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Segmentation Research

Target cohorts of customers more efficiently by grouping characteristics and tendencies.

The work Sapio carried out has given us clearer visibility on our customers views and perceptions. It has enabled our organisation to have an increased focus on the areas that really matter to our customers and to also celebrate the positive feedback that we received as part of the process

Richard Morgan
Head of Customer Experience

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“Boiling the ocean” is a bit of a challenge, as is targeting an entire market. Therefore, we help organisations, large and small, B2B and B2C identify, to segment and target their markets and audiences. However, we don’t stop when the segmentation research ends. We work with clients to identify the segments which hold the greatest opportunity (and equally those where there is no opportunity) and develop propositions and messaging strategies that will work with the key target groups.

How do we do it?

Typically, we start with a workshop rather than a questionnaire so that we genuinely understand the product (or service) and your business challenges (both external and internal). The workshop around the product or service might include:

  • The problems the product/service addresses
  • The benefits it delivers
  • General perceptions of the product
  • What might prompt its purchase
  • Potential objections to the purchase
  • The buying process
  • Who typically buys it
  • The perceived characteristics of a typical buyer
  • Internal barriers to change

And if you chose to work with us be prepared to have your assumptions challenged (nicely of course!), as that is what we are here for.

Our segmentation techniques:

Typically, the segmentation research we undertake tends to fall into three main categories:

  1. Demographic
  2. Geographic
  3. Behavioural

These aren’t exclusive and inevitably geographic and demographic analysis are included in consumer segmentation studies in the same way that sector and size are nearly always included in B2B segmentation studies. Increasingly, however, we use behavioural or needs-based segmentation in both B2B and B2C segmentation studies to bring a different dimension to the insight we provide. This often takes into the area of developing buyer personas.

Why? (Always a good question)

We use needs-based segmentation for a number of reasons:

  • In consumer markets, we’re finding that age is becoming less and less effective as a way of segmenting markets. In fact, some of the trends we’re seeing are counter-intuitive.
  • Some of the groups people are using to segment markets (e.g. Millennials) are driven by hype rather than insight and targeting a group that’s so inhomogeneous is often counter productive.
  • Personality and, perhaps more importantly, need are not defined by age, geography, sector, size of organisation of job title. The drivers that cause people to look for and purchase a product or service inevitably come from a shared set of values or requirements and if you understand these you can message far more effectively.
  • The development of digital marketing has made demand pull (attracting people to you when they need something) more important than push marketing (proactively promoting your goods and services to people). By understanding the needs your customers are looking to address and consequently what they are going to search for means you get noticed when they do the inevitable Google search.
  • Segmentation studies that understand needs and drivers allow organisations to develop personas. Once these have been identified, you can construct specific target groups that your organisation can identify with and use to develop propositions and messaging strategies.

Sapio specialises in segmentation research studies but we bring a new twist to the work we do through our understanding of the importance of behaviour and the businesses can use the insight to change the way they work.

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