And more important, the internet is a number of different motivations: information, entertainment, communication, shopping etc.
In our experience, traffic source is often more important than segment. Search users behave differently than people coming from display. And in display, CPM traffic is way different than affiliate.
The traffic is the segment.
Attempting to segment online based on content or audience the way you would with TV or magazines is, at best, an exercise in faith. (The hoodoo that goes into online segmentation along traditional lines is another subject).
We suggest an entirely different approach. Forget a priori segmentation and media mix. Do not presume you know much of anything about the medium, audience or message. Craft some communication and then cast those ads as widely as possible.
If your traffickers are any good, the segments should start to become obvious very very quickly. Adjust the traffic and messaging accordingly.
Its the internet after all. Rather than defining the audience in a vacuum and then casting around trying to go find it, let the audience define itself and come to you. Reminds us of a joke about and old bull and a young bull on the top of a hill….
Next Hippo File, we want to talk about site design in terms of treating different traffic differently.