How to focus on the right customer: Segmentation

Find the Right Customers

In the last article, we talked about why client segmentation is important. Now we’re going to show you how to do it. It’s easy!

Step by Step instructions.

The template for the client segmentation quadrant. Click on the image above!

The template for the client segmentation quadrant. Click on the image above!

Please feel free to print out the Customer Segmentation Quadrant Template so you can follow along and fill stuff in!

Step 1: Identify customer hurdles.

Think of what hurdles your customer needs to conquer to make a purchase from you, product or service. It could be many things, but try to focus on 2 big hurdles for right now.

  • Price. Some segments of of the population just can’t afford it.
  • Value. Most customers don’t see how the value outweighs the cost.
  • Usefulness. Customers just don’t see the use of your product.
  • Ease of use. Some customers do not think your product is easy to use.
  • Performance. Customers believe that other products out-perform yours.
  • Time to buy. Customers are limited by the time they have to purchase, or time to learn value of purchase.
  • Time to learn. Customers don’t want to read all those silly directions (assembly, complex program, etc.)
  • Time out of the day (also time to drive or geographic difference). A plumber in Arizona doesn’t have many California customers.
  • Physical. Customers simply aren’t physically capable of purchase – adult-sized bicycles and children, for example.
  • Missing tools. You need a credit card, but a segment of customers doesn’t have one, etc.

Wait, where are the emotional hurdles, like fear, pride, pain, etc.?

Well, you can use them if you want to, but remember, those are more selling issues than marketing ones. ALL customers have fear or pain of some time, whether great or small. What you’re trying to do is understand demographics, not branding and selling; who can physically buy, not who is capable of purchase but not willing.

  • Now, take 2 of the hurdles above (as specific as you can) and enter them at the end of the arrows. For instance, let’s say you’ve identified money and knowledge, as we did in the previous article about customer segmentation.
  • Put the hurdle in the BOTTOM AND LEFT, and put the opposite of that hurdle in the TOP AND RIGHT.
Using a client segmentation quadrant makes for easy identification of the type of customer and how to sell to them. That means you spend more time on the good targets and less time wondering why you're not selling.

Use this example as a guide for filling out your template.


If you’ve already downloaded the template, and filled in your hurdles, continue to Step 2.

2. Target. Now, write in a functional way to work with each quadrant.

  • Each quadrant will be comprised of two hurdles, combined (i.e. “$$$, No Knowledge” in the red box above.) Write them in. When you do this, you’re trying to
  • Now, identify the SITUATION that the customer is in (i.e. Been burned before or New to this.) If you feel that there is more than one situation for each box, feel free to write in multiple situations.
  • Target YOUR ROLE in overcoming each hurdle. For instance, Been burned before is a big one for my business, since anyone that considers me for Internet marketing has probably dipped their toe into the Internet marketing game, and come up with no results (and wasted a lot of time). They’re frustrated, angry, and don’t want to do that round trip of pain, again. That means I have to be a PRIEST and define the realities of Internet marketing for them if they’re going to hire me.
  • Fill in all the customer situations and roles that you will play and move to Step 3.

3. Action. Create your action that you will take in future interactions with that customer.

  • Create “business logic” that allows you to process each type of quadrant. For instance, in the red box I put “Test” since I have to test the waters with those types of clients. They might have been so burned as to never approach Internet marketing again (at least in the next few weeks or months, perhaps even years).

I might turn around and try to give them some free information (if I have identified the problem they had with the previous marketing person), but if they are resistant, I have to let them go as a potential client (at least for now). At the very least, I try to sign them up for my THINKnews newsletter. You never know. Note how I am trying to squeeze out the value of each interaction by ‘keeping in touch’.

  • Write a functional action into the big blank arrows to the left and right of the quadrants. That’s your primary way to interact with them in the future (if you interact with them at all).

The real magic happens in the Top right (green) and bottom left (purple) quadrants. The greens are the primary target for marketing. The purples are the discards. Note, however, that if the purple people are still willing to learn, I try to MENTOR them. I sign them up for my newsletter and feel them bits of information that might get them excited in the future. They might come back to me, they might not. The point is that they are no longer on my active radar – and that means I save time not going after people that will never buy right now.

4. Create calls to action for each type of quadrant with leading questions.

Now, don’t stop there! You have to create calls to action on your website for these types of of quadrants. This is where your marketing language starts to form.

  • Confused about how to get started in Internet marketing? (red, purple)
  • Read how to identify what to do first in web marketing. (red, purple)
  • Get a handle on all this Internet marketing stuff (note that I used that to the right) (red, purple)
  • Don’t have the money right now? (purple, blue)
  • Read this article on how to build a budget. (purple, blue)
  • Think it’s all a waste of time? (red)
  • Read this short article on how to view Internet marketing a new way (red).
  • Let’s share ideas, shall we? (blue).
  • Signup for newsletter (all quadrants, staying in touch is important!)
  • Why are we a great choice for Internet marketing? (green)

And there you have it!

Let’s run down what we did really quickly so you really get it!

  • We took your OBJECTIONS that you received from a potential customers,
  • Translated that into HURDLES that your customer has,
  • Created a quadrant that used 2 of those hurdles,
  • Setup SITUATIONS that those hurdles might play a part in,
  • Create YOUR ROLES in how you work with those types of customers, then
  • Translated that into marketing language that targets those customers.

Now what?

Now, you get to use that marketing language to your advantage. Where do you use it? EVERYWHERE.

  • When you’re talking to customers,
  • Online as text or images for your website,
  • Any brochures or handouts that you give out.

It also might create solutions that you can show off as well. For instance, I was talking to a peer of mine and told him that part of my problem was that people don’t want to lay down that type of money, regardless of whether they understand the value of what I do (blue quadrant). He said, “Well, I offer financing through Wells Fargo.”

You gotta be kidding me. Did I really miss that all these years? Yes, I did.

But by doing the customer segmentation quadrant, I could identify the specific problem that I was having, and find a solution (even if it was just asking someone for advice). The customer segmentation quadrant gives you clarity of mind, and in the complexities of business, that’s exactly what you need.

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We hope you enjoyed the article! Now, don’t stop at one template; printout a few and start segmenting! Give a few to business friends (or associates!) and then meetup and see if you can spot some trends. You’ll be surprised at the solutions that you’ll uncover!

More reading…

Greg Cox

Analytics Geek. Gregory likes Motorcycles, Cooking, and Sciencey stuff.