How to Maximize Mobile Marketing Efforts with Behavioral Segmentation

Vladyslav Pobyva

Remember the last time you saw an ad and thought “Hey, this is exactly what I need”? That was the result of effective customer segmentation in mobile marketing.

Companies constantly search for more ways to promote their products. That’s why they hire marketers to analyze user behavior, build patterns, and optimize marketing campaigns to implement personalized messages.

Read on to learn more about behavioral segmentation and how it can boost your mobile marketing. Examples included!

What Is Behavioral Segmentation?

What is behavioral segmentation? It is the process of grouping customers into segments based on their behavior patterns. These patterns may include buying habits, needs, or expected benefits.

Understanding the reasons behind each action helps marketers personalize their advertising campaigns, increasing the probability of making a new sale. It’s important to know the four types of behavioral segmentation to leverage their benefits.

Types of behavioral segmentation

Purchase and Usage Frequency 

Segmenting mobile customers according to the frequency of their purchases or interactions is one of the ways to calculate LTV and build predictions. 

You can classify mobile audience into four categories:

  • Heavy: your most loyal customers, who spend most of their time using your product. They are also the first to purchase new offers.
  • Medium: regular clients who usually buy and use your product based on an occasion or emerging need.
  • Light: consumers who buy irregularly and could even be one-time users. They have the least loyalty to your brand.
  • Interested: people with a certain level of interest who could potentially become customers.

Imagine a student who uses a ride-sharing app to commute to their university from Monday to Friday. They don’t need the app on weekends because they aren’t in a hurry and can walk to their destination. 

Seeing this pattern, the ride-sharing service could target the student with discounts on weekends. This would incline the client to use the service even though they didn’t plan to.

The data can also help you detect sleeping customers to target them with a re-engagement campaign. This would cost you five times less than attracting new clients.

Occasion and Timing-Based Behavior

Targeting a client when they’re in a certain emotional state can help you sell more or even convert them into a loyal customer. Finding the right moment is the biggest challenge.

Occasions could include personal events like birthdays or anniversaries. It could also be a seasonal event, like going on vacation. In some cases, this may cover a life milestone purchase like a wedding ring or a house (in which case they might be interested in, e.g., a home buyer's guide).

It is a good option for determining the best time for providing discounts, special offers, and promotions.

For example, Starbucks analyzes the behavior of their regular morning customers to offer happy hour events with discounted coffee via a push notification. This increases the probability that the client will come for another coffee during the day.

Benefits Sought

Customers always look for a product that suits their needs best. Understanding the expected benefits helps you deliver a more sensitive message to improve lead generation and customer retention.

Imagine a mobile phone user. Depending on their expectations from the device, we can create three categories:

  • Work-oriented;
  • Extremely social;
  • Status-oriented.

Work-oriented clients search for cheap but durable phones, social ones need user-friendly mobile devices with the latest tech, and status-oriented people want to get an expensive & stylish product.

Understanding customer needs helps you determine the right sales message. New clients will fall in love with your personalized branding, while current buyers will become even more loyal.

Behavioral segmentation examples


This is where you determine the most active customers, who always buy your products first and are eager to spread the word. The best way to promote customer loyalty is by incorporating a reward program.

Some examples of how reward loyalty programs may work are:

  • “Every fifth coffee for free”;
  • Access to exclusive content;
  • VIP-only discounts, and more.

Your creativity is the only limit. Just make sure to show loyal clients how valuable they are to your brand.

Importance of Behavioral Segmentation in 2023

Huge companies like Nike use the best practices of behavioral segmentation to improve their mobile marketing by personalizing advertising for each separate category. This helps them attract more clients and grow profits. Also, 33% of US marketers mentioned spending 50%+ of their marketing budget on personalization, proving that it is a must. Find out more about the benefits below.

Importance of customer segmentation

Personalized Experience

Segmenting your customers helps you learn all about their habits, needs, and expectations. This knowledge leads to correct decisions. You will be able to choose the right channels for personalized messaging.

88% of US marketers stated that they’ve noticed great improvements after applying personalization. That’s one of the advantages to consider.

Finding Engaged Users

Dividing existing and potential customers helps you improve the cost-effectiveness of your promotion activities. You can’t always use the same mobile marketing strategies on both types. Having a clear segmentation will make each message more powerful, bringing better results.

For example, using a reward system will only be effective for loyal clients. Sleeping customers would be more interested in a special promotion or personal discount. Understanding the motivation matters.

Improving Message Accuracy

General segmentation gives you a basic client portrait like “25-30-year-old from the UK”. Adding behavioral segmentation will help you divide this portrait into “interested in activewear” and “interested in formal wear”. Knowing this data helps you set the right mobile marketing campaigns.

In addition, user segmentation is a must for social media marketing, since the audiences of each social network have certain differences in their interaction with posts and information perception. Thus, you have to “adapt” every message you plan to publish.

Better Predictions

By analyzing each segment’s behavior, you may be able to predict their future actions. This allows you to adapt an appropriate marketing strategy and identify emerging trends. You’ll be ready for any scenario.

Reteno is a marketing automation platform that will help you with all promotion activities.

How Can Behavioral Segmentation Benefit Your Mobile Marketing?

There are many behavioral segmentation examples in mobile marketing. Some of the main benefits are described below.

Behavioral marketing

Engaging New Users

Create a segment of users who have recently downloaded your application. You should also include mobile users who downloaded the app but never launched it. They lack engagement, so you should give them a boost.

Sending push notifications is one of the ways to do so. You can:

  • Offer a first-time promo;
  • Introduce your app’s key features.

Duolingo, an e-learning app, turned its push notifications into a whole generation of memes. The company even used real-life “unignorable” notifications to increase its brand awareness and engagement. You could try something similar too.

Building User Habits

Now you should create a segment of users who use your app but don’t launch it on a regular basis. The task is to develop a habit of launching your app daily.

This can also be done with push notifications:

  • Send personalized notifications with names and location data;
  • Share updates on products the user showed an interest in;
  • Use deep links to send users directly to pages of interest like playlists or product categories;
  • Share tips on using the app effectively.

You may also implement a system that rewards users for their daily activities in the app. However, this depends on the specifics of your niche.

Using Word of Mouth

Create a separate group of desktop and mobile users with the highest purchase and usage frequency. These are the most loyal customers who are bound to spread the word about your product.

You can motivate them to invite friends and use your app by

  • Providing personal discounts;
  • Presenting gifts and vouchers to each invited person.

As a result, you will get a cost-effective way to attract new clients and simultaneously reward your most loyal audience.

Mistakes to Avoid When Using Behavioral Segmentation

Behavioral marketing is quite tricky. Falling for one of the common mistakes is very easy without having former experience, and you might have to redo the analysis from scratch. To help you avoid that, we’ve gathered the most frequent pitfalls.

Focusing on Small Details

Micro-segmentation is a double-edged sword. While it helps increase the relevance of your mobile marketing to certain groups, the process is complex and requires a lot of resources.

You must define a goal before segmenting the target audience. There must be a go-forward plan that involves the application of the gathered data. Using micro-segmentation just as “another segmentation” for the bucket list is a waste of resources.

Thus, you should use micro-segmentation only when you understand how this data could benefit the company’s marketing strategy. 

At the same time, it’s a common mistake to segment clients too broadly. In this case, it’s easy to miss out on certain categories of customers, which are important to your business. Thanks to narrow segmentation, you are able to create more relevant messages and, as a result, receive a better response rate. Customers’ needs and preferences may significantly vary, so a thorough group determination is essential for targeting people who are interested in your offers.

Using Old Mobile Marketing Strategies for New Users

Everything is changing at the speed of light. This also applies to the needs, expectations, and wishes of customers. That’s why relying on that old segmentation sheet from 2019 is completely irrelevant. Too many things have happened since then.

Although overhaul sounds scary, it’s not always necessary to be radical. You should at least perform an annual audit of your segmentation relevance and update it whenever required. Constant monitoring will help you simplify the change and adapt easier.

Relying on Obvious Data

Data like demographics, needs, and buying behavior is the foundation of marketing. However, it isn’t useful when developing communications. People make decisions based on a deeper level, so the only way to promote your message is by understanding the complete picture.

You need to consider:

  • Beliefs and values;
  • Status;
  • Fears;
  • Aspirations;
  • Motivations.
What is behavioral segmentation

Researching this data may require additional time, but it’s worth it. You’ll get a distinct segmentation that covers more than just actions and behavior. The result will be a full portrait of your client's mind.

Also, we would like to mention such a thing as data purity. Marketers often work with large volumes of information related to clients. Hence, they must clean all customer data to receive accurate segmentation results. Otherwise, your output won’t meet business goals due to irrelevance.  

Before categorizing, we recommend using a spreadsheet for conducting a data audit. Within it, decide on which data field is mandatory and which is unnecessary.

Confusing segmentation with lead scoring

Yes, both of these concepts are about predicting user behavior to increase sales conversion. But there is a big difference. Lead scoring is a tool that helps to figure out the most promising areas where to invest available resources. Audience segmentation in turn is a way to find out what types of resources to invest. When you know your customer groups, it’s much easier to choose appropriate offers and encourage social engagement.

Best Proven Examples of Behavioral Segmentation

Global companies have a large among of data to work with. Nearly each of them uses behavioral segmentation as one of the ways to grow income. Let’s have a look at the most interesting case studies.


Netflix is the world’s largest streaming service and probably the leader in behavioral segmentation. The company’s algorithms launch once a user starts watching at least one show. And they track everything.

Some of the gathered data includes:

  • Viewing time and location;
  • Pauses, rewinds, fast-forwards;
  • Browsing behavior, and more.

Instead of keeping obvious data like age or gender, Netflix actually researches behavior. This results in over 2000 clusters of “taste communities” based on preferences and other data. The best part is that one person may be included in several communities simultaneously. 

This helps the company save $1 billion each year solely on recommendations. Everything you see, from layout to suggestions, is the result of AI and machine learning. And it all works.


Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation booking service. The company uses behavioral data to build perfect matches between hosts and guests. This is done by using an algorithm that analyzes multiple sets of data like ratings and response times & rates.

Some other information includes:

  • Data from previous searches;
  • Booking decisions;
  • Cookies.

This helps the company adjust the search results and general information users see. 


Nike is the world’s largest athletic apparel company. The company uses different types of segmentation: demographic, geographic, psychographic, socioeconomic, benefits, and behavioral.

Behavioral segmentation

The company focuses on how its products make consumers feel. It analyzes purchase frequency and customer loyalty, using the data to find the best way to affect the purchase behavior of its clients. By combining different types of segmentation, the company ensures its marketing efficiency is always at maximum.


Applying behavioral segmentation in mobile marketing enables you to personalize advertising and increase the efficiency of each campaign. This is achieved via multiple options like push notifications, promotions, referral programs, and others. We tried to gather the best mobile marketing tips in one article, so we hope the information was useful for you.

Maya Skidanova


August 26, 2022

Kseniia Petrina


August 25, 2022

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