Segmentation studies are all too often a nightmare for market research departments. Mismatched stakeholder expectations, high costs, difficult to measure ROI, etc., can cause sleepless nights for already overwhelmed researchers.
Now, try conducting a segmentation study with all these problems in mind – but without any demographic or attitudinal data. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, many market researchers trying to segment their online audiences share this dilemma. The concealed nature of the Internet – where anonymity reigns and privacy is valued – means that little personal information is available unless visitors provide authentication information. Since most websites do not require visitors to log-in, lack of data is a major obstacle.
The good news is, there are workarounds. Online segmentation may never look exactly like traditional segmentation but when done effectively, it can still be useful for any companies operating in the online space. The availability of free web analytics tools such as Google Analytics makes behavioral data accessible to all web teams at a basic level. With some know-how and creativity, even limited behavioral information can yield interesting insights.