A quick Google search of “marketing tools” turns up a staggering list of results. From keyword resources to social media scheduling software and much more, there’s no shortage of tools for excellent marketing execution. But this wide variety pays far less attention to an important behind-the-scenes portion of marketing: strategizing, especially data segmentation.
At 4Thought Marketing, one of our primary concerns is privacy. Our state-of-the-art privacy compliance software, 4Comply, is designed to help you keep track of who you’re legally allowed to contact for marketing purposes. But on its own, this information won’t help you construct a campaign. That’s why we created a partner tool to visually segment your data and help you isolate your target audience. Here’s a closer look at our program, 4Segments.
What Does 4Segments Do?
4Segments is designed to make handling your long list of contacts far easier. Once you give the program access to your raw data, 4Segments will convert that data into action. Your contacts will be sorted based on who they are, what they are, whether you have consent to contact them, what they’re interested in, and other criteria you can set yourself. The contacts are then transferred directly into your marketing campaigns.
Best of all, 4Segments presents its conversion results in purely visual form. You won’t have to read through a long spreadsheet for the data you need! For example, imagine you’re building an email campaign targeting people who are:
- Based out of California
- In the tech industry
4Segments will sort your contacts so you can easily find these categories. You can then drag and drop each category onto a canvas, where 4Segments will then display differently-colored circles, each representing one group and each proportionally sized. The circles will automatically overlap to show how many contacts match two separate criteria. Add the third circle into the mix and your contact pool narrows even further.
You can then click on the section where all three circles intersect and save it as a new segment. You’ll never have to repeat criteria searches or rewrite code for future projects.
What is 4Segments NOT?
4Segments is designed to make your backstage marketing strategy much simpler. However, there are a few things that 4Segments cannot do. Remember that this program is not:
- A report writer or generator
- A CRM tool
- An analytics tool
- A marketing automation tool
- A tool for emails or nurturing
4Segments works in the background to help you plan your next campaign. It wasn’t designed to be part of the campaign or keep track of the results. It connects with the tools that has those functions.
Advantages of 4Segments
Marketing experts will be glad to learn that 4Segments doesn’t have to be used in a vacuum. Rather than being a standalone program, 4Segments is an add-on to existing marketing automation and privacy compliance tools, especially 4Comply, Eloqua and Adobe tools. This certainly means it costs less than its competitors! But built-in integrations provide another level of functionality entirely.
4Segments can currently integrate with these marketing programs:
- Sage CRM
Future integrations with Salesforce and the Responsys System by Oracle are also planned for the near future. The integration process itself doesn’t require a significant amount of work from the user either. 4Segments requires a few hours, rather than a few days, to properly connect to other marketing tools. And if you need to connect 4Segments to a program not on our list, just make sure it has a robust API and we can integrate it for you.
As a completely cloud-based system, 4Segments works smoothly with other cloud-based tools and only requires an internet connection for full access. This is a huge advantage in the internet age. But for anyone who prefers to save their work on their computer’s hard drive rather than the internet, 4Segments allows users to drag and drop segments directly into Excel or Eloqua, where a spreadsheet or campaign is created automatically. This provides another way to examine your data without spending hours formatting hundreds of cells.
How Data Segmentation Helps Your Marketing Efforts
How exactly does data segmenting improve your marketing strategy? Every industry has its own answer, but several particular advantages transcend fields.
First of all, 4Segments’ data organization system converts walls of text into colorful visuals. You can sort data into circles based on different criteria or even use a map to sort customers by their geographic location. Best of all, the same overlap functions apply to both maps and circles!
Second, 4Segments allows you to organize your subsets of data into sales funnels. This is a unique approach to visualizing sets of contacts. Simply by looking at where each customer is on your sales funnel, you’ll know what tasks to approach next. You can even drag and drop sales funnel segments into actionable tasks just like any other visual function.
Finally, and most importantly, 4Segments converts raw data into tangible action items. Our visual system tells you at a glance how much information you have and what you can or should do with it. If you see a significant number of potential customers living in the EU, you’ll know you need to determine how much you can contact them. If one customer lives down the street from your business and the other is half a world away, you can determine that the latter should be contacted via email rather than physical mail. This kind of automatic organization streamlines your workday and can save you massive amounts of time.
How 4Segments Improves Customer Privacy
At 4Thought Marketing, we understand that sustained customer privacy is essential to proper marketing. This is why we’ve specially designed it to integrate with the three core capabilities of 4Comply, our privacy management solution. 4Segments is even included for free with your 4Comply purchase, ready to go out of the box! Here are just a few ways it can help your marketing efforts.
Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs)
4Segments allows you to keep track of how many people are requesting access to their data and the type of access they’re requesting. Not only does this help you visualize how often this is happening, but it can also help you pinpoint issues.
For example, let’s say a lot of your customers are suddenly requesting access to their data. Using 4Segments, you notice that most of these requests are for the right to portability—customers are asking to move all of their data from your company to a competitor. You segment the data further and discover a common trend in all these requests. The customers all live in a region where your services aren’t as good as they could be. Based on this new insight, you can focus on improving your services and perhaps attract some of these customers back. You’ll understand both the customers that continue buying from you and the ones that are leaving for someone else.
Data access requests also give you a unique opportunity to clean up your collected information. Of all the contacts leaving or requesting to be forgotten, how many of them have purchased from you? How many have purchased from you recently—and are they likely to do so again? A smaller database isn’t a bad thing if all the contacts you’ve retained are worthwhile. It could actually save you a significant amount of money since many software packages charge per contact!
Consent & Permissions Management
This one is straightforward: 4Segments lets you keep track of who you can contact for marketing purposes and how you can reach out. You can easily sort your data based on who has provided consent and who might live in a region where your options are limited. This in turn helps you build a targeted audience for your new marketing campaign.
Secure Legal Activities Record
Remember the legal activities vault in 4Comply? 4Segments makes that data easier to visualize and understand. You can keep track of which legal challenges you encounter the most and isolate info for a specific case. You can also monitor potential legal vulnerabilities to keep your company in the clear.
Your legal history can also affect how you interpret local privacy laws in the future. For instance, has your company been interpreting the law in a “vague” manner? How many people did you market to with this strategy, and were you ever challenged? Public response to your actions can and should influence your corporate privacy policies. Your legal team will certainly appreciate the clarity!
Who Needs Improved Data Segmentation?
Marketing professionals who will get the most out of 4Segments include:
- Heads of sales departments
- VPs of marketing
- Marketing strategists
- Marketing automation systems users
- Sales managers
On a larger scale, 4Segments was designed with huge companies in mind. Businesses with tens of thousands or even millions of contacts can’t afford the time or energy required to manage them all manually. 4Segments makes the process of handling big numbers far easier.
4Segments focuses on companies with experience in marketing automation, databases that could be cleaner, and a clear vision of how they plan to segment and use their data.
Marketing is a complex and demanding career. And for anyone who has to deal with potentially massive databases of contact information, the task can feel overwhelming. At 4Thought Marketing, we want to change that. Our goal is to streamline marketing tasks and help you stay on track toward your goals. With the new release of 4Segments, we’re proud to bring you the most powerful data segmentation tool on the market.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about 4Segments and 4Comply to see how they can improve your data segmentation strategy.