The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are 42.1 million adults, aged 18 or older, in the United States who smoke cigarettes. This equals approximately 18.1 percent of the U.S. population.
To a health care professional roughly one-fifth of the population smoking would be an alarming statistic, but for a marketer of nicotine patches, it is encouraging. Fort the marketer, this means there are 42.1 million potential customers.
As with almost any product, the market for nicotine patches must be segmented. One marketing plan cannot possibly work for 42.1 million people of different age, gender, cultural background etc. Rather than segmenting smokers by geographic or demographic traits the marketer for nicotine patches should use behavioral qualities.
There seems to be many different types of smokers: social smokers who only smoke when they go out to a bar or party, chain smokers who have no intention of quitting, smokers that say they are going to quit – just not right now and countless more. These segments seem to include a fairly random sample of each demographic or geographic segment.
Two of the behavioral markets I think the marketer should target are: the “weight-conscience smoker” and the “stressed out smoker.” The weight-conscience smoker wants to quit, but doesn’t want to gain a lot of weight because of it. The Mayo Clinic says that smoking acts as an appetite suppressant and that is why it can lead to weight gain after quitting. Also once a smoker has quit their sense of smell and taste improves, which can make food more appealing and lead to more eating.
These are easy targets for marketers though. The marketer must position the patch for the weight-conscience smoker as a way to improve their overall fitness. For example, print ads with people running through a park on a sunny morning, or hiking a trail through the forest could be created. This will instill a sense of relaxation and fitness, relieving the fear of gaining weight.
Another position would be to cure smokers’ stress. Many smokers are “stress-smokers.” This would be a more scientific position highlighting the fact that smoking actually causes the physical stress markers in the body to rise. This could include simple print advertisements with copy that highlights this medical research.
Adult Cigarette Smoking in the United States: Current Estimates. (2014, February 14). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 29, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fac Kokemuller, N. (n.d.). Examples of Market Segmentation. Small Business. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-market-segmentation-14403.html Lowell, D. (n.d.). Quit smoking. , gain weight: Is it inevitable?. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/quit-smoking/expert-answers/quit-smoking/faq-20058312 Schiffman, L. G., & Kanuk, L. L. (2010).Consumer behavior (10th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. Stressed-out smoker. (n.d.). - Types of Smokers. Retrieved March 30, 2014, from http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20