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

Fazer marketing para o segmento errado pode ser como ladrar para a árvore errada ou, mais especificamente, ladrar para dezenas de milhares de árvores erradas.

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.

O que é a segmentação do mercado?

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

A expressão "segmentação do mercado" foi cunhada pela primeira vez por Wendell R. Smith na sua publicação de 1956 Product Differentiation and Market Segmentation as Alternative Marketing Strategies. Smith escreveu que o marketing moderno apela a motivos de compra selectivos em vez de primários.

Por outras palavras, os consumidores estão a comparar ativamente os produtos entre si, em vez de simplesmente comprarem um produto para satisfazerem uma necessidade imediata. Esta constatação foi o início da moderna segmentação do mercado que praticamos atualmente.

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.

Não bastava fabricar ketchup, era preciso identificar a marca como ketchup americano, ketchup para crianças ou ketchup sofisticado.

ad for cigarettes from the 1970s
Este anúncio da Virginia Slims dos anos 70 está a comercializar cigarros para as mulheres. Felizmente, percorremos um longo caminho (bebé) desde a terrível publicidade.

Quais são as vantagens da segmentação do mercado?

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

A segmentação demográfica do mercado é a forma mais comum de segmentação do mercado e implica a categorização do seu mercado com base na idade, sexo, rendimentos, profissão, raça, religião, educação, localização, situação familiar, etc.

Exemplos de segmentação demográfica:

  • 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.

Esta avaliação é importante porque dois indivíduos podem possuir informações demográficas idênticas, mas tomar decisões de compra completamente diferentes e, por conseguinte, exigir um marketing diferente.

Exemplos de segmentação psicográfica:

  • Os anúncios de saúde e bem-estar podem não ser muito bem aceites por alguém que prefere gastar o seu dinheiro em jogos de vídeo e bebidas energéticas, mesmo que trabalhem no mesmo sector e vivam no mesmo edifício de apartamentos.
  • 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

Na sua essência, a segmentação comportamental é o ato de categorizar os potenciais clientes com base nas suas acções, normalmente dentro do seu funil de marketing. Por exemplo, os clientes potenciais que visitaram uma página de destino para um evento futuro podem beneficiar da receção de um convite personalizado.

A segmentação do seu mercado com base em comportamentos é normalmente efectuada pelos profissionais de marketing no âmbito do seu software de automatização de marketing, mas qualquer empresa com uma lista de correio eletrónico já efectuou a segmentação comportamental simplesmente acompanhando os potenciais clientes que se inscreveram para receber e-mails.

Exemplos de segmentação comportamental:

  • Sending emails to website visitors who have left items in their cart. “But wait…come back!”
  • Uma campanha de retargeting que apenas apresenta anúncios a pessoas que tenham comprado um artigo anteriormente.

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

Variáveis e exemplos de segmentação geográfica:

  • Clima: As marcas de fatos de banho não devem ter como alvo os residentes do Alasca em janeiro.
  • 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.
  • Densidade: Um centro comercial gigante pode necessitar de uma elevada densidade de tráfego pedonal para prosperar.

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.

No entanto, a segmentação de preços pode ser muito mais pormenorizada. Pode ser utilizada para identificar os clientes que podem estar dispostos a pagar mais por um determinado produto ou serviço que considerem mais valioso.

Se for feita corretamente, a segmentação de preços pode captar o máximo de receitas para cada transação.

Exemplos de segmentação de preços:

  • Ampla: Desconto para idosos, descontos para veteranos, cupões, etc.
  • 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.

Para os profissionais de marketing B2B, a utilização da segmentação firmográfica não é negociável para uma estratégia de marketing de alto desempenho.

Tal como as variáveis de segmentação demográfica podem ajudá-lo a formar uma buyer persona ao nível do consumidor, a segmentação firmográfica pode ajudá-lo a desenvolver uma buyer persona ao nível da empresa.

Exemplos de segmentação firmográfica:

  • 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

A segmentação geracional é quase comparável à variável "idade" na segmentação demográfica. No entanto, a segmentação geracional do mercado vai para além da idade, considerando a diferença de preferências, hábitos, estilos de vida e atitudes de uma determinada geração.

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.

Exemplos de segmentação por gerações

  • Utilizar mais memes no Facebook para atingir uma maior percentagem de Millennials.
  • Alterar o seu calendário de publicação de conteúdos para as manhãs para atingir uma maior percentagem de Baby Boomers.

8. Life stage segmentation

A segmentação por etapas da vida é o processo de dividir o seu mercado com base na etapa da vida do seu público-alvo. Uma pessoa casada e com 5 filhos pode reagir bem a um anúncio emocional sobre descapotáveis durante a sua crise de meia-idade.

Exemplos de segmentação por fases da vida

  • Ads about life insurance may not appeal to sophomores in college, but they may appeal to someone who just started a family.
  • Uma pessoa que acabou de entrar no mercado de trabalho pela primeira vez pode estar mais interessada num apartamento novo do que uma pessoa reformada.

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).

Exemplos de segmentação sazonal

  • 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.

Exemplos de segmentação tecnográfica

  • 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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Estratégias de segmentação do mercado (e respectivos prós e contras)

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.

A estratégia de concentração é como pôr todas as cartas na mesa - se não resultar, pode acabar mal. Se o segmento de mercado não tiver sido devidamente examinado e se revelar um fracasso, todos os seus esforços de marketing podem ser desperdiçados. Certifique-se de que faz um planeamento cuidadoso e executa testes de mercado minuciosos antes de comprometer a sua empresa com um único segmento de mercado.

  • Prós: Percentagens de conversão elevadas, práticas de marketing repetíveis, menos despesas de marketing
  • Contras: "Tudo ou nada", o potencial de crescimento é limitado à dimensão do segmento

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.

Embora aparentemente mais "seguro" do que a estratégia de concentração, o marketing multi-segmento é um imposto muito maior sobre os gastos de marketing de uma empresa, uma vez que exige campanhas completamente diferentes para cada segmento de mercado.

No entanto, se um determinado segmento for extremamente recetivo e converter bem, é fácil adaptar a sua estratégia para comercializar mais diretamente para esse segmento.

  • Pros: Safer, appeals to more consumers, diverse marketing, high growth potential
  • Contras: Percentagens de conversão mais baixas, maiores despesas de marketing

Como fazer a sua própria segmentação de mercado por fases

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:

Fase 1: Recolher os dados

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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Fase 2: Ordenar os dados em segmentos

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.

Partindo do princípio de que o tempo e o dinheiro são um obstáculo, pode aproximar-se da sua própria segmentação de mercado compilando os seus dados numa única fonte e executando filtros para agrupar manualmente os seus potenciais clientes e empresas por segmentos.

Lembre-se, pergunte a si próprio o seguinte:

  • Este segmento é mensurável?
  • Este segmento é suficientemente grande para ser rentável?
  • Este segmento é estável e não vai desaparecer num curto espaço de tempo?
  • Este segmento pode ser alcançado com as minhas estratégias de marketing?
  • Este segmento é homogéneo e responderá de forma semelhante às minhas estratégias de marketing?

Fase 3: Ligue os seus canais de marketing

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.

O verdadeiro desafio é melhorar continuamente os seus esforços através de tentativa e erro para obter as melhores taxas de conversão possíveis.

Há uma boa maneira, à moda antiga, de mapear isto de forma rápida e fácil:

  • 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:

Segmentação do mercado numa nutshell

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

Por este motivo, deve ter uma noção clara de como falar com os seus potenciais clientes e de como diferenciar os seus esforços de divulgação com base no segmento de mercado.

Os desafios que se avizinham assentam no ajustamento constante do seu marketing - testando as suas mensagens, as suas tácticas e medindo as respostas do seu público.

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