#SmallBiz Analytics Customer-Contact Management Database Direct Marketing Marketing Sales Small business

How to re-think your usage of segmentation and vertical marketing procedures…

and seriously, it’s not that difficult to start now.

I recently finished writing the latest edition of Direct Marketing Success. As I was completing research for this edition, I found marketers are still not embracing the data in vertical marketing and segmenting their contacts within their target markets.

“There are many market segments our company can serve, but frankly, I just need a list of companies who use direct mail, fulfillment or printing.”  Direct Marketing Mail Company President.

So evidently, the market is still wide enough so others can embrace a single digit response rate.

Start simple and have an open mind.

Here is a simple but important suggestion on grading and segmenting your business contacts to help you start building a successful marketing database. I have used these same definitions for years that have contributed immensely to our customers success.

Here are three different segment types you can use to test.

  1. A client provides your company a consistent revenue stream and reaches the 80 percentiles of customers purchasing your services and products revenue.
  2. A customer uses your services or products occasionally but you probably do not get the 80% of their business.
  3. A prospect has the potential to be a customer or a client.

Go ahead and try it now by grading a few of your present business contacts. It’s easier to judge your customers as you determine who is using what services or products with this simple grading analogy. You may even discover a surprise or two along the way about your customers and prospects that can earn you some new revenue.

Now here is where another time saving element comes into play.

How many times have you wanted to do a promotional message to your contacts, or present a special offer, but you want to be careful to whom it was sent to? You wind up agonizing about what to do and eventually, the idea is scraped. And then, all you have is wasted time and money. Knowing who is in your marketing database and what they use or need, greatly reduces the chance of this recurring.

Obviously, there is more to segmentation than the one system described above. But segmenting after you start collecting data and information is more worthwhile than doing it all at once during the initial phase of your marketing database.

You eliminate guesses and wind up building an incredible database that meet many user needs from your company marketing database. Now, the contacts you are communicating with, receive relevant messages and information.

Vertical Markets.

As you to collect contact data and information, take a moment and start thinking about vertical marketing based on your latest data analysis.

Build a vertical market segment in your marketing database. Add the top 20% of total revenue companies spent with your companies. Then determine what vertical market if any, each company represents in your top 20% list.

Now, visualize a few simple assumptions about each contact in your 20% revenue generators list.

Next, return to your marketing segments and see what you may have to add to your database.

  • It provides additional ideas within your segments to possibly add another grouping, making your choices a bit easier to see the bigger picture.
  • Provides simple tracking and placement of information.
  • Addresses scheduling and call backs.
  • You placed a value on your marketing database so it is not considered an expense.

Yes, it’s as valuable, if not more so, than any money-making piece machinery you use on a day-to-day basis. Plus, if something is valuable, people appreciate it and respect it. That’s why it is such an important asset for your organization.


The biggest downfall is the lack of information and data not entered or entered incorrectly into a contacts file. You need to put one person in charge of the marketing database. This person adds, data, analyzes data and provides information to others based on their need.

It is only when you put your message in front of a qualified prospect that you can go to bed at night and rest easy, knowing that your marketing database is doing exactly what it is supposed to do and is coordinated with your sales team’s best efforts.

That’s the main reason the data portion of your direct marketing mail campaign is so critical. The best offer printed in full color, along with the best headline touting the greatest benefits, is a waste of money when in the wrong hands.

So, now with these vertical markets and segments you have built, consider purchase a CRM or marketing automation tool. You’ll be amazed what other tools you’ll have to go further into building better data.

Let me know what you think.

Need more Direct Marketing Success?

The articles in each issue of Direct Marketing Success are ready to help you acquire new customers, and get your existing customers to buy more. To get your copy today, click here.

Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

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Teaching and Coaching – It’s what I do.



Mike Deuerling
aka: MarketingDoc

800.251.3608 /


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