Digital e-marketing targeting customers online

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Learning from 6 layered targeting options used by online retailers that can be applied to any business
There are manyc content insertion where rules are used to drop different offers and email messages into a container as described last week's post on how to manage event-triggered or automated email marketing.

These are the six targeting options.

1. Customer profile characteristics (demographics).
2. Customer value - current and future.
3. Customer lifecycle groups.
4. Customer behaviour in response and purchase (observed and predicted).
5. Customer multi-channel behaviour (channel preference).
6. Customer personas including psychographics
Targeting option 1. Customer profile characteristics (demographics)
This is where most will start, based on their traditional segmentation based on the type of customer recorded in the fields of the customer profile.

For B2C e-retailers this will include age, sex and geography. For B2B companies, this will include size of company and the industry sector or application they operate in. Here's an example:
Many B2B companies target according to industry different levels in sophistication of targeting for email marketing. In this post I'll run through some of the most common examples used by retailers since I think they can often be applied to companies who don't sell online like relationship-building or B2B companies.

Here, I will outline what I see as the 6 most common segmentation approaches. More details are available in my book Total Email Marketing and my more recent 7 Steps to Email Marketing Success Ebook on Smart Insights.

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Although this post gives email marketing examples, the segmentation approaches here can be used to other forms of online targeting through digital marketing, particularly website personalisation or display ad network remarketing.

Often the different targeting options can be combined through layering the segmentation as shown in this approach used by eBay UK shared at a recent email marketing conference:
To implement this level of email marketing needs a capable email marketing system that supports event-triggered marketing and dynami sector, but do not also look at job role.
Targeting option 2. Current and predicted value
Retailers work hard to understand their most valuable customers so that they can develop loyalty in this group. A useful way of thinking about customer value is these three groups, originally identified by Peppers and Rogers of  1 Most-valuable customers (MVCs), Most-growable customers (MGCs) and Below Zero Customers (BZCs). When considering loyalty-based segmentation, it's useful to compare current against future value, and it's best to visualise this within a matrix.