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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 must 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 conducting and analyzing segmentation data.

360-Degree Segmentation: A Smarter Approach: Marrying Behavior and Attitudes

Over the years, we've adapted and innovated our approach to doing segmentation. And in just the past year, we've made a significant investment and advancement in how we do segmentation for FMCG categories through our partnership with InfoScout

 This new approach is called "360-Degree Segmentation":

  1. We start with purchase behavior -- Using robust purchase data that has already been collected through receipt-capture, we examine the category of interest for obvious purchase patterns.  From this data, we create a set of behavioral segments that are meaningfully different in the way that consumers buy the category.  Then we dig deeper, using this segmentation framework as a lens, leveraging additional data that is available to us through the same consumer panel. 
  2. Then we field a survey that focuses on collecting attitudinal data from the same consumers for whom we already know their purchase behavior -- the same panelists that we used for our first-step analysis.  And this is the key to our 360-Degree Segmentation approach:  we already know what consumers are buying, when, how much and from where.  We simply use the survey to add attitude measures: category and brand perceptions, motivations, barriers, priorities and lifestyle characteristics. 

The Result:  A powerful dataset that includes accurate behaviors from consumers' grocery receipts + attitudes from a survey that is not nearly as long as a typical segmentation might require.

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 become immersed, and deeply understand, their segmentation results. We ensure alignment throughout the duration of the project by maintaining an open and 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. No matter what type of segmentation you are doing (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 own point 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.
  • 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 that’s internal data that our clients maintain on their customers or external data sources, to develop a more holistic understanding of consumers in each segment.

Research Results Brought to Life

C+R Research 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.