Fine-Tuning Your Segmentation Strategy

Segmentation Strategy – 5 Keys To Fine-Tuning Your

CMO EXCLUSIVES | April 17, 2013

by Andrea Fishman
Partner & VP Of Global Strategy
BGT Partners


Here we will take a look at how we fine tune your segmentation strategy.   Have you noticed that no matter what you do, your conversion rates have started to plateau? If you have already performed all of the on-site fundamentals–testing creative, copy, and calls to action–then maybe it’s time to shift your focus away from simply increasing site traffic and reconsider your segmentation strategy.


  • Setting a segmentation strategy is not a one-time tactic.
  • If your form completion rate is low relative to other conversion points, then consider asking for less data upfront.
  • If you’re seeing an increase in page views but decrease in conversion, you may need a rework of your user interface.

For many marketers, setting a segmentation strategy becomes a one-time tactic, often done in line with a site redesign, technology change, or annual marketing campaign. This can be a big miss–especially as marketing tactics, targeting partners, and segment behavior can often change over time.

If your traffic volumes are satisfactory relative to historic norms, then consider that you may be getting the wrong type of traffic–or improperly classifying it. Five factors may be working against your targeting strategy:

1. Disconnect between behavior and reality. Could it be that your own judgment or view of your organization is impacting the construct of your segment? If you are in the midmarket, is your plan of converting luxury shoppers a brilliant idea to increase market share, or is it time for a reality check? You may be spending many dollars driving volume of this premium audience, with little chance of recouping your media spend. Growth in bounce rates is often a leading indicator of this. Take a moment to ensure that your tactics are not all based on “reach goals”–but on demonstrated user trends.

2. Overly aggressive calls to action. Could you be forcing your visitor’s hand too early? While promotions, time sensitivity, and limited volumes may help convert a visitor nearing the end of the buying cycle (especially in the B2C space), strong-arming visitors may backfire. Consider testing offers with multiple tones and levels of urgency; you may find that the lighter touch may actually perform better.

3. Getting too personal. Are you asking for too much upfront? It’s possible that you may be overvaluing the demand for your premium asset (i.e., white paper, video, webinar). If your form completion rate is low relative to other conversion points, then consider asking for less data upfront. Many organizations are finding that for items with a longer sales cycle or multiple touchpoints, a “less is more” approach to form data is more successful. Prove the value of your content–and consider a repeat visit a better option to ask for that next set of data points.

4. Partner problems. Are you relying too much on external data to identify and segment users? Are you over-reliant on your partners to funnel visitors into the appropriate segment–without on-site validation? Consider that for many ad networks, it takes ongoing updating of the profile to reach the right segment. Revisit your current segment definitions with your media partners (both search and display) to ensure you are both in sync with not only the customer segments you are targeting, but the behaviors you expect these visitors to exhibit. Compare on-site behavior across segments and you may find that certain media providers or vendors are not as diligent in delivering high-quality traffic. It may take fine-tuning of site exclusions, saturation points, and changes to your recency policy to ensure the right set of rules for each unique segment.

5. Unnecessary complication. Are you overcomplicating the user experience–making it too difficult for users to complete their desired task? If you’re seeing an increase in page views but decrease in conversion, then you may not be having segmentation issues, but need a rework of your user interface (UI). Alternatively, you may be misclassifying these users and creating additional work for them to find the right product within your solution set. Whether it’s too hard to find the information, or you are driving users to the wrong solution, you have a problem. Consider simplifying the UI to make it easier to navigate–and consider driving users to pages higher up in the site hierarchy.

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