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Member Segmentation: Using Personas to Catapult Your Sales


Data can help you know more about your customers. However, what you do with data is equally important. It’s not enough to acquire general member stats, like your customer’s basic contact information. Consumers are more market-savvy than ever and they expect brands to speak to them, not at them.

To build loyalty, you want to know your members on a more personal level, whether you have 50 or 50,000. What sounds like an impossible task is actually doable with the right marketing partner and the right tools. One such tool is called a “persona,” and this new approach is being utilized by brands big and small.

In order to utilize personas effectively, you should choose a data company privy to an enormous amount of detailed information and one that utilizes several different types of databases, such as retail, direct mail, digital and more. The more varied the data, the better.

For your industry, fitness personas will help segment customers into more human categories. In addition to demographics, personality similarities — such as buying habits or hobbies — help define and group your members. Every company’s database is different and not all fitness personas apply — typically three or four will emerge.

For example, one company may find they have a lot of members who look like the “young millennial” personas and a lot of “retired empty-nester” personas. Another club may have three completely different personas that represent their members.

Let’s delve deeper into the young millennial fitness persona, whom we’ll call Stephanie.  Stephanie is most likely to join a low-cost fitness club. Why? Her demographics and historical attributes provide these types of details. She’s either still in school or starting a first job. Some nuances to Stephanie are that she actively seeks sales and discounts, is not that fitness-oriented, and is short on time and money.

Using the Stephanie persona as a category enables a data company to identify customers that look like or resemble Stephanie. You can begin tailoring a message to them, when they are receptive to hearing it — in the car, on their phone, at their desktop or even when they are opening their mail. The way you connect with Stephanie will be different than the way you’d connect with members whose personas look more like a retired empty-nesters.  

What’s happening in the market now means the days of “one size fits all” are officially over. According to MarketingProfs, personalization is the key to success, leading to an average increase of 19% in sales. Finding a data company that understands this new way forward is the perfect partner when you are ready to invest in a forward-thinking marketing plan.

Gretchen Weaver is the associate creative director at Epsilon. She can be reached at Gretchen.Weaver@Epsilon.com.


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