The Media Industry is an Example of the Need for Customer Segmentation

Yesterday on 1A —a public radio show that covers policy, politics, technology, and what connects us— they covered the cuts that swept through the media industry over the past few weeks.

The Cut, from New York Magazine, estimated that 2,100 media workers were laid off across many different news outlets.

While the companies’ reasonings behind mass layoffs aren’t identical, there is a common thread: The cuts have less to do with the talent of the workers, and more to do with financial imperatives and the whims of investors.

There was a general blame on “market forces” that caused the financial difficulties for these companies, but many pointed the finger squarely on two digital giants. Google and Facebook are taking in more than half of the total revenue from digital advertising. Are those two simply sucking all the money out of media?

“This isn’t happening because of market inefficiencies or consumer preferences or social value,” HuffPost senior reporter Zach Carter tweeted. “It’s happening because two very large companies have taken the advertising revenue that journalism outlets rely on and replaced it with nothing.”

Amanda Zamora, the Chief Audience Officer for the Texas Tribune spoke about the importance of not just chasing traffic, but knowing their audience to engage with them better.

“We talk to Facebook, we talk to Google about how we publish our content on those platforms,” she said. “And we talk about ‘what are our needs as a non-profit news organization’ that’s really prioritizing membership and retention of our audience and being able to know and understand our audience better.

But she sees a positive change that has come recently. “I’ve been focusing on audience development for almost 10 years now and those conversations really have changed with the platforms,” she said. “From them basically saying ‘we have a new thing for you to try,’ or ‘we want you to be doing this or that.’ The conversation always being about traffic to us having much more nuanced conversations with them about our business goals as well.”

At Campos our team has always strived to help clients see past the base metrics and find the ways to truly connect with their customers. We’re big believers in having the nuanced conversations. One of our core methodologies for that sort of research is customer segmentation.

For years we’ve been helping companies segment their customers to reveal small but mighty growth segments, alongside those to maintain, and identify segments that can receive less investment. This lets organizations make the most of their resources.  

Armed with each segment’s demographics, shopping behaviors, attitude and opinion statements, media consumption habits, recreational activities, and more, marketers can exploit the personas to construct targeted communications plans. It’s a process that massive companies are using that is accessible to businesses of all sizes.