Rethinking Segmentation!!

If averages are useless and site-wide KPIs thwart real issues from surfacing on executive dashboards; and if your analytics expert gets to keep his job only because once in a while he can drill down and segment your data across hundreds of dimensions to tell you what’s going on, then maybe there’s something wrong with the entire approach itself; perhaps all your KPIs should only be seen in some actionable contextual segments.

In fact Forrester research has an interesting take on what these segments should be. According to Forrester, not too many insights created from ad-hoc segmentations are translated into practical solutions because getting insights is easy (provided you have a smart analyst) but making technology/infrastructure changes to implement solutions based on the insights maybe very difficult at times.

Paying attention to adoption before implementation and considering the upstream integration of segmentation with organizational systems (CRM, campaign management etc.) to drive business objectives appears to be the key to successful segmentation strategy. For instance, if you don’t have the technology infrastructure to support behavioural targeting of certain segments, what’s the point in creating those segments? You can still continue to discover new segments as parallel activity but to drive real business results, the upstream integration should be the point where you begin.

This is precisely the reason why I like Semphonic’s 2-teir segmentation so much!!

A large US electronics retailer (one of our clients) recently told us that they have most of the data/insights they need from their web analytics tool but they still can't personalize their web experience and marketing. I don't have all the details, but I believe it has something to do with their segmentation strategy!!

Updated later: Just found that Jim Novo (unsurprisingly) has written a far more insightful and articulate piece on this topic here - Data, Analysis, Insight - it's a must read!!

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