Change and growth are an inevitable part of life. When it comes to your business both of these occur in real-time, right before your eyes. Today in the Durable Medical Equipment space, once you differentiate your offering, start to build a name, and people start to come to your site the next steps can cause a bit of a conundrum. The question is what should you do when your audience and influence start to expand? How should you prepare for the next stage of your business growth?
When do you start to segment your DME audience?
The answer is typically when you have large enough customer base to start asking who and why questions. This isn’t tied to a number per se but once you can start to track buying patterns, and you have enough data to analyze, it may be time to start looking into segmentation.
- You have to have a growth plan in place and that generally means you have to start to analyze who your customers are, what they are buying, how they find you, understand their behaviors, and why they are coming to your site
- You have to figure out if the audiences can be segmented based on organization, purchasing habits, buying patterns, or user behavior
- You now have to figure out how to keep your base you have just attained, grow your base, and where to expand out to from a vertical, or user group perspective
The idea of segmentation is to create personas for unique customers or groups and cater to their needs based on their consumer behaviors. Really what we are talking about is creating a specific user experience for certain groups and individuals. What you are trying to do is enhance the percentage of chance your groups will become regular and repeat buyers by tailoring a buying experience to their own personal or their own company’s needs. In the DME space there are many ways to segment your audience and I have examples below.
Examples of potential DME Segments:
- Elderly Care Facilities
- Individual Buyers (Everyday Consumers with at home care needs)
- At Home Care Providers
- Doctors’ Offices
The list above could go on and on. The idea though is you are dealing with individuals and or groups that will be buying regularly and have specific needs. The idea is to create views and content relevant to their experiences. You need an organized approach to analytics and data collection to make this work properly. Your Marketing and Merchandising has to be set up in such a way to facilitate a likely to purchase experience via use of the data you collected.
What are the best way to segment an audience?
- Creating a “Store Within a Store Experience” on your main site to address the needs of preferred groups or individuals
- Creating a “Dedicated Shopping Experience” via use of microsites so you can create a dedicated shopping portal where your purchasing groups needs are me
At some point, when your DME business grows from being small to a medium sized all business, all owners and IT professionals will have to address these topics to assure continued growth. It is a good time to start now in planning the next steps of your company’s future now. If you grow too fast you will be caught playing catch up and not being prepared when there is a sudden inundation of business and opportunity. If you fail to meet this challenge it can impact your business and its reputation, as we all know DME is a competitive arena and there are always challengers waiting to take your place in the spotlight.