Set up a naming convention for audience segmentation

1. Create a Google spreadsheet with columns named User Property, Identifier, Type of Value, Possible Values, Custom Field vs Tag, and Notes.

Optional – create a data-validation list of items, with options for alphanumeric, numeric, single select, multi-select, and yes/no.

2. Enter all user attributes that you currently collect or plan to collect for your users to the User Property column.

These properties will be used to identify your users for targeted messaging through the customer journey. You could include attributes like: Demographic: age, gender, income, occupation, marital status. Geographic: city, state, Zip code, language. Behavior: # of visits, # of orders, new vs returning visitor, email list subscriber, email opener. Psychographic: personality, values, attitudes, interests, opinion, lifestyle. Customer journey stage: awareness, interest, lead, customer. Add all user properties from your Buyer Persona that are important to your business, you are currently collecting, or you plan to collect in the future.

3. In the Identifier column, add a unique name for each attribute in the User Property column, to identify it for your marketing automation system.

There are several ways to name these, but most marketers use camel-case format, and typeSubtype format. These names will be used to create segments in some marketing tools, and therefore, make sure that you follow a consistent pattern and keep every name unique. For example: demoAge demoGender geoZip geoCountry geoLanguage behaviorNew behaviorEmailsubscriber behaviorEmailopener

4. In the Type of Value column, enter the data type that you are collecting for each unique identifier.

This field lets you document a finite set of options and instructions to be used by all members of your marketing team when building your automation. It will help eliminate conflicting values, like one team member collecting an exact age and another collecting an age range. Standard data type options are alphanumeric, numeric, single select, multi-select, and yes/no.

5. Add potential answers for each user attribute in the Possible Values column, wherever you have the information available.

Complete Possible Values column for all user properties, as these will help you create segments in your marketing automation tools and in your data collection forms. For example, for the demoGender attribute, you might add Single Select in the Type of Value column, and Male, Female, Custom, Unknown, and Prefer Not to Say in the Possible Values column.

6. Enter either Custom Field or Tag for each attribute in the Custom Field vs Tag column.

For all attributes that can have only one answer, such as demoGender, enter Custom Field. For all attributes that can have multiple answers, such as behaviorCustomer where the answers can be Online, In-store or Both, choose Tag. This will help your marketing automation team save the data in the right format against each user, when using your marketing automation system.

7. If you want to leave any instructions for your marketing operations team for any attribute, include these in the Notes column.