Customer segmentation - blog visitors

Which customer segments visit your blog?

Do you know your visitors?  They are essentially the customers of your blog.  Do you know who these people are, what they’re like, how much money they make, and what their tastes are?  In order to better target the desires of your customers, you need to shop them up into smaller groups.  These groups are more similar to each other than to the group as a whole.  Thus, with a segmented customer base, you can target different messages to these smaller groups of your customers, letting you meet all their needs better than if you had a single message to all of them.

For an example of how one company does market and customer segmentation, take a look at the Claritas link below.  They were purchased by Nielsen (the TV ratings company) a number of years back, but they still sell segmentation services.  This is a sample (and free) lookup to see which segments live in a particular zip code.  For example, with this link, you can see the largest customer segments in your zip code.  There are a large number of segments available through this particular data provider.  Take a look through the list and see what type of segment you may fall into.  It is pretty interesting reading.  Some of the names (most of them really) are pretty hilarious, such as Shotguns & Pickups or Money & Brains, but the entire list should be a mosaic of the entire country.

Looking through the various segments, you’ll see what goes into a market segment.  Similar income, age range, kids, home ownership, employment levels, maybe the car they drive, or educational levels, this is how the segments are defined.  They also have a couple of interests like “plays tennis”, “reads the Wall Street journal”, or “shops at Neiman Marcus”.  They also have a little life story blub.  For example, the “Young Digerati” has the following blurb:

Young Digerati are tech-savvy and live in fashionable neighborhoods on the urban fringe. Affluent, highly educated, and ethnically mixed, Young Digerati communities are typically filled with trendy apartments and condos, fitness clubs and clothing boutiques, casual restaurants and all types of bars–from juice to coffee to microbrew.

If you’re interested, there is a summary of all these blurbs for the various segments.

What brought this up was a comment in reply to Sicorra’s Let’s Talk Money about calling myself a DINK (Dual Income No Kids).  This is an older name for a larger segment of the population, and generally included those households with 2 working adults (duh), no kids (again), usually late 20’s and early 30’s, but did include smaller numbers of folks into their 50’s.  Additionally, this was a fairly well-to-do group because there were no costs related to children, and the ability and willingness to spend was there for companies to take advantage of.  Now I know better than to fall into the sales trap, but some don’t, and thus were a highly prized demo for marketers to target.  However, all the different segments allow you to target a specific message to a group of people who will be most receptive.  How are you using segments?

This got me thinking, where do my readers fall?  I’ve got some very basic demographics from the Alexa tool bar, but I’d like to hear more from you all?  Which of the various demographics do you fall?  Is this unusual for your area or zip code, or are you fairly mainstream?  What about your friends, can you see your friends described in these words?  What do you aspire to be? 

About Karl

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27 Responses to Segmenting your visitors for fun and profit

  1. Modest Money says:

    That’s a tough call. I guess I was a borderline young influential, but probably transitioning into something else these days.

    It’s important to try to learn about your visitor demographics on a website, but it can be tough to accurately gauge. In some cases you really need to interact with visitors to get a feel for this. This post should probably help a bit with this for your blog.

    • Karl says:

      This system in particular, has a life-stage grouping if you hunt around enough. So everyone in their early career years, those in the mid carerr, those in retirement, etc. One of the things to consider with this is depending on where you are, you’ll have more or less interest in certain topics. For example, someone in their 20’s probably has less interest than someone in their 60’s about how to draw down a retirement nestegg so as to not outlive their money. I’d like to focus on what the people want. 🙂

  2. WorkSaveLive says:

    There is that info on Alexa that talks about age, college degree, gender, children, and income.

    It would be nice to know more about your customers though. I wish I could trust the Alexa information definitively.

    • Karl says:

      So much of that is of questionable use though, as I don’t have the traffic for it to be significant I don’t think. And given that the Yakezie have the toolbar mostly, I’m probably just measuring the folks I already know. 🙂

  3. Female, young professional, not married, graduate degree, 29, Metro NYC area. I know I’m exactly the right “fit” for my neighborhood because everyone looks like me (scary right?).

    My Alexa says the majority of my readers are women in the same demographic as me. I guess that makes sense, since what I’ve read so far indicates that women read blogs written by other women more than men read blog written by women.

    • Karl says:

      Kari, there’s certainly something to be said about attracting those like you, at least you’ll have the “street cred’ to speak to the issues that they’re concerned about.

  4. jefferson says:

    We are a 1-income, bunch of kids family.. and yeah, I think it does change the financial game when compared to folks like you, Karl. We have different challenges, and different perspective.

    But to be honest, I think that we have a lot to learn from people in your situation. As our cash flow situation improves, we can take the lessons and advice of folks who are in a better place and apply that knowledge to our own. What you have been able to do with your retirement funding is a perfect example of this, and something that I hope to model in the future.

    I love the different perspectives of the online PF world. If we were all in the same boat, we would all be writing about the same things, and that would be horribly boring.

    • Karl says:

      Ha! I was just thinking that I had a lot to learn from you, as many of the mistakes that I can make only effect the two of us, and as such we can dig out a bit easier or cover it with the second income.

  5. These marketing categories are quite interesting. Actually fun to read. My understanding was that a lot of marketing companies do base their target marketing around these categories, whether they have a site online or they do direct mail outs by targeting the zip code of the people whos attention they want to capture.

    • Karl says:

      Sicorra, yes this does have it’s roots in direct marketing (and the reason I know about this website was from a direct marketing class in b-school). I think it is really starting to show it’s age, as the time of the paper catalog mailed to everyone really is in it’s twilight.

  6. AverageJoe says:

    Those were fun categories. My particular category, “hot legs and freaking-brilliant” must be going up tomorrow.

    • Karl says:

      Nice! I like the idea of designing your own segment. In fact, many product marketing folks do just that. Defining who their exact customer is and write a little blurb about them, where they went to school if they did, what car they drive, etc. I imagine that you drive an Audi A6 or something cool like that.

  7. My readers are women in my age bracket with no kids and usually not married. Which is about right since that sounds like me. I live in a very diverse city where you can find college students, areas with lots of senior citizens, and then housewives, soccer moms, men in suits, professionals, etc. I would like to cater to more people especially men, but when you write a personal finance blog about your life… then it may interest people who are more similar to you.

    • Karl says:

      When you write for guys, just reference things exploding, or baseball (or hockey for our friends to the north) or neat gadgets. We’re easy.

  8. Nick says:

    Father of two. Husband of one. 07030. Greek man (pronounced with a rrrrrooooollled “r”). Single income. What else….

  9. Single, African-American, male, professional, no children, college graduate, and Atlanta, GA.

  10. Bruce says:

    Too straight for the hips, too hip for the straights

  11. […] Segmenting your visitors for fun and profit – In this article Karl talks about how customers, even for your blog, are segmented into groups based on their age, income, location, hobbies, marital status, and so on. Some of the classifications include "Kids & Cul-de-Sac", "New Empty Nests", "Big Fish, Small Pond", to name a few. The names of the segments are funny (they could be the names of television shows). The details behind the names are quite informative. Take a look at them over at CultOfMoney. […]

  12. I have often said…We are not the demographic they are after. As you get older you see how much the marketing world caters to the younger generation. I think we can all learn something from each other, regardless of our age or demographic.

  13. Frugal Fries says:

    Fellow DINK checking in, and seriously considering becoming a life-member.

    I can definitely tell that we’re a lucrative marketing demographic too–especially when I log onto Pinterest. I’m pretty sure I have an alter ego whose soul purpose is to mass-pin desirable housewares that will ultimately make me waiver from my budget.

  14. You can see how it makes sense for marketers to go after the younger folks. Even though they have less money, they can be customers for life.

    I still carry one of the credit cards I got back in college. Worked out well for them to give me that $500 limit back in the day.

  15. […] In a blogging mechanics interlude, Karl @ Cult of Money asks if you know your “customers”, with Segmenting Your Visitors for Fun and Profit […]

  16. Katie says:

    Married,dual income,two kids, working on college degree, live in Ohio, mid twenties.

    I think you are going to have a wide variety of readers.

  17. SB @ FPR says:

    I wanted to figure out this answer. Let me know if you could get the demographics

  18. […] Cult of Money asks a question if you know your blog visitors (aka Customers) and tells us to Segment visitors for fun and profit. Simple Island Living talks about Cost of moving across the ocean. See Debt Run throws in an […]

  19. html5 converter says:

    Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.

  20. Great article! using segmentation, you can categorize groups of customers based on behavioral and demographic criteria. You can then run analysis on different customer segments to gain insight into how each segment is interacting with your site, where they’re coming from and what they’re looking for.

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