Operationalizing Personsituation Segmentation

In 1982, Dickson developed the practical procedures for situation-person segmentation. One of his first recommendations was the need for management to understand which situations are most pertinent to their organization. "It is not suggested that every possible usage situation should be described. Managerial judgment is required to identify the determinant characteristics of usage situations to be used in the major market research undertaken in . . . the process" (Dickson, 1982, p.62).

Adapted from Dickson's (1982) procedure, the following eight steps provide a guideline that sport marketers can follow to successfully employ personsituation segmentation.

Step 1. Undertake a benefit, product perception and reported market behavior segmentation survey of consumers. Measure benefits and perceptions by usage situation, as well as by their level of fan identification. Assess situation usage frequency by recall estimates or usage situation diaries (Belk, 1979). Research indicates it is easier for consumers to recall their behavior when it is connected to a particular situation than behavior not connected to a situation (McDonald & Goldman, 1980). This step identifies which situations are most salient to specific groups of fans.

Step 2. Construct a person-situation segmentation matrix. The rows are the major usage situations or fan identification levels and the columns are groups of users identified by a single characteristic or combination of characteristics, such as consumption communities, values, attitudes, and so forth.

Step 3. Construct a second matrix that groups the most important person-situations with geodemographic or demographic groups. Rank the cells in the matrix in terms of aggregate customer preferences. The personsituation combinations that result in the greatest preference for each designated geodemographic or demographic group would be ranked first.

Step 4. State the major benefits sought and unique market behavior for each non-empty cell of the matrix. Some person types will never consume the sport product in certain usage situations.

Step 5. Position your competitors' sport product within the matrix. The product feature they promote and other marketing strategies can determine the person-situation segments they currently serve. Step 6. Position your sport product within the matrix using the same criteria as in step 5.

Step 7. Assess how well your current sport marketing strategy meets the needs of the identified person-situation submarkets compared to the competition.

Step 8. Identify market opportunities and strategies based on the submarkets' size, needs, and competitive advantage.

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