Marketing Operations Toolkit: Segmentation & Positioning

By Triggerfish MarTech on July 21, 2020

Here at Triggerfish we strive to help companies form a Marketing Operations mindset.

This means moving away from a project-driven or “set it and forget it” way of thinking and evolving your marketing function to operate on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.
Your MarTech will never be “done”, so instead of reaching for the holy grail end result, think about identifying the right things to work on and making incremental progress over time.

To help organisations start thinking operationally with respect to their marketing function, we have created this 12-week blog series. We will be covering everything from Sales & Marketing alignment, growth marketing, digital strategy, creating ROI, cross-functional teams, and much more!

Today, Segmentation & Positioning

Segmentation, targeting, and positioning can be characterised by the way we profile customers. This helps us be clear about the goals, needs, predispositions, preferences, and behaviours of our customers. It's the base unit for marketing automation and digital marketing in general, and is a fundamental component in the context of marketing technology and customer acquisition/retention processes. Lastly, it’s talked about a lot but not really managed in a way that allows us to think about it in an always-on context.

Companies should think about building segmentation as a result of behaviour instead of building segments in order to profile behaviour.

Marketing profiles drive Segmentation

The more our hypothesised segments interact, the more we can get clear on what those segments look like, what they are looking for. Therefore, profiling drives segmentation. The clearer we are about the drivers behind what goes into segmentation, the better we're going to be at positioning content, offers, general communications, and other meaningful interactions.

In marketing technology terms, segmentation looks like a bunch of lists. That means we can segment lists of people into what they're going to do, or how they'll behave, and then potentially either present personalised content or send outbound personalisation to these people through email. We can then track that behaviour as it comes back around into marketing tech tools and systems of engagement.

Why is this important from a business point of view? If we don't really understand who we're talking to, and we can't stand in the customer's shoes, a whole bunch of this effort about drawing better personalised experiences becomes a complete waste of time.
What can Segmentation give us in a practical sense?

For some customers, segmentation applies to the customer journey. Customers often start and stop journeys – for example, they add items to their shopping cart but don’t check out.
Customers that fall into this behaviour can be assigned to a segment for nurturing. If we find that there’s a customer without enough information to fill out a profile, we can add them to a different segment and focus on collecting data. This way, it also allows us to build up an interaction profile based on the way that customers use our channels and web applications.
Real people typically don't stay in segments forever; they move. Just because someone's purchased one thing at a point in time doesn't mean they'll be in the same segment at a future point in time. When you do segmentation correctly, you update peoples’ behaviour patterns.

At Triggerfish, we tackle segmentation in a couple of different ways. Fundamentally we try and start by modeling buyer personas, and then we use that to segment product and service purchases for particular brands and customers.

Understanding Customer Needs

Products and services in brands are typically segmented based upon different needs of buyers as well. One of our clients manufactures tractors, for example, and we know that there are some customers who aren’t particularly choosy about what they buy – but others are in landscaping, and so they purchase specific models that are specialised to their needs.
Here, we can create personas based on these customer desires. Starting from the persona level, we then model the customer service that each segment may expect. From these, we can construct a funnel and a customer journey.

Segmentation is fundamental to building digital profiles

In short, segmentation is a fundamental activity when it comes to building digital profiles and digital blueprints for organisations. At Triggerfish, much of our work involves thinking about how the people and processes we are linked to the segmentation tools we use, and then creating a cohesive experience for our customers and end-users.


We strive to provide companies with a best-in-class experience that can supercharge marketing efforts and realign them towards business goals. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you transform your marketing approach, read how we helped Hastings Deering create an Operational Rhythm with Marketing & Technology.