Geographic Segmentation. Divides the market by country, state, region, county, and city. Arbitron, a large media research firm, has defined a similar measure to capture the major television markets of the country, called Areas of Dominant Influence ADIs. Demographic Segmentation.
Divides a population based on the following measurable variables to reach a homogeneous group of people:. Personality —Conservative, risk-taking, status-seeking, compulsive, ambitious, authoritarian, gregarious. People may have different hot buttons that advertising can try to trigger. Psychographic segmentation is difficult. Personality variables are tougher to identify and quantify than demographics, but they can be valuable.
Responsiveness to Price and Promotion —Some groups respond to special marketing efforts more than others. Housewives use more coupons than single professional women. Marketers must not only select the right group of variables but also decide how many to use.
The correct number of useful variables will identify the most accessible and receptive target, not the most specific. However, the ability to target just brown-haired men with effective advertising is limited and its usefulness would be dubious.
Is brown hair a necessary segmentation variable? There are no magazines exclusively targeted to brown-haired males. Besides, blond and redheaded men may also be a reasonable market for Corvettes. You should use the following criteria to evaluate possible marketing segments:. Accessibility —Can you reach the segment through advertising, sales force or distributors, transportation, or warehousing?
Substantiality —Is the segment large enough to bother with? Is the segment shrinking, maturing, or growing? Compatibility with Competition —Are your competitors interested in this segment? Are competitors currently investigating it or is it not worth their trouble? Effectiveness —Does your company have the capabilities to adequately service this segment?
This market segment is measurable, accessible, large, and profitable. Consequently, many large coffee companies continue to target it. Even in markets that appear hopeless, there may be a segment that others overlook. Xerox controlled 88 percent of the copier market in the s. The majority of its sales came from large and medium-sized units. But by , Xerox had lost more than half of its market share.
What happened? Xerox ignored the small-copier market. Thousands of small companies with light copy needs had to run to the local copy shop every time they had a copy job.
Canon, Sharp, and Ricoh seized this market by selling a smaller and less expensive copier. With a foothold in small copiers, the Japanese competitors proceeded to topple Xerox in the large-copier segment of the market. Consumer analysis serves to prime the pump when you need to form a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Do it first so as not to stifle your creativity with the quantitative analysis you will perform as part of the strategy development framework. On a first pass, you can make an intuitive choice of a target segment.
After the other steps are completed, it can be altered to fit an evolving marketing strategy. While segmentation analysis focuses on consumers as individuals, market analysis takes a broader view of potential consumers to include market sizes and trends. Market analysis also includes a review of the competitive and regulatory environment. By closely examining the market, a marketing manager can determine if the segment selected is worth the trouble of a targeted marketing effort.
MBAs ask three important questions to evaluate a market:. In between the first and second years of my MBA education, I worked for an international trading company. I investigated the possibility of selling a Mexican gourmet ground coffee in U. It would have been misleading for me to assume that all coffee sales were in my relevant target market. However, 60 percent of that total was sold in stores, while the other 40 percent was sold to the institutional markets, including restaurants and vending machines.
But within that larger coffee market there were additional submarkets to investigate before arriving at my final relevant market. Within the gourmet coffee market, only 60 percent of the coffees sold had no artificial flavorings. My Mexican coffee had no additives and the producer refused to artificially flavor his coffee. But of that market slice, only 55 percent was sold in supermarkets. That was my relevant market.
Once a market segment is identified, you have to ask if it is large and accessible enough to justify your marketing effort.
If the answer to that question is no, then you have what is called a makable product, but not a marketable one. Only marketable products make money.
These questions are difficult to answer and involve marketing research. If it is a new product, the answers will not be readily available. Test markets may have to be used to obtain that information. This step may lead to further segment investigation. The growth and decline of consumer segments within a market should also be noted. When the market is growing, future sales growth can come from new users or existing customers. Following the demographic trends to attract a growing senior citizen market, Pfizer, the manufacturer of Centrum vitamins, made a minor reformulation and successfully introduced its Silver formula.
Products can be characterized by the stage that they are at in their product life cycles PLC. Cellular phone service began in the early s with fewer than ten thousand users.
Now everyone has a cell phone. The PLC concept is important because the process of diffusion or adoption by the population has major implications for how a product is marketed.
Each product develops its own unique PLC as it matures. Stage 1: Introduction, What is it? Awareness and education are needed.
If possible, a trial is important. High advertising costs may be incurred to get the word out. Some vendors opt for an exclusive distribution of their products in a few select outlets at first. The first buyers are called the innovators, followed by the early adopters.
They freely take purchase risks because their personalities or pocketbooks allow them to do so. When companies introduce new products, managers must make difficult pricing decisions because there is frequently no basis for comparison.
The level of initial prices and profits has great implications regarding the outcome of future battles with competitors as well as your ability to perform additional research and development as with products like nanobots, couture fashion, and barefoot running shoes.
Stage 2: Growth, Where can I get it? Education is still important, but at this stage competition is intensified. The early majority becomes interested. As more consumers become familiar with a product, they examine the new models to decide which to buy, not whether they should buy.
When buyers get to the store, they start comparing features. To make the product more accessible, marketers often choose a selective distribution to gain a greater number and variety of outlets. At this tipping point it is important to boost your sales volume ahead of the competition in order to reduce costs through production and advertising efficiencies. This helps a company gain the competitive advantage in the next stage of the PLC e. Stage 3: Maturity, Why this one? At this stage the late majority of the mass market buys.
Because people are accustomed to buying the product and the differences are few, brand loyalty plays a dominant role. Price competition often becomes heated in stable markets because additional market share comes directly from your competitors.
Because there is less differentiation on product attributes, advertising is used as a vehicle to differentiate products. Marketing managers try to segment their target market as much as possible to meet specific unmet consumer needs.
In mature markets, competitors are ferreting out all possible segments. All possible channels of distribution are also considered using a mass market distribution strategy e. Stage 4: Decline, How much? As a product ages in its PLC, it is likely that its competitors offer similar products.
Even the most timid consumers, the laggards, find it safe to buy the product at this late stage. If it does cause cancer, the FDA has usually found out by now. Consumers turn a deaf ear to advertising because they know that all competing products are the same.
At this stage many companies focus their efforts on reducing price if competition remains, or slowly increasing prices if the competitive field thins. Trade relations are key to staying on the retail shelf at this point, because without the excitement of novelty, distributors and retailers would rather allocate space to newer and potentially more profitable products.
The effort to sell the trade is popularly called relationship marketing e. With some products the maturity phase does not necessarily mean death. Products can be reinvigorated after a period of maturity, and a new growth phase can begin.
Baseball trading cards underwent such a revival, encouraged by Topps Inc. In some cases, lingering death throes produce large profits for the last manufacturer. In the vacuum tube business, which supplies electronic tubes for old TVs, radios, and other equipment, Richardson Electronics is the survivor in an industry once dominated by GE, RCA, Westinghouse, and Sylvania.
Using an end game strategy, the remaining producers can extract large profits from customers since they have nowhere else to go for their replacement parts. The basis of competition in each industry or market tends to be different.
It has a major impact on how a business attacks its market. There are five major key competitive factors that constitute the battleground in most industries:.
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