Active Customer Segmentation: Blending Traditional Customer Segmentation with Behavioural Insights and Indicators

Location: Kwinana, WA

Duration: 3 months

Please note: Due to funding requirements, students must have Australian or New Zealand Citizenship or Permanent Residency to apply. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will automatically be deemed ineligible for this project.

Project Background

CSBP is a part of the Fertilisers business units of Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers, part of Wesfarmers Limited’s Industrials division.

CSBP have sold fertilisers to Western Australians for over 100 years and is the dominant player in a mature market. The business has a loyal customer base that choose CSBP due to its brand, customer relationships, product quality, availability and value for money. The WA fertiliser market is rationalising and growing yet CSBP is losing market share to new and existing competitors. The quality of imported products has improved and is now competitive with CSBP’s product. A new generation of farmers, with larger-scale operations are increasingly looking to external advisors such as Agronomists, Financial Consultants and Brokers to inform decisions and reduce costs. CSBP utilises direct and indirect sales channels, with indirect sales facilitated by third party agents and distributors.

Bridging the gap between marketing and sales, and shifting CSBP’s thinking towards the complete customer journey/lifetime value model are critical to CSBP’s growth. Delivering a differentiated experience to current, new and potential customers needs to be executed consistently across the entire customer journey (CLT), across the whole business, not in isolation. In an increasingly competitive and commoditised market, CSBP aim to capitalise on growth opportunities by engaging with the grower on their journey to build, support and supply their emerging farm of the future.

To achieve this, active segmentation is required to allow CSBP Fertilisers to blend traditional customer segmentation characteristics (such as product use, volume or location) with behavioural insights and indicators. Behaviour-based segmentation can be used in a number of ways by the business to make targeted, quantitative-based decisions to increase retention. A deeper understanding of how to influence the identified primary purchasing drivers for fertiliser and nutrition services (Deloitte 2019) during the entire customer life cycle is essential to incrementally increase CSBP’s value for money. In addition, the entire customer life cycle approach will enable consideration of farm activity and cash flow beyond fertiliser and journey maps allow for identification of adjacent opportunities and planning for interventions based on grower timelines, rather than CSBP’s.

Research to be Conducted

  • Build out remaining customer journey maps (pasture, dairy, horticulture and viticulture)
  • Finalise tonnage volume segments boundaries – this will be required for prioritising activities based on financial value to CSBP
  • Confirm CRM can hold drop-down fields for primary and secondary (and tertiary if desired) segment fields, and for demographic variables that indicate possible volume (size of farm, rainfall/location, and risk appetite).
  • Calculate size of market by behavioural segment to have a quantitative measure of the market based on customer motivations. Identify weighting for each tier (this will be used when calculating market size).
  • Conduct change assessment before introducing new business focus; i.e. heat mapping areas of business that require most support, communications and possibly dedicated training for introducing this new view of the market, as well as the initial information capture, cleansing, and ongoing data maintenance required

Skills Required

We are looking for a PhD student with the following:


  • Strong quantitative and analytical skills
  • Previous behavioural segmentation experience


  • Experience in working on personalised marketing and customer engagement analytics problems
  • Experience with predictive modelling, statistics, data mining and other data analysis techniques to collect, explore, and extract insights from structured and unstructured data and turning data and information into relevant insights
  • Financial understanding – Able to collect, analyse, and interpret data from financial systems

Expected Outcomes

  1. The current customer base quantified
  2. Behavioural customer segmentation finalised
  3. Improved understanding of the current market share based on what is most important for the customer when making a purchasing decision

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

30 October 2019


APR – 1212