The Process of Segmenting a Market The segmentation

process develops over time and is an integral part of the situation analysis. It is in this stage that marketers attempt to determine as much as they

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Communications can about the market: What needs are not being fulfilled? What benefits are being sought? What characteristics distinguish among the various groups seeking these products and services? A number of alternative segmentation strategies may be used. Each time a specific segment is identified, additional information is gathered to help the marketer understand this group.

For example, once a specific segment is identified on the basis of benefits sought, the marketer will examine lifestyle characteristics and demographics to help characterize this group and to further its understanding of this market. Behavioristic segmentation criteria will also be examined. In the purchase of ski boots, for example, specific benefits may be sought—flexibility or stiffness—depending on the type of skiing the buyer does. All this information will be combined to provide a complete profile of the skier.

A number of companies now offer research services to help marketing managers define their markets and develop strategies targeting them. The VALS and PRIZM systems discussed earlier are just a few of the services offered; others use demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic data to cluster consumer households into distinct "microgeographic" segments.

Whether these microunits meet the criteria for useful segmentation is determined by the user of the system. A national company might not attempt to define such small segments, but it could be useful for companies operating within one city or geographic area.

After completing the segmentation analysis, the marketer moves to the third phase shown in Figure 2-2: targeting a specific market.

Exhibit 2-10 Viagra uses different appeals for the same product in different segments

How to Sell Digital Products on Craigslist

How to Sell Digital Products on Craigslist

Craigslist has come a long way since it started out back in 1995, and continues to thrive today despite competition from sites like Gumtree and eBay.

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