A Lesson in Audience Segmentation, with the help of Mean Girls

In the film Mean Girls, lead character Cady comes upon her first day at a new high school with aplomb but soon runs into a defining dilemma at lunch: who does she sit with?

Her decision is made easy for her in a couple of ways. First, she’s invited to join a table. And second, it just so happens to be the table for a new student seeking acceptance.

This decision of who to sit with at lunch is of such paramount importance because it not only will define Cady’s identity to everyone else, but subconsciously it requires her to be honest with how she sees herself. Does she fit in with the jocks, the nerds, the cheerleaders or any of the other groups who have systemically divided themselves?

Now, imagine each table as its own distinct target audience, for advertising purposes.

If you think back to your own time in school, how did you determine whom you sat with during lunch? If things were as segmented as they were at North Shore High School (the fictional school from the film) or were things a little less black and white and more grey at your school?

Whatever your personal experience, if you reflect on the way groups naturally divide, you can begin to explore the vast similarities and differences in self-identity. Then, use that as a basis for building target audiences for your company’s digital advertising strategy. In digital, it’s almost always best to view your targets in shades of grey rather than black & white.

Of course, your ideal audience(s) will depend almost entirely upon what your goals are. For Cady, immediate acceptance was at the top of the list. For your company’s digital presence, you may want to be accepted by the masses, but it’s also important to get the best bang for your buck.

Imagine Cady is a potential customer at your business. She’s standing in the center of the lunchroom trying to figure out where to sit. As a brand, you could leave the decision up to chance, or you can boost your odds of conversion by simply offering an invitation. And all it took to help her decide to sit with “The Plastics” that first day was an invitation.

Your digital advertising campaigns are the invitation. Invite your audience to join in the conversation throughout your media strategy—the easiest way to extend your invitation, social media my friends!

Andrea Rowan

Andrea has dedicated over a decade to improving the marketing techniques and strategies that SMBs have access to utilize as they grow their business. She loves to find practical applications for both her formal schooling (Masters, University of Denver) and years of leadership experience in the digital space. The foundation of her career is rooted in traditional media and marketing principles with a new age digital twist! Most recently she is applying her leadership skills and passion for the digital space as General Manager of excelerate Digital.