Engage different consumers in different ways – why segmentation is key

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One of the first speakers at the Marketing 2.0 conference in Paris was Conny Kalcher from LEGO, and if anything her presentation was an example of how good segmentation and really understanding your different consumer persona types can make a real difference to a successful social media strategy.

At LEGO, the core target is a young boy, and they group their customers into six groups

  1. Lead Users – people LEGO actively engage with on product design
  2. 1:1 Community – people whose names and addresses they know
  3. Connected Community – people who have bought LEGO and also been to either a LEGO shop or LEGO park
  4. Active Households – people who have bought LEGO in last 12 months
  5. Covered Households – people who have bought LEGO once
  6. All Households – those who have never bought LEGO

These six types of customers are defined based on the strength and depth of their relationship with the brand – from having no experience with the brand to being actively involved in it not just as a product but as a business. There are fewer Lead Users than there are Covered Households and when volume and closeness to the brand are combined like this it lends itself to neat segmentation of the marketing (and indeed the social media strategy).

Indeed LEGO uses a different approach for the top three segments than for the bottom three. This is the cut-off point at which customers become truly engaged. They are not just entering into a transactional relationship, but they actually care about the brand. LEGO uses social media to work with these three segments – from co-creating online with the Lead Users to engaging the Connected Community and 1:1 Community in online communities and social networks. These are, perhaps, the easiest and best people to engage and empower online and so the most efficient use of social media. They are the people LEGO wants to feel special, and the people they want to test new ideas and products with. They are also the people to keep engaged and close to the brand – the people who will spend most and be your biggest advocates.

Proper customer segmentation and persona profiling helps you to understand how your customers differ and how their needs differ. Social media and online communities let you treat different people in different ways and also to engage with them in the way they want to be engaged with.

Read all of our posts based on the Marketing 2.0 Conference here.

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6 Responses
  • Mar 31, 2009

    Hey Matt,

    Sounds like it’s really interesting in Paris. Did she (the LEGO girl :)) also tell you how they focus on each group individually? Putting them into categories (and keeping the data up to date) is a start many of us could be jealous about. But from there on? I can imagine LEGO customers have a very small life cycle. How do they keep refreshing them. In other words…. putting them from group 5 tot group 2 for example. Considering the first three and the last three groups have a basic different approach of communicating, where’s the breaking point?

    grtz and have fun in Paris…

    Tom Vanlerberghe Mar 31, 2009
  • ContentKeith
    Apr 1, 2009

    Matt and Tom:

    I recently attended a conference in Miami where Heidi Lieblein-Baily, Community Manager from LEGO America, presented communications efforts targeted to their defined communities – great fun!

    Segmentation based on levels of engagement is a forward-thinking strategy that can aid in migrating prospects to customers to advocates, with the goal of maximizing customer lifetime value. Both social media and integrated marketing efforts can be specialized (to these segments/personas), complete with metrics to measurement each progressive step in the customer journey. LEGO gets it (and don’t think they stop counting a customer at adolescence — they enjoy groups of ‘adult LEGO lovers’ and their lifetime enjoyment of all things LEGO) and embraces the idea of speaking to different segments differently.

    Tom, if you have further interest in this strategy, I have developed a proprietary process around it and can provide some topline starters — give me a tweet – ContentKeith.

    ContentKeith Apr 1, 2009
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