Connecting with Fragmented Customer Segments

By Doug Braun

Mass marketing has been replaced by mass personalization. Rather than subscribing to a national identity forged by mass media and social norms, consumers are more likely to identify themselves as part of a social subset with shared interests, attitudes, behaviors and priorities.

Social media in particular has played a large part in the process, making it easier than ever for individuals to find and participate in both real and virtual communities that match the characteristics by which they define themselves—entrepreneur, activist, artisan and so forth. The need to connect with these multiplying consumer segments has added a new layer of complexity to the bank marketer’s job.

How can digital signage help? Digital signage is a marketing vehicle that’s ideally suited for delivering highly differentiated promotional messages at a very granular level. Because its costs are relatively fixed, regardless of how many marketing messages are presented, digital signage is an extremely efficient solution for capitalizing on market fragmentation by tailoring both on-screen advertising and value-added content to appeal to the characteristics, tastes and interests of carefully defined target audiences.

In implementing a strategy for using in-branch digital signage to drive product sales to a multiplicity of unique consumer constituencies, three considerations come into play:

  1. Insight: How are the type of customers we’re trying to reach identified and understood?
  1. Productivity: How do we manage execution, targeting and delivering of multiple iterations of core product and service messaging?
  1. Performance: How can we enhance customer participation with our messages to ensure awareness, recall and action?

Big data can address each of these challenges. Geodemographic household segmentation analytics from Nielsen, Equifax, Experian and others have been providing market intelligence to banks for years. A systematic approach to applying this data to your digital signage initiative can significantly improve its effectiveness. Here’s how:

  1. Insight: Consumer data will tell you about the ages, incomes and lifestyles of the population segments that are using your branches or that you want to reach. It will also help you drill down with information about the cars they drive, where they vacation, the jobs they do and what their hobbies are. This can inform your creative choices and help you select video, images, audio and other advertising elements that will help your customers think, “My bank knows who I am.”
  1. Productivity: As you accumulate media assets to use in developing your digital signage campaigns, being able to quickly and easily find resources appropriate for each group is essential. Media assets can be coded to correspond to household segments as well as content attributes, including activity, age, ethnicity, season and more. Assets can then be organized in searchable, multi-criteria databases for quick on-demand access. Digital signage vendors may even offer such utilities as part of their product.
  1. Performance: Value-added content should then be carefully selected with the same reference to consumer lifestyles and preferences to ensure that both advertising and engagement programming have a high degree of relevance to your target. For example, health and fitness news should be available for consumers in an active lifestyle segment and farm news for heartland social group. Your digital signage partner may allow you to search news and information offering by how they’re matched to household segmentation systems.

By integrating market intelligence with content management, the marketer can turn digital signage into a nimble, dynamic tool to accomplish mass personalization.

Doug Braun is senior vice president of inLighten, a provider of digital signage, interactive kiosks, on-hold and environment audio and Web-based content management systems. The company is located in Clarence, N.Y. Email: [email protected].


Online training in digital, mobile and social media from ABA.