Segmentation is essentially the identification of subsets of buyers within a market who share similar needs and who demonstrate similar buyer behaviour. The world is made up from billions of buyers with their own sets of needs and behaviour. Segmentation aims to match groups of purchasers with the same set of needs and buyer behaviour. Such a group is known as a 'segment'.
The diagram above depicts how segmentation information is often represented as a pie chart diagram - the segments are often named and/ or numbered in some way.
Market segmentation and the identification of target markets, however, are an important element of each marketing strategy. They are the basis for determining any particular marketing mix. Literature suggests the following steps:
Segmentation is a form of critical evaluation rather than a prescribed process or system, and hence no two markets are defined and segmented in the same way. However there are a number of underpinning criteria that assist us with segmentation:
• Is the segment viable? Can we make a profit from it?
• Is the segment accessible? How easy is it for us to get into the segment?
• Is the segment measurable? Can we obtain realistic data to consider its potential?
There are many ways that a segment can be considered. For example, the auto market could be segmented by: driver age, engine size, model type, cost, and so on.
However the more general bases include:
• by geography - such as where in the world was the product bought.
• by psychographics - such as lifestyle or beliefs.... [continues]
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