Financial Services - Digital Segmentation

Our recent digital segmentation for a well-known financial services provider provides a useful case study.

In the knowledge that digital is becoming an increasingly important means whereby consumers interact with service providers, and as part of the push to maximise the opportunity presented by this, our client was seeking to inform the digital strategy and tactical planning process by assembling research-based evidence and insights. In particular, the client sought to develop insights that would make it well-placed to better communicate, market, buy media and build content strategy across its products. To this end, our study aimed to:

  1. Develop a comprehensive understanding of the digital profile (both behavioural and attitudinal) of the market.
  2. Understand the differences in these digital profiles between the market, our client’s customers at an individual brand level, and their main segmentation schema.

Our research developed a powerful digital segmentation based on both claimed behaviour and digital attitudinal orientation. The key digital behaviours determined to be in-scope were sharing, creating, curating, critiquing, socialising, spectating and transacting. In conjunction with a range of attitudinal and needs statements, our segmentation then identified 6 key segments:

DIGITAL MASTERS

Savvy, connected and engaged with digital media, this group view themselves as early adopters and innovators, and tend to be younger, with a higher household income. They are the first to admit that they could not go without their online social networks, and are more likely to engage in every type of digital behaviour than any other segment. This group loves everything digital and would be likely to respond to any type of digital initiative. They are the most likely to be using social media channels and review websites. They are also more likely to have multiple digital devices, and to be using internet banking on their smartphone. Most importantly, this segment is the most open to a conversation with their credit card providers via web chat, or social media.

MAKING MY MARK

An older segment, this group enjoy contributing digitally, but do not see the value in social networks online. While they tend to keep up with technology, they are likely to only engage in productive, functional behaviours, which is reflective in their average level of transacting and critiquing, and their choice of functional apps for their devices. For this segment, the internet is a means of distributing original content, and they are not as interested as other segments to engage with others online.

They may be incentivised by competitions to develop digital content, but they are unlikely to respond to attempts to build a relationship with them online (e.g., engaging in brand communities).

COMMUNITY CREATORS

This group is young and similar to Digital Masters in that they see themselves as early adopters and innovators. For this group, creating original content online is a way of fulfilling their enjoyment of socialising and sharing with others. They have lower levels of transactional behaviour than other segments, and they like to use the internet to express their creativity more than other segments. Community Creators are creative, and like to use this creativity to share original content with others online. This could be harnessed in competitions to develop digital content or by encouraging the sharing of content. This segment is more likely to be using social media channels and review websites and also likely to be using smartphones and tablets.

RELATIONSHIP BUILDERS

For this group, being online is a way of strengthening and maintaining relationships. The anxiety of being offline is driven by a feeling of not wanting to be left out. This group are high socialisers and sharers, as well as curating online content for the enjoyment of others. Relationship Builders are on lower incomes, and as such are likely to have a smartphone but not a tablet, and skew towards the Android platform for their smartphone. They have a high degree of sharing and socialising online, and may be interested in a financial or prize-based incentive to share digital content digitally with their friends and family.

PURE TRANSACTOR

Another older segment, Pure Transactors are online simply to spectate (consume content) or to make transactions (online banking, booking flights etc). They are not interested in social networks, nor are they interested in contributing online with original content. It is unlikely that you will attract this segment using a social media or review website-based digital strategy. They are practical, and will be enticed to use digital channels if there is a direct, tangible benefit of doing so (i.e., more time or cost efficient, but not because it allows them to share or socialise with friends / family). New digital systems or processes should be communicated to this group.

DIGITAL LAGGARDS

This older segment are the opposite of Digital Masters, and low on every type of digital behaviour. The majority of this group believe that online interactions are destroying real world relationships. Needless to say, they see little need for online social networks, and they state that they are very careful about what they post online. This segment are unlikely to take up a digital initiative as they are less likely to be using social media channels or review websites, and less likely to own a smartphone or tablet. Further, those who do own a handheld device are much less likely to be using internet banking on these devices. Whilst it is not necessary to target this group for digital strategies, it is likely you will pick a small number of them up along the way.