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With today’s ready access to Big Data, AI, Online Hyper-Targeting, and Fragmentation/Specialization of Media Channels, it would seem that a Marketer’s job has become less complicated. But is that the case? And what is the lost-opportunity associated with defining customer and prospect segments too narrowly through over-reliance on data tools? Segmentation taken to the extreme shrinks markets rather than expands them.

Don’t become trapped by metrics – in some cases competing only with your own internal data landscape – and losing sight of the realities unfolding in the external competitive and operating landscape, and most importantly, the customer landscape.

Here are steps you can take to ensure you do not become trapped in an ever-shrinking view of, and approach to, your market opportunity.

1. Widen the targeting aperture slightly by including edge-segments.

2. Commit to learning more about currently non-targeted segments that could or should be sources of new customers but are not. What makes them similar, what makes them different? How might you thread that needle?

3. Time travel. Look back in time at your core segments. What did they look like 3-5 years ago, or at the point of trial of your product and service? What has changed since then? Identify prospects who are on the leading edge of becoming the most like your current top-performers.

4. Consider lifetime value in your approach to segment focus, not just response and conversion.

Often more information becomes relatively less actionable. Imagine filling an upside-down triangle. There’s a point at which you have enough information to take considerable action. But after that, pouring in more, or waiting for more, doesn’t incrementally improve the indicated course enough to warrant the delay or cost. Avoid paralysis by analysis. Onward!

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