Segmenting the Consumer Market

Segmenting the Consumer Market

Consumer Market Segmentation

There are a wide variety of variables that can be used to Consumer Market Segmentation, the majority of these can be grouped into four categories:
Geographic
Demographic
Psychographic
Behavioural
Here we should bear in mind that behavior is rarely traceable to only one characteristic and therefore useful segmentation is developed by using several characteristics.

Consumer Market Segmentation

Geographic Segmentation

Geographic segmentation focuses on dividing markets into different geographic units, such as regions, nations, states, urban, rural, etc. Customers located in different geographic areas vary in terms of climates, terrain, natural resources, population density, culture, service needs, sales potential, growth rates, competitive structure of the market, a frequency of purchases for a variety of goods and services. For example, Jeeps are more popular in rural areas in India than in urban areas. Shopping malls are located only in larger cities in India, and raincoats are sold more in rainy areas. Geographic segmentation is used both in consumer and organizational markets, particularly where customers are not willing to travel far to acquire goods and services. [ Consumer Market Segmentation ]

Demographic Segmentation

Demographic characteristics are commonly used to segment the market. Factors such as age, sex, education, income, marital status, household life cycle, family size, social class, etc., are used singly, or in a combination, to segment a market. Shaving products for women are based on the demographic variable of gender. Toy manufacturers such as Funskool and Mattel Toys segment the market on the basis of age of children. Auto manufacturers segment the market by considering income as an important variable. Producers of refrigerators, washing machines, microwave ovens etc., take income and family size as important variables in segmenting the market. Ready-to-wear garment producers often segment the market on the basis of social class. Examples are Chiragh Din, Arrow, Van Heusen, Louis Phillipe, Levis, and others. In general, the social class can represent lower, middle and upper class depending on education, income, status, etc. For example, an engineer and a clerk are considered as members of different social classes.[ Consumer Market Segmentation ]

Psychographic Segmentation

When segmentation is based on personality or lifestyle characteristics, it is called psychographic segmentation. Consumers have a certain self-image and this describes their personality. There are people who are ambitious, confident, aggressive, impulsive, conservative, modern, gregarious, loners, extrovert, introvert, etc. Some motorcycle manufacturers segment the market on the basis of personality variables such as macho image, independent and impulsive. Some producers of liquor, cigarettes, apparel, etc., segment the market on the basis of personality and self-image. Marketers are often not concerned about measuring how many people have the characteristic as they assume that a substantial number of consumers in the market either have the characteristic or want to have it. [ Consumer Market Segmentation ]

Behaviouristic Segmentation

Dividing the market on the basis of such variables as use occasion, benefits sought, user status, usage rate, loyalty status, buyer readiness stage, and attitude is termed as behaviouristic segmentation.
Buyers can be identified according to the use occasion when they develop a need and purchase or use a product. For example, Archies greeting cards are used on many different occasions. User status, such as non-users, potential users, or first-time users can be used to segment the market. Markets can also be segmented into light, medium, or heavy users of a product. Brand loyalty of varying degree can be presented among different groups of consumers and may become the basis to segment the market. There are consumers, who are very loyal to cigarette brands, beer and even toothpaste. Markets may also be divided on an imaginary Likert-type scale by considering the level of product awareness such as unaware of the product, aware, interested, desirous, or contemplating to purchase the product. Based on attitude, consumers may be enthusiastic, indifferent, or hostile towards the product, and these differences can be used to segment the market. [ Consumer Market Segmentation ]

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