We began this lesson with an experiment where we had to group a page of shapes of a variety of colours, numbers and shapes into as many groups as was possible. It was amazing how many ways there was of doing this, for example, blue stars, stars, blue shapes would just be 3 ways for one shape. The possibilities were endless. This, was segmentation. When one considers the absolute immense number of citizens in the United Kingdom alone, the possibilities of segmentation are VAST. We discussed profiling in questionnaires and how profiler questions, such as age, newspaper read, ethnic group, gender were there to simply look at new ways of segmenting the population and ways of targeting them as a business.
The model of buyer behaviour by Kotler shows perception is a psychological influence on the consumer. Everything is based on perception. That is the beauty of human nature, the fact that everything we see will not be seen the same by anyone else in the world. It is an individual and personal concept and for marketers to try and target this, they must begin to understand the many populatory groups. Years ago, products served a purpose, for example the original car, it was £500, came on one colour and drove from a to b. People were satisfied with this as it satisfied their needs. There was a market monopoly and people thought nothing of not having a choice, it was only the privileged that had a car in the first place. Nowadays, cars are bought for certain purposes, such as racing cars, dune bashing and mountaineering.
A type of marketing which uses this concept is STP marketing. In this, the company looks at Segmenting, Targeting and Positioning. See diagram above.
Segmentation can also be known as cluster analysis. The term cluster analysis (primarily used by Tryon, 1939) encompasses a number of different algorithms and methods for grouping objects of similar kind into respective categories.
So why do we bother to segment? Segmentation is a personalised approach which induces the possibility of a consumer purchasing the product that they supposedly 'need'. It's very effective which is why companies have such a large marketing budget. They reap the benefits at the end. There is a criteria of segmentation (there's no point in doing it if it doesn't work!) it is that it needs to be effective, identifiable, profitable, accessible and actionable.
You're probably wondering how I came to the conclusion that Ruth is a Chav? Well after being produced with receipts and being told to create a word picture out of them, my group was given a long receipt with ready meals, chocolates and a lot of convenience style goods. We decided this was because it was a chav mother with millions of children living on the dole. Apparently we were wrong. It was Ruth's!! So now we know how you perceive something can be be completely and utterly wrong... or was it?!!! x