The value of knowing your Market Segments

The Value of knowing your Market Segments

Marketing isn’t a simple activity. Successful digital marketing strategies don’t result from writing a random blog on your website or taking a photo with your phone on a whim and sitting back waiting for results. 

Understanding your audience is vital in all marketing activities. There’s a strategy and science involved in all marketing activities with the forefront being – Know you customers, what makes them tick and what they want.

Investigate the shared common characteristics of that buying group to communicate with them effectively.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) market segments are profiled by various demographics like geography, behaviour and psychographic traits. Here are a couple of examples of segmentation and persona development based on a hypothetical example of a local supermarket in a Qld suburb.


  • Male aged 30-45.
  • Career professional who works 50+ hours a week.
  • Father to 3 children with a wife who works part-time.
  • He is time poor with average disposable income. He’s focused on paying the mortgage, education and extracurricular activities for his children. 


  • Always have the stock. Marcus has no want to visit the local supermarket and calls in when he’s asked to do so by his wife. If you’re out of the basic supplies he’s looking for, he’ll likely visit your competitor in future.
  • Make the stock easy to find. The last thing Marcus wants to do is navigate aisles looking for what he’s been asked to pick up on the way home from work. 
  • Marcus is more likely to spend twice the cost on a loaf of bread at a service station than wander aimlessly through supermarket shelves trying to find a loaf of bread.


  • Marcus will most likely use self service checkouts because he likes control, speed and doesn’t want extra chit-chat from staff
  • If being served by a checkout operator Marcus doesn’t want to chat and prefers to just scan and pay.


  • Marcus takes direction regarding supermarket purchases from his wife. He doesn’t respond to promotional materials.
  • Marcus visits on instruction from his wife so market to her segment in order to entice him to purchase.
  • Keep any messages to this market segment short, direct and clear. 


  • Female aged 50+
  • Retiree
  • Lives with her retired husband and dedicated to helping care for her grandchildren
  • Has plenty of spare time and likes a bargain or two.


  • Esmay likes a bargain and is drawn to products showing discounts with significant savings. She’ll buy multiples of these for herself and to give to her children and grandchildren
  • Esmay is happy to slowly navigate the aisles looking for what’s on offer. Her household staples are consistent so frequent specials in these product categories will have her returning every week to see what’s on offer.


  • Esmay would rather be served by a person on a checkout than self service
  • She’s happy for chit chat about her week, what’s happening in the community, and any special deals coming up in the future
  • Esmay enjoys interaction and building a relationship with her ensures she’ll tell her children, neighbours and community groups about her experience at your supermarket


  • Print materials with upcoming offers and discounts
  • Personalised service with insight about what’s happening in the community and any specials deals coming up are beneficial.


  • Female aged 18-25
  • University student with a casual or part-time job
  • Limited budget
  • Susceptible to trends, fads and influencers


  • Affordable pre-prepared meals are the top of Julie’s list. She doesn’t want to spend her time preparing meals but she wants to keep up with her friends and fads like the most recent Keto diet.
  • Snacks, sugar and indulgences are a necessary every time Julie visits the supermarket and it’s a bonus if they’re on special.
  • Julie is susceptible to cheap impulse buys near the checkout.


  • Julie will use a self-checkout because she likes to be in control and would rather avoid unnecessary interactions with others
  • Julie is likely to impulse buy so checkout sale items will appeal to her


  • Julie is a heavy social media user but there’s plenty of noise you’re competing with. Develop a blog with basic and simple recipes based on the specials currently on offer and provide a free delivery service to her home or workplace.
  • Social media promotions need striking images with clear call to actions that serve the ego and acknowledge how time poor this ‘hard working’ group is.


  • Aged 6–10
  • Early primary school student susceptible to external influences


  • Bright packaging, treats and toys grab Mikey’s attention
  • He’ll wonder the supermarket at his mother’s whim so vastly displayed products will grab his attention as well as those close to the checkout


  • Mikey’s most likely to get what he wants if his parent is having an enjoyable shopping experience


  • Children are visually receptive. Bright displays featuring cartoon graphics and fonts draw their attention. While they aren’t the decision makers or purchasers, they certainly are influencers in purchase decisions.
  • Television or digital remarketing activities during children’s programs and digital platforms will have your products top-of-mind the next time Mikey visits your shop and wants to hassle Mum or Dad to purchase your product.

As you can see, profiling is a generalisation of market segments. The beauty with technology today is that you can investigate the data you collect for each market segment to make better and educated decisions in future.

For instance, a local supermarket may initiate special offers for each of the groups as follows:

  • Half price bread located near the self-serve checkouts (for Marcus). In-store promotion near self-service checkouts with signage on the stand that is near an entry point.
  • 40% off stewing steak in packaging of 1kg or more (for Esmay). Presented in a monthly brochure and direct remarketing via Facebook. The purchase receipt will give 40% off the same product in the next month.
  • Purchase a Netflix pack containing 1 bag of microwave popcorn, 1 bag of chips and 1 bottle of soft drink (for Julie). It’s promoted in-store and in Instagram ads with 10% of the proceeds going to a local homeless charity and Julie has the chance to visit the supermarket’s website to enter her details to receive a free Netflix snack pack next month.
  • Purchase a Caramelo Koala to receive a free Koala colouring sheet (Mikey). The best colouring-in submission will get a tour behind-the-scenes of a local veterinary hospital, 12 Caramelo Koala chocolates and 10% of every submission will be donated to a local Koala care charity.

After a month, it is apparent the most successful offer is Esmay’s closely followed by Mikey, then Julie and Marcus. The focus for the next quarter is offers appealing to Esmay. She likes a deal and these can be worked out within the business budget and her Word of Mouth referrals are helping grow the number of customers.

The campaign appealing to Mikey was successful too so it’ll be beneficial to approach suppliers to see if they’re willing to come on board to continue kid friendly initiatives like this moving forward.

Marcus is easy pleased so we just need to make sure his usual products are in stock and we never run out. We’ll also put a little more thought into initiatives appealing to Julie though this won’t take anywhere near the effort of the other campaigns because – while transactions increased, the profit margins weren’t near the levels of the other market segments. We’ll look at the data to introduce other market segments based on sales and online activity to develop initiatives we’ll trial for other segments we’ll target in future.

This is a basic example of targeted marketing. There’s many more facets that result in success but this shows how marketers work and strategise behind-the-scenes to serve the marketplace. It really isn’t as simple as writing a random blog or uploading a cute photo you took with your phone. There’s a science involved and a willingness to be responsive to what your customers want and need.

If you want to be successful and outperform your competitors you need help from an experienced marketer and I’m available to help. I have a special offer for Marketing Planning as I launch my consultancy business and I’m passionate about helping local businesses grow. Visit this link and fill out my form for a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss how I can help your future success.

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