Bases for Market Segmentation

Two broad types of variables are commonly used for market segmentation. Socioeconomic characteristics of consumers, such as gender, age, occupation, income, family life cycle, education, and geographic location make up one type. The other type consists of behavioral variables, including benefits sought from products and services, usage behavior, lifestyle, and attitudes. For industrial buyers, socioeconomic characteristics may include company size and location, and industry or customers served. Behavioral variables may include purchasing objectives and practices as well as product and service benefits. The appropriateness of any one or combination of variables in a specific situation will depend on whether or not a variable relates to purchasing, use, or consumption behavior and responsiveness to marketing programs.

The choice of variables to use to segment a market often depends on insights into buyer behavior, provided by creative research. Even people with similar usage needs often have differing lifestyles representing various value sets. For example, some people have an active lifestyles in which sports and fitness play an important role, while for others arts, fashion and trends may be very important.

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