Most CEOs, marketers and analysts understand the importance of data, especially in the start-up scene. However, if you are a young company you probably did not have the opportunity to collect thousands and millions if not trillions amount of data. Without data you probably think it is impossible to segment your prospect list or let alone your customer list. However, there is a way you can come up with a segmentation model for your marketing with very limited data.

To begin with let’s define a segment. A segment is a part of the total. In other words, it is a way to divide your list weather it is a customer list or the overall market. If you had a lot of data, you would use your customer list to establish your segments.

Typically, when doing a segmentation model of your CRM you would use attributes such as industry, number of employees or revenue for B2B Marketing or demographic and psychographic data for your B2C marketing. Therefore, step one for any company that is setting up their CRM or Marketing Automation tool is establish a way to capture the necessary data in order to do segmentation analysis in the future. This could include asking questions for form submits, acquiring data from third parties or for niche businesses getting an intern to fill in the data that will be helpful for your business.

Once you have identified what attributes you want to include start by looking at what you have internally. Even if you only have a handful number of customers you can fill in information that you have identified as important for your business. Now if you have a lot of data this is where you would start your analysis. However, start-ups have to be a bit more creative as they often lack the data. Therefore, what you can do instead is to identify the maximum size of the universe if you were to have every person or company in that category. For example, let’s say you have identified age as one of your key attributes. Using census data, you can identify what percentage of the population falls into that group. For B2B companies, you can do the same using third party data providers you can estimate the number of companies that falls into a certain industry. This data will provide you with the total potential for a certain segment. You can now gauge the percentage of your customers or prospects that fall into each category and the size of the category. This will help you create clear segments that you can focus on. A segmentation expert will be able to also correlated potentially pricing strategies per segment and what product offering applies to what segment.

Finally, what are some uses for a segmentation model? You can use it to establish your key target market.  You can identify a different market strategy for each type of prospect or customer. This will also help establish primary and secondary segments to go after once you enter a growth phase of your start-up.

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