Smart Segmentation Breeds Success

New York — Market segmentation is
critical for both cable programmers and operators,
but the way that segmentation is done
can be the difference between a successful
marketing campaign and one that falls short
of expectations, according to a panel discussion
at the CTAM in New York conference.

Cable programmers have long segmented
networks and shows to specific groups
— hence the proliferation of niche channels
for women, food lovers and sports fans,
Frank N. Magid Associates senior vice president
Jill Rosengard Hill said during the
panel “Segmenting for Success.” Hill argued
that programmers need to take even
that segmentation a step further, adding
that the competitive advantage is being
seized by marketers that are offering smart,
innovative segmentation for audiences.

“The key is actionability,” Hill said.

Socratic Technologies executive vice
president Young Ko said that one innovative
way to segment a market is by product
rather than behavior. Heis company
surveys customer segments based on their
ideal product bundle.

Once that ideal bundle is identifi ed, the
provider has an offering with specific benefits and features that target that user’s audience
and needs.

Cox Communications vice president of
marketing sciences Tony Maldonado said
culture is equally important in developing
segmentation strategies, adding that educating
front-line employees is an important
part of success.

“All the best companies do one thing, and
that is they execute well,” Maldonado said,
adding that it is important to limit the number
of segmentation schemes that are active within
the organization, but make those schemes
pervasive throughout the organization.

Scripps Networks vice president of Food
Network and Fine Living research Gabe
Gordon said even with the best segmentation
schemes some consumers just don’t fit
into a specific mold.

Some people, he said, are “almost unsegmentable,”
adding they may gravitate towards
on particular segment but actually cross multiple
segments throughout their day.

ESPN VP of integrated media research
Glenn Enoch said that it is important for companies
not to jump the gun in the process,
something he called “premature segmentation,”
lest you pigeonhole whole groups of people
into categories that haven’t fully developed
or from which they may soon migrate.