BlogInsightsAI in customer research and segmentation

AI in customer research and segmentation

This is the first article of the Enhancing go-to-market with human-managed AI series, examining the AI’s role in customer research and highlighting its ability to identify customer segments and personas quickly and with precision. This discussion is crucial for businesses aiming to tailor their offerings to meet specific audience needs, without overspending valuable time on human-only activities that can delay time-to-market.

Categorising your customer base into distinct segments can help you create marketing strategies and communication approaches to better meet each group’s specific needs and preferences effectively.

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High-quality data is paramount for customer research

Data reliability and quality are key factors to ensure the accuracy of insights. Most generative AI tools are trained on a mixture of licensed data sourced from publicly available material. Some AI applications are designed to search the web in real time, while others generate responses based on the last dataset before a training cut-off. At the time of writing, February 2024, a free version of ChatGPT by OpenAI provides responses trained on patterns and information up to January 2022. No visibility into the latest market knowledge and technology innovation may lead to outdated or incomplete insights. The commercial offerings of popular AI tools can provide more flexibility and accuracy, including access to real-time information and the ability to use targeted data, either proprietary or public.

Audience segmentation with AI – Identifying distinct customer personas

The quality of output by any given AI algorithm is directly tied to the quality of data available to it. With quality customer data collected at relevant times and with proper consent, you can use AI for quick and precise segmentation. While you can segment customers manually, using AI to analyse large volumes of data saves you valuable time and effort.

We have put AI to work, instructing the application to analyse a structured contact list and group the contacts into distinct customer segments based on similarities. Within each segment, we have prompted AI to identify the following criteria:

As a result, we have identified three distinct customer segments, which will become the basis for persona profiles.

Segment 1: Marketing Professionals

Commonalities: Engaged in marketing and communications roles
Industry: Information Technology, Digital Marketing, Managed IT Services, Software Development, Web Development, IT Consulting
Location: United Kingdom, United States, Republic of Ireland
Job Titles: Marketing Communications Executive, Marketing Director, Events Manager, Events & Marketing Coordinator, Marketing Manager, CMO

Segment 2: Business Development and Management

Commonalities: Involved in management and business development
Industry: Information Technology, Managed IT Services, Software Development, Web Development, IT Consulting
Location: United Kingdom, United States, Republic of Ireland
Job Titles: Director of Operations, Business Development Manager, CEO, CPO, CCO, CFO

Segment 3: Technology Experts

Commonalities: Engaged in technology-related roles
Industry: Information Technology, Managed IT Services, Software Development, Web Development, IT Consulting
Location: United Kingdom, United States, Republic of Ireland
Job Titles: IT Manager, CTO, Technical Product Manager, Technical Founder

Based on the previously identified customer segments, we have instructed AI to create three persona profiles covering the following aspects:

Demographic: Name, Age, Location
Professional: Job Title, Company Size, Industry, Short Bio
Psychographic: Goals, Challenges, Interests

Persona 1: The Digital Marketing Expert

Name: Sophia Nguyen
Age: 35
Location: London, United Kingdom
Job Title: Marketing Communications Executive
Company Size: Medium-sized (50-250 employees)
Industry: Digital Marketing
Short Bio: Sophia has a degree in Communications and over ten years of experience in digital marketing, having worked her way up from a content writer to her current executive role. She is highly skilled in crafting compelling marketing strategies that leverage the latest digital trends to drive brand awareness and engagement.

Goals:

Challenges:

Interests:

Persona 2: The Strategic Growth Leader

Name: Michael Johnson
Age: 48
Location: New York, United States
Job Title: CEO
Company Size: Small to medium (SME) (10-50 employees) transitioning to medium-sized (50-250 employees)
Industry: Software Development
Short Bio: With an entrepreneurial spirit and a background in computer science, Michael has founded and grown several tech startups into successful scale-ups. He has a keen eye for new market opportunities and is adept at strategic planning, leadership, and fostering a culture of innovation.

Goals:

Challenges:

Interests:

Persona 3: The Tech Innovation Architect

Name: Siobhan Byrne
Age: 40
Location: Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Job Title: CTO
Company Size: Medium (50-250 employees) to large-sized (250-500 employees)
Industry: IT Consulting
Short Bio: Siobhan has a Master’s in Computer Science and over 15 years of experience in the technology sector, specialising in developing innovative IT solutions. She is passionate about using technology to solve complex problems and improve operational efficiencies.

Goals:

Challenges:

Interests:

In the next article of the Enhancing go-to-market with human-managed AI series, we explore how AI, steered by humans, can enhance user engagement, boost customer satisfaction and cement brand loyalty.

Hi! I'm Kateryna Novozhylova, co-founder & CPO at Fractional Teams. I write about product management and agile development practices.


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