Taking company stakeholders with you on any research journey is vital, and a point which was brought to life by David Oliver, Head of CRM and Loyalty at Whitbread Premier Inn when speaking about their recent segmentation study at the recent British Retail Consortium Customer Insight 2014 event. It certainly struck a chord with us.

Segmentation studies help to identify different types of customer attitudes and behaviour in relation to a certain brand or product. They provide a robust way of creating pen portraits of different customer or market groups, their value and potential – creating a firm foundation on which to build business and marketing strategies.

While popular among marketers and the research community, companies can struggle to implement the findings of segmentation studies to in a way that makes a positive impact on the business. This is where taking your stakeholders on the journey with you can help drive success.

Involving key decision makers in the whole process is the best way to ensure company-wide understanding of and, crucially, response to customers and their different needs and desires.

Ultimately it means that every aspect of a business can be fine-tuned to engage customers in the best and most effective way, and to provide a product/service that delights them.

Here are our top three things to remember for getting the most out of a segmentation study:
1. Having identified the groups with most potential for growth, understand their unifying characteristics as well as what sets them apart
2. Make sure key stakeholders are aligned on how the output will be used; the learnings from segmentation studies can be used company-wide
3. Remember that the segmentation is only part of the process of getting to know your audiences better; ongoing evaluation of performance should relate to your key segments