Why Ozsale believes customer segmentation can go too far

Australian online retailer's marketing team talks about why relevancy, and not segmentation, should be the focus for data-driven marketing

While customer segmentation has become something of a mantra for data-driven marketers, few would suspect it’s also possible to take segmentation one step too far.

It certainly wasn’t an outcome that was expected by the flash sales company, Ozsale. The business uses an email-driven model to help fashion brands sell excess or surplus inventory to a database mainly comprised of women.

Ozsale’s original model had been to send the same email to every customer, but the purchase of analytics and campaign management technology from Alterian (since acquired by SDL) gave it a greater ability to capture customer data and use that to create more targeted customer segments.

But according to chief executive of the APAC sale group, Carl Jackson, creating smaller and smaller customer segments based on behaviour led the company to reduce the range of offers it was sending to those customers.

“We went to a point where we went very granular, and dropped off some of the other stuff,” Jackson says. “And that had an impact – we stopped sending as many emails.”

While it is a common desire among email marketers to reduce the volume of email in favour of more highly-targeted communications, this can lead to a reduction in overall sales, as customers are seeing less content.

“We’ve since stepped back from that a little bit and are now offering personalised, relevant content but to a very, very broad customer segment,” Jackson says.

Today, Jackson says it is relevancy that is the goal of Ozsale, rather than highly-targeted customer segmentation. The company has developed six broad categories, ensuring it is able to make offers of products identified in adjacent categories to what customers have purchased previously.

Ozsale has clearly got the balance right, and is now sending offers to 8.5 million email addresses across six countries in the APAC region, and is set to expand further. The SDL tools enable it to capture a wide range of behavioural data, from click throughs and purchasing data to measures of how long customers spend hovering over certain offers.

Even so, Jackson says he is taking a cautious approach to how far he pushes the technology, particularly regarding those possibilities around its core activities in email marketing.

“We’ve gone through explosive growth, and there is lots of great stuff out there,” he says. “But we have been very focused on doing the things that work, and not getting distracted around the other channels and the other pieces of engagement.

“And tempting as it is to do lots of nice things, we stayed very focused on our email segmentation and our email targeting.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 marketing mistakes to overcome when courting prospective customers

Marketing that urges respondents to ‘buy now’ is a little like asking someone to marry you on your first date. At any time, only 3 per cent of the market is looking for what you’re selling, so the chances of your date randomly being ‘The One’ is pretty slim.

Sabri Suby

Founder, King Kong

Why are we dubious about deep learning?

The prospect of deep learning gives those of us in the industry something to get really excited about, and something to be nervous about, at the same time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Why you can’t afford to fail at CX in 2019

In 1976 Apple launched. The business would go on to change the game, setting the bar for customer experience (CX). Seamless customer experience and intuitive designs gave customers exactly what they wanted, making other service experiences pale in comparison.

Damian Kernahan

Founder and CEO, Proto Partners

Red Agency YouGov Galaxy Report, February 2019 Predictors Study. https://redagency.com.au/re...

Vanessa Skye Mitchell

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

RIP holden

Max Polding

Marketing professor: For Holden, brand nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Read more

Where does the claim that 2 million Australians have tested come from ? Anecdotal information suggests that this is way off the mark.

David Andersen

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

Thank you for the info , being part of a digital marketing agency in kerala , this proved handy and get to know with upcoming trends. htt...

Dotz Web Technologies

Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

Read more

So who then is correct? The Research or The skilled Digital people.

Anene

Report reveals Australia faces digital skills shortage

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in