Barb Sheehan
Marketing Manager

Audience Segmentation –

The Choice is Yours

(And Why NOT Choosing Could Be a Mistake)


Artificial Intelligence. COVID. Smartphones and Tablets.

These may seem like random, somewhat unrelated terms, but they have all contributed significantly to a society that not only expects but demands a highly personalized experience in virtually everything. Businesses are not just competing on price or the quality of offerings, but the entire customer experience.

According to Campaign Monitor, 74% of online consumers get frustrated when content like offers, ads, and promotions are not aligned with their interests.

According to the ANA, marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.

Audience segmentation is the cornerstone of a successful digital marketing strategy. It’s a process that involves dividing your target audience into smaller, more manageable groups based on specific characteristics, behaviors, and/or preferences. This segmentation is essential for tailoring your marketing efforts to resonate with your audience and driving better results. In this article we introduce the role of audience segmentation, exploring both the pros and cons of pre-built and custom audience segmentations, to help you determine which one best fits your company’s needs.

The Importance of Audience Segmentation

Effective audience segmentation offers several advantages that can significantly impact your business’s success. Here are some key benefits:

Higher Conversion Rates: Tailoring your marketing messages to specific audience segments increases the likelihood of engaging potential customers and converting them into buyers.

Building Brand Loyalty: When customers feel like your brand understands their needs and preferences, they are more likely to become loyal advocates.

Product Development: Knowing your audience segments allows you to develop products and/or services that better meet their needs, increasing your chances of success in the market.

Pricing and Distribution Strategies: Segment-specific data can inform your pricing and distribution strategies, helping you maximize profitability.

But audience segmentation can take many forms and knowing what is right for your company is an important first step.  Let’s look at the two main types of audience segmentation to help you determine which one suits your business best – at least at this time!

Syndicated Audiences

Syndicated or pre-built audiences are created using a vast amount of consumer behavior and demographic data across various categories, such as financial and technology preferences, multicultural affinity, and more. While demographic data is commonly used for segmentation, it’s crucial to go beyond demographics. Psychographic and behavioral data, which includes activities, attitudes, and beliefs, provides a deeper understanding of your audience, and should be a part of any pre-built audiences you consider.

One of the main advantages of syndicated audiences is their speed of deployment. They are essentially “off-the-shelf” and readily actionable. Claritas’ syndicated audiences, for example, can be easily activated for campaign execution across our network of 150 channel and platform partners. And because pre-built audiences are typically more affordable than a more customized approach, they offer a great starting point for businesses looking to reach specific target audience groups that share similar attributes in a scalable way. While syndicated audiences seem to work great for many marketers, you may have very specific behavior and insight requirements that are better suited for custom audience builds.

See It In Action:

Centriply, an audience-first, data-driven agency in the Advanced TV space, had a travel and hospitality industry client who wanted to launch a targeted linear TV ad campaign with a very quick turn-around time and measurable ROI on media dollars spent. Using Claritas PRIZM® Premier, an audience of “outdoorsy sports enthusiasts” segments were identified for the campaign, based on key variables important to the client. The end result?  A 365% average sales unit lift.  Read the full case study.


Custom Segmentation

Every business has unique marketing objectives, and sometimes, those objectives require addressing a very specific audience(s). Custom segmentation involves building audiences from scratch using a modeling process. Custom-built audiences should include extensive details, such as audience profiles, storyboards, geographic distribution, and directories, along with the ability to eliminate certain drivers or audience sensitivities.

Custom segmentation is perfect for businesses with distinct niches or specific marketing goals. It allows you to target exactly who you want with a highly personalized marketing strategy. Depending on the customization and details included, custom segmentation may take longer to deploy and can be more expensive than “off-the-shelf” audiences.

See It In Action:

A U.S. automaker wanted to add precision to their marketing and product development efforts and ultimately drive new car sales.  A proprietary approach was taken to combine auto-specific consumer behaviors with Claritas’ unique data to build target groups by brand and individual model targets. The resulting custom segments, provided a unified view of the customer across the organization and are being utilized for market research, media buys and product development.  Read the full case study.


Choosing the Right Audience Segmentation

The type of audience segmentation that’s right for your company depends on your specific goals, resources, and the nature of your audience. While syndicated audiences provide valuable insights and great adaptability, custom segmentation allows for the utmost precision targeting.

To determine the best approach for your business, consider the following questions:

• What are your marketing objectives?

• Have you built profiles of your best customers?

• How unique or specific is your target audience?

• How quickly does your marketing strategy need to adapt to changing circumstances?

• What is your current available spend for a segmentation solution?

• Do you have the resources to effectively execute the campaign?

• What measurement capabilities/experience do you have to determine campaign effectiveness and make possible adjustments?

•  How fast are you looking to deploy key campaigns?

If you don’t have all the answers to the questions above, don’t worry!  Many don’t.  But by asking these questions, you can make an informed decision about which type of audience segmentation will help you achieve your marketing goals most effectively, and what additional campaign execution and/or measurement services you may need. Then you can look for a partner who can help you assess your specific situation, give recommendations on the right approach, and provide any additional marketing services you may need.

Audience segmentation is a vital tool for any company looking to maximize the impact of its digital marketing efforts. Carefully assess your goals and audience characteristics to choose the segmentation approach that aligns with your needs and resources.


Audience Segmentation – The Claritas Difference

Claritas offers a variety of high-performing segmentation solutions, all built with responsibly and publicly sourced data, and using advanced statistical methods to determine what demographics best predict hundreds of different behaviors. From over 2,500 pre-built audiences to customized segmentation that features access to over 120MM+ households, 10K lifestyle behaviors and 8K demographic variables, we have the right segmentation solution to take your marketing strategy to the next level.

Need more resources? Claritas can also help you execute campaigns, quickly delivering your audiences to over 150 channels and platform partners in near-real time, so you can execute your campaign when and how you want. And our powerful, near-real time analytic solutions provide deep insight into campaign performance, attribution, and ways to further improve all your on-going marketing efforts

Are you ready to know more?