The No-Nonsense Guide to Market Segmentation (With Tips and Examples)

Marketing für das falsche Segment kann sich anfühlen, als ob man den falschen Baum angreift, oder genauer gesagt, als ob man Zehntausende von falschen Bäumen angreift.

Nearly everybody in sales has, at one point or another, heard someone reasoning that simply adding more people to the funnel will improve their sales numbers while preserving their conversion rate. If you’re a sales rep making 30 calls a day, you might reasonably extrapolate that making 60 calls a day would double your closed deals. Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward.

Building a sales process can be complicated. What one audience might find valuable might just be noise for another.

That’s where effective customer segmentation can bring in some serious value for your business. Different demographics respond differently to marketing campaigns, and finding the right target market for your products or services can help you tailor your marketing strategies to be the most impactful they can be.

This guide to marketing segmentation will help you find your target audience and choose the best market segmentation strategies.

Was bedeutet Marktsegmentierung?

Market segmentation is the process of qualifying companies (or people) into groups that respond similarly to specific marketing strategies. This is the first critical step in creating a marketing and sales process tailored to differentiate your business in the market and resonate across multiple demographics.

Market segmentation divides customers into segments based on shared characteristics, behaviors, or other attributes so you can create marketing strategies that appeal to entire groups. Your marketing segmentation strategy will be mainly influenced by what your product is and which types of companies are already buying it.

The history of market segmentation

Der Begriff "Marktsegmentierung" wurde erstmals von Wendell R. Smith in seiner 1956 erschienenen Veröffentlichung Product Differentiation and Market Segmentation as Alternative Marketing Strategies geprägt. Smith schrieb, dass das moderne Marketing eher an selektive als an primäre Kaufmotive appelliert.

Mit anderen Worten: Die Verbraucher vergleichen aktiv Produkte miteinander, anstatt einfach ein Produkt zu kaufen, um ein unmittelbares Bedürfnis zu befriedigen. Diese Erkenntnis war der Beginn der modernen Marktsegmentierung, die wir heute praktizieren.

Before 1956, there wasn’t a huge market variety, and general stores tended to carry only one or two brands’ versions of the same product. As time went on, more and more emerging brands began offering similar products and thus needed to differentiate themselves with branding and by targeting different markets.

Es reichte nicht aus, einfach nur Ketchup herzustellen, man musste seine Marke als " America's Ketchup", " Kids' Ketchup" oder " Fancy Ketchup" kennzeichnen.

ad for cigarettes from the 1970s
Diese Virginia Slims-Werbung aus den 1970er Jahren wirbt für Zigaretten bei Frauen. Zum Glück haben wir uns von dieser schrecklichen Werbung weit entfernt (Baby).

Was sind die Vorteile der Marktsegmentierung?

Market segmentation provides several benefits to small teams and enterprises alike, including:

  • Bang for your buck: With tailor-made, demographic-specific messages and advertising, companies can more effectively communicate with their audiences, begin boosting their conversion rates, and actually spend less on broad advertising.
  • Better conversion rate: The more information you have about your various audiences, the more specificity you can add to your outreach, which will help your prospects convert more easily.
  • Customer retention: By marketing towards customers who have already gone through their own buyer’s journey, segmentation makes it easier to keep them engaged and pitch them with occasional upgrades. And with the segment data you’ve captured, you know how to talk to them.
  • Expanding your efforts: Segmentation can be a great way to pursue new markets that have something in common with your current markets.  

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The 10 most common types of market segmentation

Market segmentation helps savvy marketers categorize their target customers based on shared characteristics to keep their efforts focused and effective. Below are the 10 most common types of market segmentation: 

1. Demographic segmentation

Die demografische Marktsegmentierung ist die am häufigsten verwendete Form der Marktsegmentierung und beinhaltet eine Kategorisierung Ihres Marktes nach Alter, Geschlecht, Einkommen, Beruf, Rasse, Religion, Bildung, Standort, Familiensituation usw.

Beispiele für die demografische Segmentierung:

  • Switch to the cartoon channel and check out those commercials. Do Nerf guns and neon-colored slime appeal to someone your age? Yeah us too, bad example.
  • Commercials for vacation homes may target people across ages, genders, locations, and other demographics, but they all appeal to customers with disposable income who are interested in travel.

2. Psychographic segmentation

More specific characteristics are categorized under the umbrella of psychographic segmentation. Less tangible than demographic segmentation, this classification method includes details like lifestyle, personality, beliefs, values, and social class.

Diese Bewertung ist wichtig, da zwei Personen mit identischen demografischen Informationen völlig unterschiedliche Kaufentscheidungen treffen können und daher ein unterschiedliches Marketing benötigen.

Beispiele für die psychografische Segmentierung:

  • Gesundheits- und Wellness-Werbung kommt bei jemandem, der sein Geld lieber für Videospiele und Energydrinks ausgibt, vielleicht nicht so gut an, auch wenn sie in der gleichen Branche arbeiten und im gleichen Wohnhaus wohnen.
  • Advertisements for large social gatherings (events, clubs, bars) might not appeal to introverts who would much rather snuggle up with a book than be surrounded by other people.

3. Behavioral segmentation

Im Kern geht es bei der Verhaltenssegmentierung darum, potenzielle Kunden auf der Grundlage ihrer Aktionen zu kategorisieren, in der Regel innerhalb Ihres Marketingtrichters. So könnten Interessenten, die eine Landing Page für eine bevorstehende Veranstaltung besucht haben, davon profitieren, eine personalisierte Einladung zu erhalten.

Die Segmentierung Ihres Marktes auf der Grundlage von Verhaltensweisen wird in der Regel von Vermarktern innerhalb ihrer Marketing-Automatisierungssoftware vorgenommen, aber jedes Unternehmen mit einer Mailingliste hat bereits eine verhaltensbezogene Segmentierung vorgenommen, indem es einfach die Interessenten verfolgt, die sich für den Erhalt von E-Mails angemeldet haben.

Beispiele für Verhaltenssegmentierung:

  • Sending emails to website visitors who have left items in their cart. “But wait…come back!”
  • Eine Retargeting-Kampagne, die nur Personen Anzeigen zeigt, die zuvor einen Artikel gekauft haben.

4. Geographic segmentation

Geographic market segmentation takes into account prospects’ locations to help determine marketing strategies. Although SaaS sales are relatively unaffected, a salesperson of gigantic coats knows to avoid pitching to Arizona residents.

people wearing gigantic coats

Geografische Segmentierungsvariablen und Beispiele:

  • Das Klima: Bademodenmarken sollten sich im Januar nicht an die Einwohner Alaskas wenden.
  • Cultural preferences (based on location): For obvious reasons, the McDonald’s in Germany sells beer.
  • Population type: A bicycle company may segment its audience differently depending on the population type—rural (mountain bikes; thicker tires; more durable), urban (road bikes; thin tires; lightweight), etc.
  • Die Dichte: Ein riesiges Einkaufszentrum kann eine hohe Dichte an Fußgängern benötigen, um zu gedeihen.

5. Price segmentation

Price segmentation alters the price of similar products and services sold to different consumer groups. If you ever forced your kids to pretend to be under a certain age to qualify for the “kids eat free” special, then you understand the power and utility of price segmentation.

Die Preissegmentierung kann jedoch noch viel detaillierter sein. So können Kunden ermittelt werden, die bereit sind, für ein bestimmtes Produkt oder eine bestimmte Dienstleistung, die sie als wertvoller empfinden, mehr zu zahlen.

Richtig gemacht, kann die Preissegmentierung bei jeder Transaktion ein Maximum an Einnahmen erzielen.

Beispiele für die Preissegmentierung:

  • Breit: Seniorenrabatt, Veteranenrabatt, Gutscheine usw.
  • Granular: Computer processors are priced differently when sold to a company as a part (like inside an iMac) than when sold to a consumer as a standalone product.
  • Even more granular: A marketing consultancy may base its prices entirely on the value it can generate for each of its client’s unique situations.

6. Firmographic segmentation

Instead of categorizing consumers based on age, location, income, etc, firmographic segmentation categorizes companies based on industry, annual revenue, job function, company size, location, status, performance, etc.

Für B2B-Vermarkter ist die Nutzung der firmenbezogenen Segmentierung ein unverzichtbarer Bestandteil einer leistungsstarken Marketingstrategie.

So wie die demografischen Segmentierungsvariablen Ihnen helfen können, eine Buyer Persona auf Verbraucherebene zu bilden, kann die firmenbezogene Segmentierung Ihnen helfen, eine Buyer Persona auf Unternehmensebene zu entwickeln.

Beispiele für die firmenbezogene Segmentierung:

  • Running different ads for different industries—real estate, finance, legal firms, etc.
  • A B2B sales team only targeting companies with revenues over $100m.

7. Generational segmentation

Die Segmentierung nach Generationen ist fast vergleichbar mit der Variable "Alter" in der demografischen Segmentierung. Die generationelle Marktsegmentierung geht jedoch über das Alter hinaus, indem sie die Unterschiede in den Präferenzen, Gewohnheiten, Lebensstilen und Einstellungen einer bestimmten Generation berücksichtigt.

It’s self-evident that the generations are vastly different. Someone born in the 1960s will likely have experienced a different culture than someone born in the 2000s.

Beispiele für die Segmentierung nach Generationen

  • Verwendung von mehr Memes auf Facebook, um einen größeren Prozentsatz der Millennials anzusprechen.
  • Ändern Sie Ihren Veröffentlichungszeitplan für Inhalte so, dass Sie morgens einen größeren Prozentsatz der Baby-Boomer ansprechen.

8. Life stage segmentation

Bei der Segmentierung nach Lebensphasen wird der Markt nach der Lebensphase der Zielgruppe aufgeteilt. Jemand, der verheiratet ist und 5 Kinder hat, reagiert vielleicht gut auf eine emotionale Werbung für Cabriolets in der Midlife-Crisis.

Beispiele für die Segmentierung von Lebensabschnitten

  • Ads about life insurance may not appeal to sophomores in college, but they may appeal to someone who just started a family.
  • Jemand, der gerade erst ins Berufsleben eingestiegen ist, ist vielleicht mehr an einer neuen Wohnung interessiert als jemand, der im Ruhestand ist.

9. Seasonal segmentation

Seasonal segmentation targets people based on their purchasing habits during certain periods of the year. It can include actual seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter), events (Coachella, Super Bowl), and holidays (Christmas, Mother’s Day).

Beispiele für die saisonale Segmentierung

  • A local you-pick berry farm may want to target their ads based on the fruit in season.
  • A flower shop that specializes in same-day delivery may want to ramp up its ad spend around Mother’s Day targeting forgetful children.

10. Technographic segmentation

Much like firmographic market segmentation, technographic segmentation only applies to B2B audiences. It’s used to target companies based on the types of technology they’re using. Whether it’s a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, a website CMS, or a niche-specific software tool, utilizing technographic segmentation can help enhance sales and marketing efforts.

Beispiele für die technografische Segmentierung

  • A company that develops WordPress plugins would have no business targeting companies that use a different CMS, like Wix.
  • It would make sense for a SaaS company to target businesses using an app it just integrated with.

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Marktsegmentierungsstrategien (und ihre Vor- und Nachteile)

Every market segmentation strategy is different but most of them follow one of two fundamental outlines:

1. Concentration strategy

Concentration strategy is when a company determines that its efforts are best focused solely on a single market segment. This strategy is particularly great for small, growing businesses that have demonstrated a viable use case within a specific market. Focusing on one segment will allow the company to invest more time, energy, and resources into one specific market, which minimizes advertising spend and potentially mitigates wasting efforts across multiple segments.

Eine Konzentrationsstrategie ist so, als würde man alle Karten auf den Tisch legen - wenn es nicht klappt, kann es böse enden. Wenn das Marktsegment nicht ordnungsgemäß geprüft wurde und sich als Flop erweist, könnten alle Ihre Marketingbemühungen umsonst gewesen sein. Planen Sie daher sorgfältig und führen Sie gründliche Markttests durch, bevor Sie sich auf ein einziges Marktsegment festlegen.

  • Vorteile: Hohe Konversionsraten, wiederholbare Marketingpraktiken, geringere Marketingausgaben
  • Nachteile: "Alles-oder-nichts", Wachstumspotenzial ist durch die Größe des Segments begrenzt

2. Multi-segment strategy

Multi-segment marketing, or differentiated marketing, is when a company’s marketing strategies are designed to advertise one product to more than one market segment.

Obwohl es scheinbar "sicherer" ist als die Konzentrationsstrategie, belastet das Multi-Segment-Marketing die Marketingausgaben eines Unternehmens wesentlich stärker, da es für jedes Marktsegment völlig unterschiedliche Kampagnen erfordert.

Wenn jedoch ein bestimmtes Segment besonders aufnahmefähig ist und gut konvertiert, ist es einfach, Ihre Strategie so anzupassen, dass Sie dieses Segment direkter ansprechen.

  • Pros: Safer, appeals to more consumers, diverse marketing, high growth potential
  • Nachteile: Geringere Umwandlungsquoten, höhere Marketingausgaben

Wie Sie Ihre eigene Marktsegmentierung in Phasen durchführen

Ready to complete market segmentation for your company? Here are three phases to follow during the process that will help you ensure you’re analyzing your markets effectively:

Phase 1: Sammeln der Daten

First things first, it’s time to gather data so that you can use it to form your market segments. There are many ways to go about it—some people like to buy pre-made lead lists and others prefer to do their own research

Two helpful methods of researching prospects are webforms and surveys. You can place high-quality data behind webforms that requires site visitors to submit their name, email address, and other information to access the content. Surveys can get specific information from potential buyers in exchange for tangible rewards, like a gift card or special offer.

If you’re doing your own research, you can frame your searches along the following categories:

  • Researching by company size: Size can mean a number of things, but is most often measured by the number of employees, number of customers, or overall sales revenue a company claims. Some companies have greater transparency on their websites, which makes reaching out to the correct person much easier.
  • Researching by industry: It’s unlikely that your product is applicable across all industries, which is why industry segmentation exists. Industry segmentation will help you ensure that you’re not wasting your time by targeting a company with no need for your product.
  • Researching by location: If you’re offering a location-specific product or service, like landscaping services within the local community, your geographic market segmentation is probably pretty airtight: You probably use handy tools like lead maps, and engage in local marketing wherever possible. For other industries, like IT staffing, your reach might be international. Whatever your product, location is a crucial thing to know about a company, because it will help you decide which sales tactics to use and when to send your emails if you’re communicating across time zones, at the least.
  • Researching by needs: This method of segmentation entails qualifying companies based on whether they need your products or services. While this definition is straightforward, the process behind making this determination may not be, depending on what you’re offering. If you sell landscaping services, you can use Google Maps to look up a company’s HQ. If their office is in a tower in New York City, they probably don’t need any landscaping.

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Phase 2: Sortieren der Daten in Segmente

There are many ways to go about sorting data. Most involve expensive analysts, marketers, and lots and lots of time. Although the DIY route is faster, it is no substitute for a comprehensive market segmentation strategy.

Wenn Zeit und Geld kein Hindernis darstellen, können Sie Ihre eigene Marktsegmentierung annähernd durchführen, indem Sie Ihre Daten in einer einzigen Quelle zusammenstellen und Filter anwenden, um Ihre potenziellen Kunden und Unternehmen manuell nach Segmenten zusammenzufassen.

Denken Sie daran, sich Folgendes zu fragen:

  • Ist dieses Segment messbar?
  • Ist dieses Segment groß genug, um einen Gewinn zu erzielen?
  • Ist dieses Segment stabil, und wird es nicht nach kurzer Zeit wieder verschwinden?
  • Ist dieses Segment mit meinen Marketingstrategien erreichbar?
  • Ist dieses Segment homogen, und werden sie ähnlich auf meine Marketingstrategien reagieren?

Phase 3: Schließen Sie Ihre Marketingkanäle an

Now that your segments have been firmly established, it’s time to connect the dots and breathe life into your marketing. This means establishing a plan for each of your marketing tools and channels and coming up with real ways to reach your segments with them.

You’ll be attributing different marketing and sales tactics to each stage of your pipeline and determining what sticks. The good news is that your market segments are clearly defined and you’ll be able to speak to them clearly.

Die eigentliche Herausforderung besteht darin, Ihre Bemühungen durch Versuch und Irrtum ständig zu verbessern, um die bestmöglichen Konversionsraten zu erzielen.

Es gibt eine gute, altmodische Methode, um dies schnell und einfach darzustellen:

  • Draw your pipeline stages horizontally across a sheet of paper.
  • Above each pipeline stage, jot your marketing channels, like Linkedin, emails, or webinars, with blank space in between them.
  • Below each marketing channel, write exactly how you will use this tool at this pipeline stage, like “email prospects a link to a recorded webinar.”

Repeat this exercise for each market segment to help establish a concise and repeatable process for marketing to your various audiences. You can fully flesh out your segmented marketing strategy by configuring your sales software and email automation around the outline you’ve created, and then make tweaks as needed.

To this end, some CRMs have reporting and performance tracking as well as custom reporting to help you figure out what’s working and what needs to change.

Frequently asked questions about market segmentation

Still have questions about market segmentation? Check out the FAQs below for answers to some common questions:

What are some common challenges faced when implementing market segmentation? 

Here are a few of the challenges you may encounter when implementing your market segmentation strategy:

  • Creating segments that are too broad: Your product or service may appeal to several different market segments, but trying to appeal to too many can lead to ineffective marketing and high ad spending.
  • Creating segments that are too narrow: The opposite problem can also arise. Small segments might be difficult to quantify and distract from other segments with greater buying power.
  • Not being flexible: Just because a particular segment is currently buying from you doesn’t mean they always will. Be willing to reevaluate your market segments over time to maximize your marketing spending and revenue.

What are the key factors to consider when selecting a target market segment? 

Five key factors to consider when selecting market segments for your marketing strategies are:

  • Whether the segment is measurable
  • Whether the segment is large enough to generate a profit for your business
  • If the segment is stable and won’t vanish after a short time
  • If the segment is reachable by your marketing strategies
  • Whether the segment is homogenous and will respond similarly to your marketing strategies

How can you effectively redefine your target market?

If you’ve determined that your target market no longer fits, you can always identify new markets. Here are a few tips for doing so: 

  • Identify trends and patterns: Do companies that make a certain amount of annual revenue seem to be shying away from your offerings? If you want to reach those customers, identify any patterns in which products or services they choose instead and strategize for how to provide the value they’re looking for.
  • Listen to customer feedback: Your current (or former) customers are valuable sources of feedback. Consider what they’re saying about your product or service and whether you’re meeting their needs. You may be able to identify new opportunities.
  • Diversify your marketing channels: Using multiple channels to reach your target market can be a highly effective way to increase exposure for your brand. Consider diving into new channels like content marketing, email marketing, SEO, and online advertising to drive engagement with your target audience.

Additional resources:

Marktsegmentierung in einem nutshell

Now you’ve got your demographics clearly segmented, your strategy figured out, and your sales processes mapped tightly to your market segments.

Aus diesem Grund sollten Sie genau wissen, wie Sie Ihre potenziellen Kunden ansprechen und wie Sie Ihre Kontaktaufnahme je nach Marktsegment differenzieren können.

Die Herausforderungen, die vor uns liegen, bestehen darin, Ihr Marketing ständig anzupassen, Ihre Botschaften und Taktiken zu testen und die Reaktionen Ihres Publikums zu messen.

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