What is Segmentation in Marketing?

13 April 2023

Marketing Strategy: What is Segmentation?

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There’s a high chance you already understand how important segmentation is when starting a business, but it’s never a bad idea to redefine your segments, particularly when approaching a new campaign. To save you time and money in the long run, here’s an introduction (or refresher) into what segmentation can do for you.  

Segments vs Markets:

Your market is your industry or locale, everyone you’re selling to. Your segment is located within your market.

What is segmentation?

Segmentation is a way of dividing your audience to direct your efforts more efficiently. 

Like the difference between speaking without a microphone to a stadium full of people, vs talking to a small room full of people. Who’s likely to hear your message better? 

If you’re trying to reach everybody, chances are you’re reaching very few. Whilst dividing your market into segments may feel limiting, it can actually be quite the opposite. 

Understanding every single person in that room, their pain points and what you can do to help them means you avoid wasting your time, energy (and marketing spend) on those who don’t want to listen. It saves you precious resources that can be put elsewhere. 

That doesn’t mean you need to segment your target into every characteristic (which can be counterintuitive). For example, if you’re talking to holiday goers over 50, chances are you don’t need to split these into men and women as well as when it comes to their appetites, there’s not much difference between them on a broad level. 

Why should you segment your audience?

Each segment will bring new challenges, including different competitor offerings and opportunities to fill the gaps. Knowing that segment, and all of the strengths that go into it will be extremely useful to tailoring your campaigns and budgeting effectively. 

It also means better customer satisfaction, since they feel as though you’re talking directly to them and are showing them the exact value you offer that they need. 

It can also help streamline your distribution and the channels you use. If people are struggling to understand you or what you can offer them in this age of short-attention, they won’t try. You’re probably not going to sell a high-end premium holiday on a channel notably used by teenagers, minimum wage workers and busy families (though sometimes you might be surprised by who you think your audience are, and who they really are).  

How do you segment your audience?

You probably know who your segments are. You engage with them on a daily basis, and they’re buying from you and talking to you. Using tools like Topic DNA or Audiense can be a great, and efficient help. Other places you can start looking are your email list, customer database, or social media. Any of these are good indicators that you can begin exploring and dive deeper into, before looking at their lifestyles and interests. 

You want to consider if the segment you choose is a group that’s big enough, easy enough to reach and have similar pain points. And whether you automate this process or split segments by their archetypes. 

Once you have your segment, you want to start looking at how they navigate the digital landscape. You should start getting to know them. Market research can help you make sure all your bases are covered since thinking like them can help you engage more efficiently. 

Your next step is to test your theory or strategy. It might not yield the results you expected, and that’s ok as long as you can evaluate that and refine your segments or position. So, define, create and evaluate. 


Segmentation is an important beginning step to take in any strategy. Identifying how to efficiently direct your resources will always be of great benefit. 
You save resources, and your customers feel heard and cared for. Win-win! 

If you need assistance segmenting your audience, or want us to expand on this, get in touch at [email protected]

Sophie Wembridge

Marketing executive at Navigate, Sophie has a background in Psychology, English and Strategy, which comes in handy when getting to the bottom of things and figuring out what makes people tick. Let's stop talking small and start thinking big.