Here at Boomtrain, we talk a lot about personalization. Sometimes, we even take pains to differentiate it from Segmentation. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t big fans of segmentation. We just think there’s a smarter way to do it.

 

What is Segmentation?

Segmentation is when you identify a subgroup within a population based on shared characteristics. In the marketing world, this could be as simple as “targeting 18-24 yr old males.” It can also be more specific, like “I want my Facebook ad to reach women over 40, earning over $80,000, in the Bay Area, who like travel.” The (generally correct) assumption is that the more you can homogenize your target audience, the easier it will be to craft a relevant message.

Why is that bad?

It’s not bad, but it could be better. The problem is that you’re still lumping people into a homogeneous group and expecting them to behave as a singular organism. We know that people are actually fickle and infinitely unpredictable. Also, we’re making a conceptual leap: we’re assuming that if we can give them relevant content, they will automatically engage it in the way we want them to (clicking, sharing, liking, etc).


Here’s 3 ways Boomtrain puts segmentation on steroids:

Cross-demographic

Netflix has taught us that just because someone watches Die Hard, doesn’t mean they don’t also want to watch Say Yes to the Dress, so why boot them from your segment if you’re trying to promote Die Hard 2? Traditional segmentation is an exercise in reduction. We create inclusive, not exclusive segments. We take demographics into account, but we’re much more interested in behavior, especially recent behavior. We pull from all demographic buckets to build segments around content. Who cares how old you are? If you’re likely to engage the content, you’re in.

Outcome Driven

Back to that conceptual leap: Marketers want outcomes like clicks, shares, likes, subscriptions. It’s great if you found my email relevant, but that kinda means bupkis if you’re not going to engage it. Boomtrain’s competitive advantage is our advanced machine learning and predictive analytics. We don’t just know who’s most likely to enjoy any given piece of content, we also know who’s statistically most likely to “Like” that content on Facebook, or share it, or tweet it. So if you’re trying to drive Facebook Likes, or any other KPI, we can identify the segment of your audience that’s most likely to engage in the way you’re looking for and auto-optimize around that metric. (And, your campaign will automatically get smarter over time.)

Real-time

Most segmentation is retroactive: using last month’s analytics to predict next month’s behavior. The problem is, today’s media landscape changes minute-to-minute. Users have an abundance of choice, and their shifting preferences are a reflection of that environment. Boomtrain offers real-time personalization. We can ingest, analyze and act on data in minutes, not weeks. When we create user segments for a campaign or an individual piece of content, we know who’s interested in that content today. We know if that topic is trending. We even know how and on what channel an individual is most likely to engage that content. Real time segmentation means your message is always hitting the segment that’s hungriest for it right now.

Boomtrain is a personalization platform, but that doesn’t mean we don’t believe in segmentation; we just believe in doing it better. The old way was “divide and conquer.” We say “adapt and engage.”

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