Developing personas and segments is a critical step in creating a personalization strategy for your business. The words persona and segment have often been used interchangeably to group and define the characteristics and profiles of customers, but the truth is the words mean two different things, and the distinction is an important one. Segments help to forecast market interest for a product or service, while Personas help to understand the emotional and behavioral triggers behind individual customers within that market. Used together, they can act as a powerful complementary set of marketing tools for more in-depth and accurate customer targeting.
Before you dive deep into the developing your strategy, let’s take a look at the two terms, and those distinctions:
Customer Segmentation is the practice of grouping different sets of like people (customers or potential customers) based on distinct needs and/or characteristics. Segments are generally developed by doing large-scale research, and are defined using demographic information like age, race, or location, or psychographic and behavioral information like interests, opinions, values, lifestyle, risk aversion, or life stage. Customer segments don’t provide insights into a consumer, but more insights about groups of consumers within a larger marketplace. These groups can help a retailer differentiate between the different types of customers that exist, and what those customer groups might be interested in.