30/07/2013

Successful Segmentation Of Market

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For segmentation to be meaningful, each segment must meet the following four basic criteria:
  • The segment must be meaningfully measurable
  • The segment must be substantial
  • The segment must be accessible
  • The segment must be responding to marketing.


Measurability



These dictates that consumers who belong to a given market segment be identifiable and measu
rable. To identify them, they must exhibit similar if not identical characteristics. They have to be grouped on the basis of age, income, geographical locations, product consumption and other social and demographic variables. The size of each segment should be measured in terms of how many people belong to each category, in order to determine whether a unique marketing mix should be developed to the service the segment.


Substantiality



A segment should be the largest possible homogenous group of buyers that it pays to go after with specially designed marketing program. That is, a market segment should be large enough to ensure a sales volume that ensures profitability, in order to justify the marketing and economic efforts of developing and maintaining a special marketing mix. Substantiality of the segment implies that it must include numerous numbers of actual and potential customers where the members of a segment are few, the purchasing power of each member must be very high and the frequency of purchase must be equally high.


Accessibility



This explains the degree to which the resulting segments can be effectively reached and served. The market should be accessible by breaking the geographical barriers and through effective communication and efficient coverage of the total population. The firm must be able to reach members of targeted segment, with customized marketing mixes.

However some market segments are inaccessible (like those with reading or hearing disabilities). Marketers must determine the most effective and creating awareness for product usage, product quality, the choice of media and the cost of media in terms of per unit cost.


Responsiveness



The members of a market segment must be willing to respond to the marketing program of the company by the rate of purchases as a response to variation in marketing mix. The fact that one segmentation, where all consumers will react the same way to marketing mix offers, segmentation would have been buy an unnecessary effort.


Bases for Segmentation



The total market can be segmented on the basis of characteristics of individuals, groups or organizations. Marketers use many of such characteristics to segment markets, a few of them is however considered here i.e. geography, demography, psychography, benefits desired, product usage and types of consumers.

Types of consumers

The first variable to be considered in segmenting a market bothers on the type of customers that make up the market. As a result there is the need to differentiate between industrial and ultimate consumers are different, each requires a separate marketing program. It is also necessary to identify and separate foreign consumers from domestic consumers, government and institutional consumers.

Geographic Segmentation

Geographic variables such as climate, natural resources, regions, and population density provide a good basis for segmentation. One or more of these variables may cause consumers to differ from one geographical area to another. Market density refers to the number of people within a unit of land. This in essence will make segment in Lagos different from that of PortHarcourt or Abuja. Climate a as a geographical variable also has direct bearing.

Marketer will separate the Jos market from the Maiduguri market and from the Ibadan market. While Jos is usually cold, Maiduguri is usually hot and Ibadan   stands between the two. Generally, the Nigerian market can be segmented geographically using region/zones i.e. northern region, western region, western region, Eastern region, mid-western and the middle-belt.

Demographic Segmentation

Demographic studies examine aggregate population characteristics such as distribution of age and sex, income, occupation, education, family size, marital status, race, ethnicity, religion, family lifecycle, social stratification etc.


Psychographic Segmentation

Marketers to flesh the skeletal bones provided by demographic variables usually use psychographic variables. In market segmentation psychographic segmentation involves the use of psychographic variables such as personality, lifestyles, motives and so on, to segment markets. Psychography is often useful to segment markets on the basis of how people act rather than where are or what they are. The variables may be difficult to measure, yet they offer potential reward in terms of proving management with a more relevant basis for differentiating between segments of a market. Psychographic variables themselves can either be used to segment market or be combined with other segmentation variables.

Benefit Segmentation

This is the grouping of customers according to different benefits sought from the product. The benefits desired from the product the product vary from taste to color, style, price, economy, safety etc. marketers have therefore found it useful to divide their market into the various benefits segments identified.

Product Usage Segmentation

This exists where a market is divided based on the amount of product purchased or consumed. Appropriate categories will vary according to the product, but the variables may include frequency of usage (heavy users, medium users and light or irregular users), quality desired (size of package), conditions under which product is used, moment of usage (non users, former users, first time users potential users). Segmenting by product usage enables marketers to focus their efforts only on specific usage rate segments such as heavy users or develop multiple marketing mixes aimed at multiple usage segments

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