Customer segmentation is marketing’s bread and butter. Targeting customers makes good economic, practical sense. The days when libraries can be all things to all people are over. Focus is key. Probably everyone agrees with that prinicple. But how do you get started?
In this video I interview Sandy Swanson, president of OrangeBoy, a market research company. Columbus Metropolitan Library hired her firm to help us better understand our customers, and our first step was customer segmentation.
Customer segmentation is all about identifying who your customers are, and grouping them by behaviors, not demographics. How people use the library is more important than their age, race and gender.
There are great resources out there to educate yourself about how to do this.
Here’s a great white paper she has written to help you get your arms around this concept.
In addition, the innovator of customer clusters — Claritas – encourages you to think about customer segmentation as "a photo album of your customers."
Back to the video. Sandy talks about the process of how our library identified our customers, which was through an extensive research process. This resulted in a number of customer segments, which we give funny little names to:
Power Users: are the key constituency of the library and make up the majority of circulation.
Socialites: use the library primarily to meet/converse with others.
Bookworms: tend to check out a large number of books per visit and visit the library often.
Next we prioritized those customer segments and ultimately chose to focus on three: Power Users, Young Minds (children and their caregivers through the teen years) and Virtual Users (making technology "Open to All").
From there we developed our strategic plan and we are on our way!