These are research surveys designed to discriminate between consumers and identify different market patterns or segments. Segmentation criteria should predict or explain market differences and be exploitable in practice. The traditional segmentation criteria are geographic (north/south), demographic (gender, age, social grade, income, marital status, number and ages of children) and product usage (heavy versus light buyers). In each case, collecting data using the criteria listed will increase understanding of the relevant characteristics of buyers.
A more complex, but very revealing type of segmentation analysis is termed psychographics. This term distinguishes the approach from demographics, which uses general 'people' characteristics. Psychographics is concerned with people's subjective attitudes towards, and feeling about, specific products or services. It produces multidimensional groupings that are often highly explanatory of actual market behaviour.
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