The Hard Road to Good Customer Segmentation

Anthony Tjan’s Harvard Business Review blog post, Approximately Correct Is Better than Precisely Incorrect, perfectly illustrates the value of customer segmentation.  Your customers are different, and treating them all as if they were the same results in poorly targeted offers, lower sales, and dissatisfied customers.

The trick is that customer segmentation is hard.  Otherwise, everyone would be doing it well!  The ideal segments are cohesive (everyone in a segment has similar behavior and preferences) and actionable (you can identify which segment a customer is in and respond appropriately).  There are more or less three generic flavors of customer segmentation, and all of them have drawbacks. Continue reading The Hard Road to Good Customer Segmentation


Dealing with Information Overload in Business Analysis

It’s interesting to think about how business research and analysis has changed over time.  As recently as the 80′s, analyses were done with slide rules and presentations were done with stencils.  Office applications have of course changed all that, of course.  The amount of data and analysis available has increased dramatically too. Everyone has search engines, market research reports, investor filings, blog posts, and all manner of information at their fingertips much more than in the past. But somehow research is still often a maddening process.  Now there’s too much data, and many times sifting through it is now the real challenge.  Most information sources are poorly organized, and there’s a great deal of inaccurate or redundant data out there as well.  At the same time, everyone’s expectations for work products have risen.

Of course, there are plenty of tools out there that aim to cure these headaches.  Continue reading Dealing with Information Overload