In my last blog post, I talked about The Miss America Trap and why so many businesses fall into it.

I’ll give you a minute to check out the post.

Got it? Okay.

So…to avoid the Miss America Trap you have to engage three processes in your marketing strategy:

  • Segmentation
  • Personalization
  • Specialization

Today, we’re going to talk about…Peeps marshmallows.

Stay with me.

Every year, my son and I have a spring Peeps war. We take bunny Peeps and chick Peeps and square them off in themed competitions, whether through royal gauntlets, Olympic games, handmade Thunderdomes or this year’s returning challenge: The Hunger Games.

This year, I was orange bunnies. He was yellow chicks. We had to navigate through deadly stakes, ponds, hidden traps, miniature tanks, bombs, hairspray flamethrowers…

You can imagine the carnage.

Only three Peep marshmallows survived.

You’re probably thinking, “Um, what?”

The point is this: your customers go on the same journey. They’re usually funneled the same way (until you get to personalized experiences, which I’ll talk about in my next post). But you have to stop thinking of your customers as one large headless body of wallets. Some of your customers are bunnies and some of them are baby chicks. And they want different things. They have different capabilities.

Thus, segmentation.

You need to segment your customers and start testing various marketing messages to see what sticks (yikes, marshmallow pun) and what’s passed over. What will make them melt? (last pun, I swear) Don’t rely on a one-size-fits-all newsletter, or a generalized upsell. That’s “cross your fingers” marketing. No, no, no.

TWEET THIS!Tweet: Segmenting your customers is the first step to creating a better marketing campaign. your customers is the first step to creating a better marketing campaign.

Segmenting your existing customers can feel as overwhelming as…well, as slowly crafting a mini Hunger Games trial arena in your backyard. You can’t just push a button and segment, and Google Analytics won’t give you all the info you need. It’s smart to fold segmentation into your longer-term marketing strategy, so you build it piece by piece and on your time & budget.

Tips on how to start segmenting your customers:

Send a survey to your existing email list and gather intel. Who are they? What do they like? What do they want to see improved? Offer them a giveaway or coupon in return.

Put a survey link on your site using Hello Bar to grab visitors’ attention.

Start dividing up your email list based on customer behavior: who clicks on what, who hasn’t opened an email in a while, who has shared the email with friends, etc.

Amend your email opt-in form to include email delivery options by topic (fishing, fly fishing, hunting, camping) or format (if you send a mix of video, audio, text, or RSS blog updates) to let your customers segment themselves from the start.

Look at keywords in Google Analytics to see what terms people use to find your website. You can detect patterns and group people by desired end results.

Engage your best customers. Ask your top 10% of repeat buyers to give you feedback.

Take note of your blog engagement. Who comments? What kind of articles get the most views, clicks, and shares? You can figure out who is responding (visual, audio, text people), what people want and why they’re willing to share.

Don’t forget social media analytics. Gauge your fans’ geographic density, age range, lifestyle choices, and much more on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and elsewhere.

P.S. Next up…I’ll show you how to take your segmented groups and personalize their marketing experience and convert higher!