Pub. 2 2020 | Issue 8


Market Segmentation: Meet ‘Em, Get ‘Em, Rock and Roll

Deep within the vaults of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland — and alive in the memory banks of every red-blooded American Boomer — lurks one of the key secrets to success in digital marketing.

It is encrypted in three lyrical lines of the popular classic “Another Saturday Night,” a bouncy 1963 lament about a young guy who has a job and money, but no girl to enjoy his time with. It was penned and sung by the immortal Sam Cooke, an R&B artist and early civil rights activist so formative to the American music scene during the 1960s that he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame when it first opened in 1986. And that was just one of the many ways Sam Cooke was first in class throughout his life.

Those three lines are:
If I could meet ‘em I could get ‘em
But as yet I haven’t met ‘em
That’s why I’m in the shape I’m in.

It has long been apparent in my marketing mind that Sam was singing to all of us about market segmentation. Obviously. How could it be otherwise? After all, market segmentation is all about meeting ‘em (specific target audiences) so you can get ‘em (sell your bank’s products/services/brand experience.)

We all know market segmentation is the first chapter in Advertising Strategies 101 for all media choices, both traditional and digital. But because digital technologies enable so many more ways to slice and dice today’s target markets, they are extraordinarily essential in enabling savvy marketing professionals (and their employers and clients) to cash in on the two-pronged value proposition of digital marketing:

  1. More value and less waste.
  2. More accountability for each advertising investment (ROI).

Here’s a quick overview of the most common market segmentation alchemies that we use at Keenan-Nagle. Where applicable, elements of each can be formulated into a single targeting strategy tailored to zero in on audience targets most likely to say “tell me more” about your offering.

Demographic Segmentation:

The trusty stalwart of all marketing, demographics remains a reliable vehicle to get you into the general neighborhood. Target audiences are identified by any or all of their most measurable characteristics; the main ones include gender, age, income, geographic residence, education, marital status, race and household size.

Behavioral Segmentation:

A more-focused breed of market segmentation, this groups consumers based on specific consumption patterns that they have demonstrated in their website-visiting history. Most behavioral targeting is based on two criteria for each individual:

  1. Past purchasing history, and
  2. Website browsing history

Psychographic Segmentation:

Sort of the “smarter, more sensitive sister” to demographic and behavioral approaches, psychographics zero in on personal values, affinities and motivations as a targeting goal. Psychographics use social analysis tools to search follower traits for attributes, which can then be used to create messages that appeal to their lifestyles, priorities, attitudes and aspirations.

A good example of psychographic targeting that comes to my mind is the recent “Love” campaign by Subaru, which tapped into the socially responsible inclinations of this targeted audience. In effect, using warm human feelings to sell cold steel.


Another timely tool, dayparting targets users that are most active on the web at particular times of the day. Think Scrabble With Friends from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.


This tool has been around since the beginning of digital advertising and is still very effective. It serves up ad content to a very important segment — people who have visited your website and already shown interest in what you are offering. In a moment of wistful want, have you ever visited the Maserati website? Or Ferrari? Or Aston-Martin? I have. (Any readers lacking the curse of chronic auto envy can fill in your own ridiculously impractical and totally unattainable fantasy brands here.) And the retargeting ads have followed me with loser scorn ever since.

Third Party Data Segmentation:

Third party data is data purchased from vendors that did not collect the original information, but have aggregated it from a variety of sources. It is abundant, constantly growing, increasingly granular and powerful. When used effectively, it helps ensure that your community bank’s ads are truly getting in front of the right people. When using third party data, there are a lot of vendors to choose from and a lot of data outlets they can pull from. Before choosing any vendor or particular set of data to use, confirm their sources. Your results will only be as good as the quality of the information you use.


Michael C. Keenan is the president and CEO of Keenan-Nagle Advertising, Inc. Based in Allentown, PENNSYLVANIA, with a full-service team of 12 professionals, the Keenan-Nagle firm has specialized in community bank marketing for more than three DECADES. FOR MORE HELPFUL facts, visit or call 610-797-7100.

This story appears in 2020 Issue 8 of the Hometown Banker Magazine.

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