The importance of the segmentation of market to the spread a strategy business

Advice for categorizing our potential customers and satisfying their needs

Segmenting the market is a task that consists of dividing a specific market into small homogeneous groups of customers. Its principal objective is to accurately determine the needs of each group so that the company can efficiently respond, offering every client a suitable product or service.

Segmenting the market is the first task that any head of marketing in a company must do when developing a strategic plan. Once the market is segmented, you can start to plan specific business development actions. Is this the way all companies work?

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Keys for good market segmentation

For segmentation to be successful, it should be based on three fundamental pillars:

1. The members of the groups into which the market is divided must be homogeneous.

2. The groups must contrast one another and be well differentiated.

3. Segments must be stable across time, i.e. it is not desirable for members to straddle different groups.

The ability to choose the best options for segmentation is another crucial aspect for obtaining a good result. Multiple differentiating factors can be used to fragment the groups in different sectors. Some examples of segmentation variables include:

1. Demographics: sex, religion, occupation, education, income level, and age.

2. Geographical information: city, region, country and climate.

3. Sociocultural aspects: interests, beliefs and ethnicity.

The order in which segmentation variables are chosen is also important when dividing a market into submarkets or smaller groups, especially so that the resulting scheme is reasonable. Putting a differentiating factor in an earlier position when segmenting can lead to a more complex framework, visually speaking, which can make it harder to achieve the three basic premises

Marketing mix

Once the segments are defined, you are reading to develop a marketing mix for each one. Not all segments react in the same way to a product or service, hence the importance of defining the appropriate parameters for each one concerning price, product/service, promotion, processes, and people.

Identifying market niches, i.e. very specific sectors of the market on which to focus a certain strategy, is one of the consequences of good segmentation. The best aspect of identifying a market niche is that, if the company meets the specific needs, the customers are usually quite loyal in response to this initial value provided. Love at first sight, as the most romantic people at the company might call it.

Certain segmentation variables should be treated with care since the sensitivity of segments can vary significantly from one differentiating factor to another. For example, age may indicate a particular content that is suitable for adults but not for children; or a toy that is suitable for babies is not for older children.

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Religion is another factor to consider, given that for cultural reasons that may well seem trivial, a service or product can become offensive to a segment and ruin months of marketing work. For example, at certain times of the year, Christians refrain from eating fish. Meanwhile, Muslims do not eat pork-based food products such as ham or consume alcohol.

You must be very clear from the beginning on the expectations of each segment, which are directly proportional to the needs that you wish to cover with the product or service offered, and also the most important sensitivities. These are the factors and types of behavior that a group finds intolerable or feels affected by.

Conclusions

However, not all companies base their business development decisions on proper market segmentation, which can lead to the failure of businesses, products, and services. At times is seems obvious that something is not working due to having omitted the major step of segmenting the market and launching an isolated strategy without a solid foundation.

The key lies in identifying those needs that customers want to cover to add value. It is a permanent process that should always be the first line of action. However, it is not necessary for the needs or the solutions to be extraordinary. It is more about identifying needs in order to provide value to customers and establish a long-lasting relationship that enables the business to develop.

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