Segmentation - and Why it Matters to You
Go back in time... it's 1980 and you're working for an advertising agency on an account for a new line of high heeled women's shoes. They are classy - and expensive.
You've got some very cool photos and some awesome creative form your art department and they are ready to run out the color separations (remember those?)
They just need to you to tell them which titles you are booking.
Depending upon your budget you're probably looking at Cosmo, Harpers and a couple of others as your prime market. Why? Because that's where your audience is. you're not looking at Auto Mechanic's Weekly. Pretty obvious, isn't it?
Now your campaigns are going live online and you are using Google Search as your medium of choice.
On the face of things the relationship has been turned around. Now, instead of you advertising where you think your customers are likely to be, they are coming looking for you through their search terms. So you select a series of keywords like baited hooks and cast them into murky waters.
And you catch a few - so that's good, right?
Well, yes, it is. But if you, like many advertisers, simply leave things at that, then you will be missing out on opportunities for leverage that could improve your return on investment in spades.
Let's think about this for a moment. Why do women buy high heeled shoes? Whilst there are a whole bunch of reasons that could probably answer that question (and get me into a lot of trouble) here's a few:
1. Because they have just bought a new handbag and need shoes to match.
2. Because they are going to a celebration (wedding, reunion, party) and want something new and special
3. Because they have some spare cash and want to treat themselves.
There are lots of other reasons, but for the moment let's focus on these.
The keywords that are going to be used are likely to be slightly different in each case... and we can take advantage of that when we write our ad copy and our landing pages. Whilst it is clear that there are going to be some core keywords which will not allow us to infer intent - "red high heels", for example - there will be others that do - such as "red shoes for a wedding".
Someone searching for "red shoes for a wedding" is actually telling us a lot. We know the shoes need to be red (duh!) because they are needed to match something else such as a handbag or dress. And we know that they are being bought to wear at a wedding (double duh!). These are two nuggets of information that could allow us to craft an ad and a landing page that would make our shoes seem like the perfect pair!
Whilst this is, perhaps, an obvious example, these are precisely the kind of patterns we should be looking for in our search term reports. The more detail we can add to our visitor profiles so the more targeted our ads can be and the more the imagery and text on our landing pages can speak directly to the visitor.
So don't be satisfied with the "one size fits all" approach - because, if you do, you will be doing yourself a disservice.