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Segmentation Is the Key to Successful Consumer-Focused Product Strategy

Every salesperson and marketer knows products and services can't be sold to everyone. To market effectively, you have to identify the specific groups of people who will find your product or service to be most meaningful. Segmentation research can identify how people differ in their attitudes, needs and motivations so that your company can create an effective portfolio of brands and tailor marketing communications that appeal to different groups of people.

We believe that segmentation research must be purpose-built and unique for every product category and that the design and analysis requires an investigative and iterative approach. Whether your goal is to identify new growth opportunities, refine or expand your brand's target, or market more effectively, C+R has the expertise to deliver game-changing segmentation insights.

Segmentation Is Part of Our DNA.

C+R's experience with segmentation goes back decades when one of our founding partners, Stephen Turner, was among the first researchers to conceptualize and pioneer "occasion-based" segmentation. At the time, this was a major advance in segmentation methodology and recognized that people's attitudes, needs and behaviors are not fixed, but can vary depending on the situation. Since then, we've continued to perfect our segmentation methods and have developed innovative and powerful ways of analyzing occasion-based segmentation data.

For example, today we use a novel analytic framework called "need state fingerprinting" that provides a very detailed look into how well consumers' needs are met or unmet within individual need-state segments. Our highly-visualized fingerprinting analysis identifies specific need-gaps and uncovers opportunities that can be addressed with line extensions or new products in your brand portfolio. This is just one way that our depth of experience in segmentation can be a valuable asset for your company - helping you understand how your brand can compete more effectively and win more occasions.

Over the years, we have developed, executed, and analyzed hundreds of segmentation-based studies in all types of industries. From margarita-drinkers to business travelers, dog owners to avid crafters, and millennials to moms of preschoolers, we have broad experience to guide us - and you - on your next segmentation project.

A Collaborative, Hands-on Approach.

Many of our clients have raved about our segmentation studies after they are complete. That's because we believe in a process that has our clients actively involved in the research process. From initial project kick-off meetings to analytic work-sessions to face-to-face "get to know your segments" bootcamps at the end of projects, we help our clients immerse in, and deeply understand, their segmentation results. We ensure alignment throughout the duration of the project by maintaining an open & active dialogue and by scheduling multiple touch-points at key junctures during the research process. We understand that segmentation research is a big investment, and we encourage our clients to be active participants in the project so that they get exactly what they are looking for from the research.

Smart Research

We approach each new segmentation with a fresh perspective while also leveraging what we know has been successful in the past. Our goal is always the same: to provide you with great segmentation research that will uncover new growth opportunities for your brand. Some of our keys to successful segmentation research include:

  • Start the project right with an immersive and collaborative kick-off meeting where all stakeholders can share what they already know as well as what they wish to know by the end of the study.
  • It's not all quantitative. We know that in order to do a good segmentation survey that it is essential to understand consumers from their points of view. Therefore, we always recommend that qualitative research be conducted as a first step, so that the research team can understand consumers' experiences, wants and needs in consumers' own words. Not only does this help the research team to anticipate and hypothesize what sort of segments may exist, but also equips the team with consumer language that needs to be reflected in the segmentation survey.
  • Take the time to pre-test. Researchers and marketers are great at coming up with ideas and questions - and often in segmentation surveys, too many ideas and questions. A pre-test of the survey helps remove redundant and unnecessary measures and attributes, reduces survey length and enhances data quality.
  • Use scaling that differentiates. In many product categories, attitudes are not deeply held or don't differ wildly across products and brands. To gather analytically-useful data and generate meaningful insights, we leverage scaling techniques that help avoid "mushy" and vague segmentation results.
  • Iterative analysis. The analysis of segmentation data is very exploratory and investigative. Once we have data in hand, we plan for several hands-on work-sessions with the client team so that they become an active part of deciding which segmentation solution is best for their business. Plus, by analyzing the huge volume of data in manageable chunks, the learning process is enhanced and more effective.
  • Integrate external data. The survey itself is just part of the solution to "connect the dots" to insights and, eventually, marketing success. Whenever appropriate and feasible, we seek to integrate existing data - whether internal data that our clients maintain on their customers or external data sources - in order to develop a more holistic understanding of consumers in each segment and how to best target them.

Research Results Brought to Life

C+R is known for bringing segmentation results to life in novel and creative ways, giving our clients more than just results on a piece of paper. Whether by delivering creative displays, "sizzle" videos, roadmaps and infographics, or even introducing actual consumers as real life examples of each segment, we strive to make sure that our clients gain a clear and intimate understanding of their most important consumer targets. Brand managers who don't typically encounter real consumers who buy their products day to day can talk to people participating in our segmentation study to get a real sense of different segments' viewpoints. In the end, our goal is to deliver a "living, breathing" segmentation that you can embrace and activate throughout your organization.