Subscribe to our monthly marketing newsletter!
Simply click
here to send a mail
and we'll add you to the list!


Segments, Shmegments

Audience segmentation. It's one of the "Big Five" I often (ok, always) need to clarify when speaking of marketing-to-women.
I always need to explain that traditional segmentation methods are very linear, not to mention based on very outdated stereotypes and definitions. Audience segments such as 28-35, A-B, 1-4 have become grossly outdated in their ability to correctly define an audience. And certainly women can no longer be pushed into such irrelevant categories.

And then I read this earlier today: "Women aren’t well behaved and they don’t obey when you tell them to stay in their little boxes." Ah, now that made me smile!

It's an excerpt from an article called "Segments, Shmegments" by the team of Just Ask A Woman.

The article goes on to say "If you say she is a Beauty Obsessive, is she allowed to be a shlump on Sundays? If she falls into the segment of being Financially Negligent and she pays her taxes on time will she get the boot? What about Jane, the overstressed working mother? Does she mess up the numbers when she has a relaxing day?

This is not to say that segmentation is misguided overall but I do wish that marketers would keep in mind that women can fall into multiple segments all at once and while that doesn’t make forecasting easier it is the truth. Personally I’d like to see segmentation that allows for more fluidity and flexibility."

As woman, consumer AND marketer, I've been experiencing the disconnect between traditional segmentation and the REAL consumer for years. Indeed: the female consumer is not a static entity that fits neatly into one specific box. As Jen illustrates so well in her article, we can put all the cutesy, creative labels we want on our female consumer, if we don't consider the fact that she is a multidimensional being that will exhibit traits of various 'categories' at different times, we won't understand her, or her thinking or her behavior well enough to reap the long-term benefits of our psycho analysis.

A Beauty Obsessive (still in pyjamas), a Controlling Perfectionist (about to embark on a 3-week rally through Africa) and a Conflict Averse Creative (who just told the world's biggest agency exactly what she thought of them).