Why Your Segmentation Sucks

Why your customer segmentation sucks – and how to change it.


Why is your product not selling?

Ever wondered why your detox, vegan coffee doesn’t sell to the millennials around the block? They are millennials after all right? Should you stop selling your coffee? Hold up!

It’s not necessarily that people don’t like your product, it’s just that your targeting and segmentation might be a bit off.

Question: when defining your customer, do you just wing it or really put some thought into it?

Know Thy Customer!

We hope it’s the latter. Knowing your customer today is more important than ever. The coming few Wednesday Wisdom posts are all about your customer. For us it important not only to understand you but also your customer. And therefore, we need to make sure that you understand who your customer is.

In very general terms there are two main ways to categorize your customers:

  • Demographics
  • Psychographics

Male, Millenial, British

For a long time, Demographics such as age, race, gender, income, religion, education, etc. were the determining factors to define a customer. Demographics do make sense as a first filter – you don’t want to market baby strollers to teenagers or a dating app to a nun (not to say that it won’t work). Some of you might or might not know the following (slightly altered) example, illustrating the flaws of Demographic analysis alone:

Customer 1:

Gender: male

Age: mid 20s (Millenial)

Nationality: British

Job: freelancer (i.e. unemployed)

Hobbies: play with fire

Customer 2:

Gender: male

Age: mid 20s (Millenial)

Nationality: British

Job: freelancer (i.e. unemployed)

Hobbies: play with fire

At first sight, both customers appear to be the same and would probably be classified within the same group based on their Demographics. But what if we told you that customer 1 is Harry Potter and customer 2 Jon Snow? Good luck selling a broom stick and Nerd-glasses to the king of the North!

It’s all in the mind

This is where Psychographics come into play. In broad terms, Psychographics describe a person’s personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. Psychographics will provide you with a deeper understanding of your customer and help to discover their motivations (to buy your product or service, for instance).

Demographics and Psychographics together are important components for your customer segmentation and form the starting point of creating buying personas, for instance.


So now that you know what Demographics and Psychographics are:

  • STOP segmenting your customers into categories such as “Baby Boomers”, “50k per year”, “ginger”, etc.
  • START creating customer groups and identify common challenges and pain points

Now that we got this covered, you should look at our posts about buyer personas and ideal customer profiles (ICP). Stay fresh!

    on February 19, 2020


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