I have a new baby boy at home, and after a pretty sleepless night, this morning’s HBR “daily stat” about caffeine consumption caught my eye. A group in the UK studied the effects of caffeine on collaboration, and found some key differences between men and women. When it comes to collaboration on stressful tasks, they found that caffeine tends to impair men's performance but actually boosts women's ability to work under pressure.
This is a light-hearted topic, but it does speak to the power of segmentation. In our daily lives as Voice of the Customer advocates, we can find some interesting and useful applications of the data we work with when we break it apart and look for different behaviors, needs and tendencies across our customer segments. Last year, my team worked with a client to develop a set of common customer ‘personas’ using segmentation analysis. In VOC work for large B2B companies, we often only focus on 'A Priori' segments – those that we already know and use in daily business operation, such as region, channel, etc. In this case, the objective was to take a more empirical approach and let the data tell us how customers tended to group together based on their profiles and their needs. Many different demographic, firmographic, preference-based, and performance-based metrics were fed into the analysis.
The outcome was the identification of 4 unique 'customer personas' that were common in this customer base. We were able to understand the variables that characterized each ‘persona’, the relative size of each within the population, differences in their loyalty, differences in their needs and interests related to training, and how best to communicate with each customer group.
Great outcomes for the client and their customer strategies... and a little good news about my daily caffeine habit, too.
Vice President, Consulting Services