Using Segmentation to Tell Your Brand’s Story

Dave Mastovich
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways

​What? Companies struggle with storytelling and are often unsure why. 

So what? Poor storytelling likely means poor segmentation, misspent money and wasted opportunities. 

Now what? Each taregt market should include a minimum of five segmentation variables. Employees should be segmented as well so that they can be brand ambassadors.

​Oct. 4, 2017

Many brands don’t drill down far enough into their data to properly tell their story


Companies struggle with their storytelling and misdiagnose the main reason why. After their external and internal messaging doesn’t achieve the goals they hoped for, leaders do a postmortem analysis and come up with all kinds of reasons why:​

“We should’ve focused more on X.”

“Our spend was off. We should’ve budgeted more for Y.”

“It was the creative. The look and feel was off the mark.”

“The message didn’t resonate. We should’ve mentioned Z.”

In reality, the problem probably arose prior to any of those activities.

Organizational storytelling starts by doing the heavy lifting and undertaking less glamorous work related to segmentation. It moves forward by drilling down each target market and then positioning by segment.

Companies often neglect true market segmentation and instead waste their time, money and opportunities.

Target Market Segmentation

The first step in true market segmentation is for companies to look at their data to see where sales are coming from. From a sales standpoint, companies must assess where current clients are and do a similar assessment of potential clients. 

Now it's time for companies to focus on the real drill down. The key is to drill down to a minimum of five segmentation variables for each target market. Throwing out a couple of segmentation variables like gender, age and income is easy, but pushing to find five or more variables that turn each target market into a manageable segment can change how companies decide on the specifics of their storytelling approach.


 Dave Mastovich on How to Segment Your Audience


​​Here’s an example of what the segmentation might look like for a midsize law firm focused on B-to-B customers:

  • Variable 1: General corporate + manufacturing companies

  • Variable 2: Midmarket metro location (zip codes from a specific mid-market)

  • Variable 3: Annual revenue of $25M to $100M

  • Variable 4: Privately owned

  • Variable 5: No general counsel on staff

These variables give the law firm a target market to reach out to with their story. Instead of wasting time and money by trying to reach a huge audience that doesn’t fit, the firm can reach out to companies like those it has successfully worked with before. Now, the law firm has more information and insights to apply to those other decisions, such as channel, spend, creative and messaging.

Segmenting Employees

Companies miss another segmentation opportunity when they neglect key target markets that require unique marketing plans and marketing mixes: employees.

In today’s world, employees need to become de facto members of the marketing team. This means that organizational storytelling must be focused on them, about them and to them. 

Companies should start by segmenting employees by five or more segmentation variables, just as they did with other target markets. Then, companies can analyze the details and build their marketing plan based on how the employees think, feel and live. Cultural messaging can also be used to reach employees. A content calendar should be built just for them.

Employees impact brands. They talk and tell stories about the company. Organizations should provide them as much information as possible so employees can tell the real story of the company. Educate and motivate employees; then, the marketing-oriented employees can help your cause and quieter employees can have a neutral rather than negative impact the story.

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Author Bio:

Dave Mastovich
Mastovich is the founder and president of MASSolutions, an integrated marketing firm based in Pittsburgh and with an office in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
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