Startup Lessons Learned: Customer Segmentation Exercise, Fun!

The other day, I realized with all the hubbub that happens in our small & growing startup Dasheroo, that I had lost touch a bit with just whoour customers are. Sure, I could talk about “here’s how many we have, this % are agencies, that % are consumer brands, here’s the ARPU and this % are outside the US” type crap, but it bugged me I hadn’t done a deeper dive for awhile.

Dasheroo customer segmentation research in Google Sheets

I put our customers into Google Sheets on my Dasheroo dashboard so everyone could see!

So on yet another gorgeous San Francisco day I hauled my dog Dwight, a beer and my MacBook out on our patio for a little customer segmentation project. I took 100 random paying customers that are from our ‘sales assisted’ category, meaning they pay us enough $$ to have a sales person work with them, as opposed to our lower ARPU ‘auto convert’ biz. Not saying the auto convert biz is in any way less important, but I needed to focus where to point or limited resources for outbound sales efforts.

One by one, I hit their websites and built on a Google Sheet with a simple ‘who – where – what’ layout; the customer name, where they are based, and what type of business they are.

OK, maybe it took a beer or so more to complete but as I progressed I got more and more excited. I mean, it’s so easy to go from one sale to the next, always focused on ‘the next’ that you can begin to miss some key trends and customer profile types.

In this case, a few really interesting, and I hope actionable, trends were spotted with my customer segmentation research:

  • Agencies that target the SMB market. Regional in nature, and a good concentration in the Southeast US and Australia
  • These agencies aren’t ‘we’ll do everything for you’, a huge % focus on social media and influencer campaigns and measurement only.
  • A few decentralized departments of pretty large, well known consumer brands.

So what? Here’s what: we’re gonna re-focus our lead gen budget with these geos and a closer match to the ‘social media’ agency markets vs. a more broad targeting. Next, we’re thinking about launching an outbound effort to “land & expand’ to grow within the large consumer brands, working our way across geographic departments first and hopefully further across functional departments within each location!

Sure, I could have ditched this project off to someone else. But sometimes rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands a little dirty with customer segmentation can really help put your focus back where it matters. Next, a similar exercise with our auto convert buyers!

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