I’m starting a Britpop band to teach B2B marketers about the importance of segmentation

by | Nov 2, 2023 | Marketing Essays

My new column is live in The Drum:

Columnist Sam Scott offers an admittedly unusual lesson into market segmentation through the prism of Britpop. ParkLife, forget it, this is MarketingLife.

We’re in the final quarter of 2023. B2B marketers are starting to review their results and plan for 2024. Many will revisit their ideal customer profile (ICP) – even though it is often useless.

Canadian B2B marketing consultancy ProductiveShop describes ICP as: “A hypothetical description of the type of person who is most likely to benefit from your product or service and become a loyal and profitable customer.”

It is often a random list of descriptors and qualities.

Put simply, an ICP is a poor type of market segmentation and targeting.

But why is that? And what is an actual good use for it? Stay tuned.

How to segment a total addressable market

Whether and how much to segment a market is a topic I will leave Mark Ritson and Byron Sharp to fight over. (I’ve previously argued against the inane obsession with the most extreme form of segmentation – ‘personalization.’)

Instead, I am going to approach segmentation using Britpop, seeing as it has become popular again with Blur putting out a new album, Suede going on tour, and the Gallagher brothers still doing their thing. The movement was a reaction against the darker and harder grunge and shoe gaze music of the early 1990s and epitomized ‘Cool Britannia’ and Tony Blair’s New Labour optimism at its height.

Then, after Brexit, Donald Trump, the coronavirus pandemic and now with the ongoing global political turmoil and international wars, let’s just say that I need a break from marketing and journalism. Instead, I am starting a Britpop band, and I am to become big on Spotify.

So, whose specific sound should inspire our new band? Whose fans should we target? A Britpop Spotify market segmentation map can help us to find the answers to those targeting questions. So, let’s build one as an example that I will also use to explain the segmentation process.

Read the rest here.

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