Target Audience Segmentation in Public Relations

A key part of any promotional strategy is audience segmentation: when the businesses divide the overall target audience into actionable and well-defined segments, or smaller groups. Those groups thus share some common characteristics such as their demand, needs, or expectations from the business. When a company knows its overall target audience, it’s able to put together a promotional strategy that will meet the precise needs of each website visitor in every audience segment.

There are different types of segmentation criteria that businesses can use when dividing the target audience.  Each one involves developing homogenous groups that are filled with individuals who have common characteristics with each other. Those characteristics can be anything from their location, lifestyle, age, to how they behave when they visit the company’s website.

Every member of the same segment is going to have the same expectations from a business.  Each one should also receive similar content, messages, or offers throughout their buying journey. When companies are able to cross-reference all the different data points they’ve gathered about the target audience, they can get a more in-depth understanding of the consumers.

Location Criteria

One of the main types of segmentation, as well as the simplest one, is based on the location of the company’s website visitors. This type of segmentation allows companies to target their promotional efforts based on where each website visitor is located, or even based on the weather conditions in that location.

For example, a sports retailer that has locations all over the world can segment its target audience both according to the location of the website’s visitors, as well as according to their local weather forecast. Then, the company can suggest products that will meet  the immediate needs of those potential consumers.

Psychographic Criteria

Another way that companies can segment their target audience is based on the lifestyle of the audience. The lifestyle includes anything from their opinions, values, or beliefs, to their personalities or their interests. To get that type of relatively personal information, most of the time, companies have to ask the consumers to complete a survey or a questionnaire.

Fortunately, the survey or questionnaire doesn’t have to be too long or complicated. Many companies ask  customers a single question when they first visit their website, such as which products they are interested in,. Once the company has this information, it can continuously direct the same customers right to the category of products they’ve previously selected.

Demographic Criteria

This is the most common type of segmentation that businesses use because it only requires consumer information that is quite easy to collect. That information allows businesses to quickly target various potential markets. The information generally includes the gender, age, education, nationality, profession, or income of the customer.

This type of audience segmentation is commonly seen with retail stores, as they tend to display their product selection based on gender, for example.

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