tools. The people they have on staff are too busy or don’t have the right skill sets/experience to do effective segmentation and targeting. And most companies don’t have the right tools at their disposal.
Very few are in the advanced phases but we are seeing more interest and maturation. As companies move into the walk phase, they begin to leverage multiple criteria and behaviors from across time to drive ongoing targeting programs in multiple channels – typically on-site and email.
Only the most sophisticated companies are in the run phase today. They are leveraging behaviors and attributes from multiple channels as part of segmentation and using to drive multi-channel targeting execution. Its not easy but the payoff can be huge.
Based on this model, where do you think your organization fits? Where do you want to be in the next 6-12 months? And what are you doing to get from here to there?