At the most abstract level, your organization is a single entity. At the most detailed level, each of your customers is an individual, unique and special.
Perhaps the greatest challenge in marketing is reconciling these two forces: the unity of your brand and the individuality of your audience.
You want to speak to people as specifically as you can, addressing their particular wants and needs, related in a way that resonates best with their perspective of the world. But businesses grow by also tapping into the commonalities of many customers, identifying segments that can be scaled in a non-linear fashion.
The disruptive innovation of online marketing is that it has enabled near limitless — at least in theory — parsing of your global audience into highly targeted segments, even micro-segments. This is The Long Tail. Still, there are trade offs in how much time, effort, and money is involved in sliding down the curve from mass marketing to micro-marketing.
Picking your place on that curve — somewhere between prehistoric mass marketing and the Platonic ideal of segments of one — is possibly the most important strategic choice in online marketing today.
This is market segmentation granularity as strategy.
Technology designed to scale digital interactions, such as post-click management software and social media management software, can shift your sweet spot further down the curve. But there’s still a wide swath of possibilities for how segmented you choose to make your marketing.
Have you consciously made that decision?