Segmentation means to divide the marketplace into parts, or segments, which are definable, accessible, actionable, and profitable and have a growth potential. In other words, a company would find it impossible to target the entire market, because of time, cost and effort restrictions. It needs to have a ‘definable’ segment – a mass of people who can be identified and targeted with reasonable effort, cost and time.
Once such a mass is identified, it has to be checked that this mass can actually be targeted with the resources at hand, or the segment should be accessible to the company. Beyond this, will the segment respond to marketing actions by the company (ads, prices, schemes, promos) or, is it actionable by the company? After this check, even though the product and the target are clear, is it profitable to sell to them? Is the number and value of the segment going to grow, such that the product also grows in sales and profits?
Description: Segmentation takes on great significance in today’s cluttered marketplace, with thousands of products, media proliferation, ad-fatigue and general economic problems around the world markets. Rightly segmenting the market place can make the difference between successes and shut down for a company.
Segmentation allows a seller to closely tailor his product to the needs, desires, uses and paying ability of customers. It allows sellers to concentrate on their resources, money, time and effort on a profitable market, which will grow in numbers, usage and value.
Basis of Segmentation
Segmenting is dividing a group into subgroups according to some set ‘basis’. These bases range from age, gender, etc. to psychographic factors like attitude, interest, values, etc.
Gender is one of the most simple yet important bases of market segmentation. The interests, needs and wants of males and females differ at many levels. Thus, marketers focus on different marketing and communication strategies for both. This type of segmentation is usually seen in the case of cosmetics, clothing, and jewellery industry, etc.
Segmenting market according to the age group of the audience is a great strategy for personalized marketing. Most of the products in the market are not universal to be used by all the age groups. Hence, by segmenting the market according to the target age group, marketers create better marketing and communication strategies and get better conversion rates.
Income decides the purchasing power of the target audience. It is also one of the key factors to decide whether to market the product as a need, want or a luxury. Marketers usually segment the market into three different groups considering their income. These are
- High Income Group
- Mid Income Group
- Low Income Group
The place where the target audience lives affect the buying decision the most. A person living in the mountains will have less or no demand for ice cream than the person living in a desert.
Occupation, just like income, influences the purchase decision of the audience. A need for an entrepreneur might be a luxury for a government sector employee. There are even many products which cater to an audience engaged in a specific occupation.
Product usage also acts as a segmenting basis. A user can be labelled as heavy, medium or light user of a product. The audience can also be segmented on the basis of their awareness of the product.
Other than physical factors, marketers also segment the market on the basis of lifestyle. Lifestyle includes subsets like marital status, interests, hobbies, religion, values, and other psychographic factors which affect the decision making of an individual.