What is Behavioural Segmentation?

This is the segmentation of a brand’s audience according to the behaviours they exhibit in relation to a brand’s product or service. Behavioural segmentation is more often undertaken amongst a brand’s own customer base rather the market as a whole.

What are the aims of Behavioural Segmentation?

This type of segmentation tends to be more operationally-focused – i.e. to inform how the business goes about growing sales by taking the right business actions at a sub-group level. This is very different to attitudinal segments, which tend to be used to guide strategic orientation, goal-setting and creation of a brand’s tone of voice. Some companies try to match attitudinal segments to behaviours – on the basis that the former should drive the later. In reality, there is often a disconnect between the two and attitudinal frameworks often to struggles to drive granular actions within a business.

How is Behavioural Segmentation undertaken?

Ideally, behavioural segments are based on actual, recorded usage activities rather than just consumers’ accounts of how they behave. Experienced market researchers knowing the two sets of data often differ considerably, with consumers’ accounts being notoriously inaccurate. There are many ways of segmenting customers on behaviours – each one having different operational applications within a business.

Recent example of our work in this area

It’s increasingly common for brands to adopt different types of behavioural segments in different parts of the business. For example, the propositions development team in a mobile phone business might segment people on aspects that predict future needs (such as how often customers use their phone abroad), whereas the campaigns team might use a frequency/recency/value approach as a way of managing churn, high-value shoppers, upgrades etc. In the era of big data, companies are able to identify and cope with larger numbers of segments, with the most sophisticated working towards treating customers as ‘segments of 1’ – where everything is personalised or bespoke for the individual.

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