Customer segments vs personas which to use and when

Customer segments and buyer personas are established techniques for customer marketing. But it’s not always clear which you should be using and when. The risk is that you end up using a tool that isn’t really fit for purpose. Let’s quickly look at what segments and personas really are when you should be using them to get closer to your customers.

Buyer Personas

Personas are:

An archetype of your customers that focuses on every interaction with the brand and helps you develop better insights to enhance services, products and communications

Use personas to capture and communicate:

  • Customer needs
  • Customer pain points
  • Customer motivations and expectations

Personas are a great tool for:

  • Value proposition development
  • Designing new services and customer experiences
  • Focusing on the greatest moments of friction in your customer journey
  • Getting your business to think more about the customer

You can get a free persona template below to ensure that you are building effective journeys.

Customer segments

Segments are:

Groups of individuals on your customer base who are similar in specific ways relevant your marketing objectives, such as age, gender, interests and purchase behaviour.

Examples of customer segments would be:

  • Men aged 18-25 on your customer base
  • Customers who have bought product X in the last 3 months and have spent more than £500 with you

Use customer segments to:

  • Choose target audiences in your category or customer base
  • Identify and track changing trends in your customer base
  • Deliver the right message at the right time to the right customer using the right communication channel

A customer segmentation is a great tool for:

  • Planning and building the business case for your marketing objectives
  • Measuring and monitoring the impact of your marketing
  • Targeting specific groups of customers

You Need To Use Both

Both are highly effective tools that can enable marketers to build relevant and valuable customer relationships. The trick is knowing which tool to use for a specific task.

Customer segments and buyer personas are established techniques for customer marketing. But it's not always clear which you should be using and when.

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