Marketing needs are becoming more and more important with evolution of business functions due to globalization and introduction of new marketing channels. Marketing mix could create a link between the needs and wants of a certain consumer. Integrated marketing communications are becoming part of company’s marketing mix. IMC involves coordinating different marketing elements and activities that communicate with consumers. Customer Segmentation is an important part of IMC and with help of marketing positioning, companies can increase profits with existing resources. Advertisers are increasing budgets to increase exposure of products. With new channels introduced, it is important to implement segmentation as part of marketing strategy.
Keywords: Segmentation, integrated marketing communication, marketing channels
Evaluating Customer Segmentation Program
Customer segmentation consists of dividing the market into various parts based on factors that can be commonly associated with customer base. For example age, gender, sex, income and other factors can influence creating a market segment. Marketing is becoming an important factor within business operations and growth. Value is defined as the customer’s perception of all the benefits of a product or service weighed against all the costs of acquiring and consuming it. Benefits include functional, experiential and/or psychological. Market segmentation is composed of two distinct groups, 1) have coming needs and 2) will respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation could be based on various different factors. Geographic segmentation is consists of dividing the market into geographic units. Dividing the market on the basis of demographics variables such as age, sex, family size, education, income and social class is called demographic segmentation. Dividing the market on the basis of personality and/or lifestyle is referred to as psychographic segmentation. Dividing consumers into groups according t their usage, loyalties, or buying responses to a product is behaviorist segmentation. In purchasing products, consumers are generally trying to satisfy specific needs and/or wants. They are looking for products that provide specific benefits to satisfy these needs. The grouping of consumers on the basis of attributes sought in a product is known as benefit segmentation (Belch & Belch, 2012). Market Segmentation
Market segmentation occurs over period of time. Market segmentation is the point where marketers trying to gain more insight of a specific segment. What needs are not being fulfilled? What benefits are being sought? Segmentation analysis is performed that can help understand the market opportunities and threats that exist within a market. Segmentation analysis will reveal the market opportunities available. The next process involves determining how many segments to enter and determining which segments offer the most potential. Three market coverage alternatives are available, undifferentiated marketing, differentiated marketing and concentrated marketing. The second aspect is to determining which segment would offer more potential over other. Sales potential and budget forecasting can helping identify the maximum potential available within a market segment, which product to offer and which product not to pursue (Belch & Belch, 2012). Market Positioning
Market positioning is an important aspect of market segmentation. Market positioning has been defined as the art and science of fitting the product or service to one or more segments of the broad market in such a way as to set it meaningfully apart from competition. Product positions can help create an expectation in consumer’s mind. For example, using a certain store to sell the product is perceived differently by consumer, selling same product at Macy’s would be considered different than selling the same product at Wal-Mart. Thus customer segmentation plays...
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