Customer Segmentation: Marketing to Diverse Audiences Requires More Than Intuition

July 2, 2018

// By Lisa D. Ellis //

Marketing to people with similar interests and needs is usually intuitive — but what about when your target audience is completely different from you? How do you know what they care about?

Kelly McDonald, founder at McDonald Marketing

Kelly McDonald, founder of McDonald Marketing

If you can get to the core of what makes your audience tick and what they may respond to (hint: it may not be what you think!), you’ll have a real opportunity to increase your business, according to Kelly McDonald. McDonald is a marketer and speaker who founded McDonald Marketing. She is also the author of three books, including How to Market to People Not Like You: “Know it or Blow it” Rules for Reaching Diverse Customers.

At the heart of her approach is how she defines the differences between various groups and what she does with the information to make those deeper connections. McDonald recently shared her expertise in this area at the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit in Salt Lake City.

Finding Key, Subtle Differences

“When people think about targeting others ‘not like them,’ they usually think about diversity in terms of race and ethnicity,” she explains. While these are logical differences that many marketers already tap into, she believes it really comes down to much more subtle differences between two people who may look the same but be very different. This is where the opportunity really comes in for marketers.

“Let’s say there are two women of the same age, same race, same income, who live in the same neighborhood. But if one has kids and the other doesn’t, the way they make decisions will be very different,” she says.

It’s important to think about your customer base down to this degree of detail so that how you approach them will resonate on a personal level.


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