The Segment of One: An Expensive Luxury or a Modern Necessity?

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 805 , Published on 21 May 2015

Ever wondered how Amazon manages to show you beforehand products similar to what you had intended to buy? This is precisely what ‘Segment of One’ refers to. In simple words, Segment of One or Personalized Marketing is about approaching the customers not as whole, but as individuals. This kind of segmentation is at such microscopic level that it emphasizes on each individual and his/her detailed online behaviour including the individual’s needs and wants. The pages that we browse every day and the emails that we get from Amazon or be it any e-commerce website per se, are unique to us. They provide a distinctive set of recommendations for dresses, movies, books and various other products we might like based on our past shopping pattern and purchase history.

Segment of One marketing can be seen at its simplest best in case of a hairdresser who cuts hair and does styling differently for different customers, i.e. there is a unique product offering for each customer. This involves remembering to some extent details about every individual’s characteristics and preferences and bringing into use the same to deliver superior service.

Image Courtesy:, Sura-Nualpradid

Amazon happens to be a classic example of a company that practices personalised marketing strategy to its fullest. It is persistently epitomised for its web marketing prowess. They have managed to create a more personalized user experience with the use of this strategy which leverages on the acumen of the people that radically increases customer conversion. According to a recent survey of the ‘Top 10 lists for sites with the most unique visitors in June 2011’, Amazon ranks seventh leaving behind ebay.

Source: blog.hubspot

Most of the e-commerce giants that are enjoying their market share have, gradually, over the years drifted towards having a tailored marketing mix designed for every single individual customer.

A Modern Necessity - The Whys and Wherefores

Segment of one can be called the future of marketing as slowly mass marketing is dwindling in popularity and efficacy. With a major chunk of consumers shifting to online shopping and the boom in e-commerce businesses must reinvent their strategies to market to customers at an individual level to stay competitive and relevant in the market. Segment of one marketing is more than just a technique for customer acquisition. It's also about customer retention and creating customer value and acquiring loyal customers. However, this evolution in marketing strategy isn't about being touchy-feely. Rather it's about creating profitable customer relationships and improving marketing performance.

Today’s consumers are tech-savvy and know what they want and with the increased traffic at online sites a company should know what offers each customer is taking up and what his/her frequent searches are and then tracking the customers actions and purchases. This helps in building an understanding of the behaviour of consumers and their preferences. Tracking consumer behaviour online helps in reducing wasted interactions and helps in increasing consumer engagement and in turn builds customer loyalty. As shown by the survey conducted in July 2013 consumers expect relevant data while searching online.

Source: Janrain/Harris Interactive

With the e-commerce giants like Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart and a slew of start-ups like limeroad, zivame, stalkbuylove etc. following the strategy of “segment of one” marketing, in order to survive and make a mark in today’s e-commerce industry it is necessary to implement this strategy. So in conclusion personalized marketing is a modern necessity and the tool for survival for the brands of today.

This article has been authored by Rohan Shukla and Adrija Basu from Goa Institute of Management





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