Turquoise Conducts European Segmentation Workshop

Phoenix Group is a leading pharmaceutical trader in Europe employing 37,000 staff in 27 European countries with 163 distribution centres and more than 2,500 pharmacies, giving them the largest presence on the continent. Following a highly successful segmentation study conducted by Turquoise for Phoenix’s UK pharmacy brand – Numark Pharmacies – Turquoise was approached by the Head of Corporate Sales & Marketing Network at Phoenix Group with a request to provide segmentation training and expertise to representatives from other European markets.

This took the form of a two-day segmentation workshop, held at Phoenix Group Head Quarters in Mannheim, Germany conducted by Turquoise research analyst Frank Paxton (segmentation specialist) and Joint MD, Mark Harvey. In attendance were 18 Phoenix Group team members who had flown in from all across Europe for the event. These included Head of Sales, Sales Directors, Marketing Directors, Marketing Network Directors, Regional Managers and Customer Care Managers. It’s worth noting that none were data analysts!

Day One

We began by asking the question, “Why segmentation?” with an exploration around the various benefits, followed by a session on defining objectives: How was each market going to use the segmentation?

  • to increase engagement
  • increase uptake in certain products/services
  • reach new members
  • increase spend with Phoenix Group

Next, was an exercise around forming hypotheses: What could this segmentation look like? Attendees were asked to describe their ideal customer and customer behaviour and explain what characteristics they have in comparison to an average member. These customer sketches were used to define a range of customers: Someone that just buys OTC medicines from Phoenix Group pharmacies but doesn’t engage in any schemes, someone who always takes up one particular service but not any others, someone who uses all the services but doesn’t buy anything.

Day Two

Using both the hypotheses and customer sketches from day one, it was now time to apply these to the customer database from each market to determine which variables might help to prove/disprove the hypotheses, and to find out the most important variables i.e. total spend with Phoenix Group. It was then down to each representative to attempt their own rudimentary segmentation – based largely on current database knowledge and experience – assisted by the Turquoise team.

Frank took the group through an excel exercise demonstrating useful tips they could replicate:

  • How to identify which variables would be key in a segmentation
  • How to prepare variables for a segmentation
  • How to split customers into quartiles according to spend

Frank then carried out a basic segmentation using the Hungarian market data/hypotheses to identify variables. He explained statistical techniques and the limits of a purely transactional segmentation (which will only tell you what a customer is doing but not why they are doing it) and how this can be refined by adding attitudes to segments through further market research. To conclude the second day, Mark showed the group how to optimise communications using Turquoise’ propriety System DNA tool which had been successfully utilised for the Numark segmentation.

Turquoise received very positive feedback from the two-day workshop which served to both equip and encourage representatives from each market to start on the journey of producing their own database segmentation.

If you would like to find out how we can help your organisation to benefit from a segmentation, or you would like to discuss a similar training day, please get in touch.


Healthcare Research, Market Segmentation, Pharmaceutical Market Research, System DNA, Training
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