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Effective segmentation is a powerful tool which enables you to understand your client base and tailor communication strategies in the most appropriate manner.

Client segmentation enables you to increase your understanding of your client base, whilst helping you to pinpoint your most valuable individual clients. It also allows you to communicate with your clients more effectively by ensuring that your mailing campaigns are tailored appropriately. So how do you begin the segmentation process?

  • Invest in a database that allows you to record client details and analyse transaction data
  • Split your database between established and potential clients, and subdivide those categories to help you tailor your approach
  • Compare and contrast the different segments to determine your future strategy

Client segmentation can also save you money, by making your mailing campaigns more efficient and allowing you to identify your most valuable and best potential clients. Below are some key pointers to help you start the process. 

1. Invest in a database - or at least a spreadsheet

The first step is to acquire a marketing / client relationship database. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet for contact details but in an ideal world will also record transactional data, ie: what clients have bought and sold and when. The latter gives you an insight into clients' purchasing behaviour.

You could also link in your contact history, with meeting dates, potential product interests and responses to previous marketing campaigns.

2. Split between actual and potential clients

Although this sounds simple, many people do not split their database between clients with whom they have an established relationship and those with whom they don’t. This enables to tailor your marketing approach as your dealings with these two groups should be radically different.

3. Sub-divide

Split these two areas into segments appropriate to your business. Look at the data you hold on your clients and split them into as many areas as you can.

For example you may split them by value of business generated, by products held, by their age or by frequency of investment. The more ways you can filter your database then the more efficient and effective you can become with your marketing activity.

4. Prioritise

Once you have your different client segments you need to relate one to another to reflect their importance and the resources they should have spent on them.

For example, clients, with large portfolios who invest frequently could be more important to you than a client with just a mortgage. The former might be a tier one, or A client, whereas the latter could be a tier five or E client. However, do keep reviewing your grading, as E clients can easily move to A as they have families and progress through their careers.

5. Assign your contact strategy

Once you have prioritised your segments you can assign an appropriate contact strategy to each group.

Perhaps you will plan to see all A clients every six months, face to face, and send them specific relationship communications every three. Tier two clients might receive the communications, but perhaps are only seen once a year.

Tier five clients on the other hand might receive only selected marketing documents and the odd phone call - all designed to maintain contact so that, when the time comes, they turn to you to help with more complex requirements.

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