Many marketers have neatly segmented their customers into value tiers based on products purchased, location, lifestage and other typical demographic attributes.

However in today’s schizophrenic digital environment you need to go deeper, and start testing irrational attitudes. Something I call emotional segmentation.

What is emotional segmentation?

Emotional well-being is a state of mind that always changes as our emotional state changes.

Emotional segmentation is the ability to tap into different emotional states. So how on earth can you segment your customer base by emotional states if it’s always changing, I hear you ask?

Well it’s neatly summed up by Dr Jane Shakespeare-Finch from the Queensland University of Technology’s School of Psychology and Counselling.

Dr Shakespeare-Finch recently conducted 6 month post QLD flood crisis research and concludes that it was the “giving and receiving of emotional support rather than gifts or donations that has provided the greatest boost to personal well-being for residents impacted by the Brisbane flood.”

She also found that those who gave and received emotional support had a higher level of perceived personal growth.

Emotional segmentation looks at your product & customers differently

So just as flood victims were moved by emotional support, you too can move customers by offering an emotional angle to your product or service.

And if you can connect it to a consumer’s emotional state then you’ll hit the direct marketing jackpot – a higher level of engagement resulting in higher levels of loyalty.

Put your marketing ideas into action

Here are a couple of thought starters to help you on your way:

  • Identify key emotional states that relate to your product or service and identify how your customers perceive them (for example if you were selling petfood, then look at it from a pet owner’s point of view. Are they buying food just to satisfy a pet’s hunger or to fill it with fuel for the day for a busy weekend outing). Write up a list of all the possibilities then cull it down to 2 or 3 to test.
  • Then identify some key customer emotional states
    that show up in your different value tiers or segments (for example, a household that has one pet is less valuable to a petfood store than a household that has 3 pets. However a 3 pet owning household is also very different in its daily life to a one pet owning household. One is busier than the other but has sorted out a way of dealing with the chaos. So maybe the owner of 3 pets is a better planner or multi-tasker than the owner with 1 pet. Whilst they both may buy the same petfood, albeit in different quantities, they have very different emotional states at different stages. Again write up a list of possible emotional states and cull it down to 2 or 3.
  • Now having segmented customers based on emotional segmentation you can test a couple of different emotional angles. Good luck.

Want to tap into something deeper and more effective than your existing rational segmentation? Let’s have an emotional chat 🙂