How digital marketers can use data to segment and target customers?

DSM Digital school of marketing - use data to segment

Segmenting and targeting a specific audience is just what it seems like. It is the practice of using data to segment consumers via demographics or interests. This is so that digital marketers are able to find the right person on the correct device at the right moment.

With audience targeting, a digital marketer is more likely to reach consumers who are interested in their company’s products or services. They will be able to target these people with the correct messaging that will appeal to them. It also decreases the likelihood that digital marketers will waste ad spend on people who are not interested. In addition, audience targeting helps to move potential customers down the sales funnel.

Using data to segment target customers

Where does data come in?

If you are to have any hope of succeeding in the digital marketing space, you need to build a strong profile of your target audience. Based on the online behaviour of your target market data management platforms – such as Lotame and Neustar – can decipher information such as a person’s:

  • Demographics,
  • Interests, and
  • Preferences of an individual

However, one needs to exercise caution with these types of platforms. This is because these tools build a picture of your target market based on the specific channel and not the individual themselves.

There are a number of ways that you can segment your audience. Here are some of them:

  • Segment by referrer or traffic source

This refers to where your visitor was before to landing on your website. An AI-based personalisation system can learn which offers work best for visitors from different sources.

  • Visitor type

New visitors or returning visitors can be identified using Google Analytics. It is a commonly used technique to, for example, offer new visitors a discount when they first buy something from you.

  • Customer information

Segments of customers can be based on profile or behaviour:

  • Behaviour-based segments are based on, for example, what users have searched for on current and previous visits.
  • Profile-based segments are based on what kind of customer they are to the business, for example, VIP, infrequent visitors, first time visitor.


  • Duration of site engagement

Sometimes, it may be a good idea to give – visitors who have engaged with the site for a certain length of time – a personalised experience. The behaviour of an audience can also vary based on day or week or time of day. This means that audiences visiting at different times can be targeted differently.

  • Content or products viewed

This is the most common technique for segmentation that is used in retail to personalise the experiences for their customers. This process is based on product categories or individual products viewed. Related products of a similar style can be shown to people who view a particular product. Given the large number of products that many retailers carry, some sort of automation is required.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

If you follow the tips that we’ve given above in order to segment your audience, you’ll be well on your way to having your digital marketing campaigns fly! If you want to get more on an in-depth look into how segmentation and audience targeting works  – in addition to other critical aspects of digital marketing – check out the Digital School of Marketing’s Digital Marketing Course. For more information about this and our other online digital marketing courses, please visit our website.

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