A Segmentation Refresh – Is it the right time for your organization?

Feb 28, 2024Insights

Segmentation research is a shared passion and expertise here at Catapult – throughout our careers we have created, worked with, and refreshed well over 30 segmentation solutions. In an earlier blog we covered the core elements of what makes a segmentation successful, but how do you keep it successful? From our collective experience, we have picked up on the cues and signs of when a segmentation is in need of a refresh (or even needs to be thrown out), instead of being dragged along by an organization for just one more year. Instead of hoarding this knowledge, we decided to share three of the larger signs that it might be time to refresh an organization’s segmentation solution.


When an established organization is a master of their craft and understands their current customers well, but then decides to expand into an adjacent market, this is when we start to see old ideas and segmentations being applied to a new category. New markets, new products, new offerings, and new customers usually mean new research is needed to understand them – segmentation solutions included. The investment in entering new markets with new products and services is tremendous, the key is to also recognize that new research needs to be a part of those business strategies so you can hit the ground running.



A great segmentation will stay relevant for an organization for about 5 years. We understand that segmentations are expensive, time intensive, and draining on those involved when done correctly with no corner cutting – because of the investment, its not uncommon for an organization to squeeze it for all it’s worth, for as long as they can. The effort, skill, and collaboration put into a segmentation determines how quickly its twilight years approach.


We’ve seen a handful of times where an existing segmentation starts performing abnormally. For example, your star segment represented 50% of the market, but recent research is now showing them to be more like 25% of the market. What happened? Assuming the shift is real (not a research error), something is clearly happening in the market (think about how the MP3 player market felt in 2008 – a full year after the introduction of the iPhone, or how the introduction of mobile ordering changed consumers’ QSR ordering behaviors and attitudes). A great segmentation would suddenly need an immediate refresh due to a major shift in the market and rapidly changing consumer preferences. If you don’t refresh or update your segmentation, you run the risk of it not being relevant or effective in the new, changing world.


Highlighted here are just three of the many signs that point towards the need for a segmentation refresh or overhaul. People are constantly in flux when it comes to their purchase and shopping preferences – do you still buy the same products in the exact same way as you did 5 years ago? 10 years ago? You probably don’t and that’s expected because our world is constantly evolving (technology advances, new services, etc.) and as we move through life, our attitudes and behaviors are all impacted by every external factor imaginable (and unimaginable). But with so much variation within us, there is one thing that never changes: we will forever be just like another group of people with similar needs and desires waiting for our needs to be met.



Andre Barroso


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