Why Chirp? Segmentations!


In our Why Chirp? series, we’ll explore some of the qualitative, quantitative and innovation methodologies we offer and how multi-phase, mixed-methodology research forwards our clients’ objectives.  This month, we’re talking Segmentation with Leslie Hagen, Director of Quantitative Research.

What is segmentation?

Segmentation is a quantitative method used to identify differentiated groups, called segments, within a larger population. By surveying the chosen population, we can understand how that population differs on things like needs, attitudes, and behaviors. 

Why is this sort of work important? 

Segmentation is often a foundational piece of learning for our clients that helps them understand how customers differ in their behavior, their needs, how they use a product, etc.  Our clients can then build a more effective marketing strategy by knowing exactly how, when, and where to reach their customers. 

Can you give me an example?

Yes!  First, imagine two men who were born in 1948 and grew up in England. They are both wealthy, have been divorced and re-married, have two children, like dogs, and are successful businessmen. In a traditional, demographic-based ad buy, these two men are likely to receive some of the same advertisements.

Now, consider that one of these men is the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. The other man recently became the King Charles III. 

Segmentation is important because if only basic differences, such as demographics or geography, are used for marketing to a group of consumers, that marketing campaign will not be as effective as it could be. 

What are the unique challenges of segmentation studies?

To me, the biggest challenge of this methodology is also what makes it so interesting…subjectivity. There is no “right” answer to a segmentation – these types of projects are both art and science. 

Segmentation also requires collaboration across many teams to decide on a segment solution is meaningful, actionable, and able to be socialized across an organization.  That means these projects can take longer to make sure that the right inputs are used to determine the segments and that the organization is aligned on the final result. 

What can clients expect from a segmentation?

They can expect to see their customers in a whole new way! Through this research, we create profiles of each segment in order to deep dive into who they are. We can identify groups that were not previously known (or expected) to exist, groups that generate the most profit, and groups that may be a lower priority. 

In addition to the segment profiles, we provide activation tools. Deliverables typically include a typing tool to type individual respondents into their respective segment in future research and a reach optimization simulator to guide decision making when targeting advertising buys.

It’s also important to know that segmentation projects are often multi-phased engagements that include qualitative research to ensure the segmentation is grounded in consumers’ reality and brought to life in a meaningful way.

Why choose Chirp?

At Chirp, we understand that our clients all have different segmentation needs and objectives, so we do not have an “off the shelf” segmentation solution. All segmentations are custom and grounded in consumer reality. We also work collaboratively with our qualitative and innovation teams to bring the segments to life through lifealongs, focus groups, and immersion sessions in order to help our clients deepen their understanding of the segments and socialize them.

Explore other methodologies in the Why Chirp series: