Clearly, there are many ways to segment a market, but not all segmentations are effective. For example, buyers of table salt could be divided into blond and brunette customers. But hair color obviously does not affect the purchase of salt. Furthermore, if all salt buyers bought the same amount of salt each month, believed that all salt is the same, and wanted to pay the same price, the company would not benefit from segmenting this market.
To be useful, market segments must be
• Measurable: The size, purchasing power, and profiles of the segments can be measured. Certain segmentation variables are difficult to measure. AFor example, there are many left-handed people in the world. Yet few products are targeted toward this left-handed segment. The major problem may be that the segment is hard to identify and measure. There is little data on the demographics of lefties. Private data companies keep reams of statistics on other demographic segments but not on left-handers.
• Accessible: The market segments can be effectively reached and served. Suppose a fragrance company finds that heavy users of its brand are single men and women who stay out late and socialize a lot. Unless this group Uves or shops at certain places and is exposed to certain media, its members will be difficult to reach.
• Substantial: The market segments are large or profitable enough to serve. A segment should be the largest possible homogenous group worth pursuing with a tailored marketing program. It would not pay, for example, for an automobile manufacturer to develop cars especially for people whose height is greater than seven feet.
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