This is a compilation of daily posts that I’ve published throughout the week of December 4, 2017 on LinkedIn.

What is Segment

This week, I’m gonna write a series of posts on Personas, the latest offering from Segment.

Personas is a new beta product released lately and that was demoed last week. But it’s probably best to start off with what Segment is in the first place, as probably some of you are not familiar with it.

Let’s start from an example. A visitor comes to your site, signs up for a trial, eventually subscribes, uses the app further and contacts your support service. Those are just some of the actions done by one visitor and for which data is generated and captured by different systems (Website, Payment system, CRM, etc.).

Segment acts as a big customer data switchboard, capturing data from many sources, unifying the data and piping it to a data warehouse and 3rd party services such as Hubspot, Woopra, etc.

So let’s say our user signed up for a free trial, contacted your support service, didn’t subscribe and became inactive for the last 30 days. Segment can help you target those users and launch campaigns to reactivate them.

Very crudely, that is the essence of Segment. But we’ll see that Personas takes it a step further by calculating new traits and building audiences directly from source. We’ll get into why this is cool tomorrow.

Why Personas

I briefly introduced Segment yesterday, but let’s get to what we want to talk about here: Personas.

If we start from that goal we’re all aiming for, which is to personalize our services, then we know that we first need a single view of our customers. Personas aggregates data from all your sources under a unified identity and synchronizes that information to your marketing channels.

Segment Personas - Single View of Customers

Segment Personas – Single View of Customers

So as behaviours are coming in real-time to Segment, new traits are automatically computed and attached to your users (more on computed traits tomorrow). That means you can define audiences right from the source (e.g. trial users who contacted supported and haven’t subscribed) and sync those to your marketing channels. No need to configure that audience on all channels.

No more ETL in the middle. Just instant capture + transformation + computation of traits + definition of audiences + synchronisation to marketing channels.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll look at the mechanics itself – computing traits and defining audiences.

Computing Traits

We’ve seen Monday that Segment allows you to unify your view of your customers by merging data that comes from multiple sources (website, mobile app, CRM, payment system, etc.). And we’ve exposed yesterday how Personas now allows you to directly work within Segment to append new traits to your users and define audiences that will automatically sync with your marketing channels. For our next 2 posts, I want to look at the mechanics of those 2 functionalities that allows Segment to act as the brain behind your customer data strategy.

There is a lot of info that comes from sources and that is being merged within Segment. Combinations of those raw traits can be computed into new traits. As the image shows, Personas now allows you to compute such traits as average order size, average time on site, lifetime value, last login, etc.

Segment Personas - Computing Traits

Segment Personas – Computing Traits

Not only can you build traits based on historical data, but also based on predictive models created by your data science team or provided in Persona’s catalogue. So now, you can easily add traits such as product recommendation, churn probability, lead score, predicted LTV, etc. to your audiences.

All those traits can then be used to define audiences we want to target, so we can influence their behaviours. More on that tomorrow.

Defining Audiences

As seen yesterday, not only does Segment Personas centralizes traits about a user, but you can also compute your own traits based on historical data or predictive models. What to do with those now?

Well suppose you want to launch a cross-channel campaign to re-activate customers that made large purchases in the past but haven’t been seen on your website for a while now. You can define an audience, such as what is done in the attached image, using your user’s traits.

Segment Personas - Configuring Audiences

Segment Personas – Configuring Audiences

Now that you’ve defined an audience, you can automatically sync it with marketing channels such as Facebook Custom Audiences, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Twitter Ads, etc. That means you do not need to define that audience on all of your marketing channels – Segment Personas takes care of all that for you.