Effective Segmentation

Even after applying segmentation variables to a consumer or business market, marketers must realize that not all segmentations are useful. For example, table salt buyers could be divided into blond and brunette customers, but hair color is not relevant to the purchase of salt. Furthermore, if all salt buyers buy the same amount of salt each month, believe all salt is the same, and would pay only one price for salt, this market would be minimally segmentable from a marketing perspective.

To be useful, market segments must be:

^ Measurable: The size, purchasing power, and characteristics of the segments can be measured.

^ Substantial: The segments are large and profitable enough to serve. A segment should be the largest possible homogeneous group worth going after with a tailored marketing program.

^ Accessible: The segments can be effectively reached and served.

^ Differentiable: The segments are conceptually distinguishable and respond differently to different marketing mixes. If two segments respond identically to a particular offer, they do not constitute separate segments.

^ Actionable: Effective programs can be formulated for attracting and serving the segments.

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