The Basics Regarding Behavioral Segmentation

By Judy Sullivan

As a marketer, it is very unlikely that you will encounter a set of two consumers who have exactly the same tastes and preferences. That is expected. As human beings, many differences exist among others. From our genetic make-up, our cultural background, our levels of education, life experiences and so on. One will therefore not be surprised to when consumers demand different things from a product or service. Behavioral segmentation is the subdividing of a market based on these differences.

There are several differences that exist between the traditional marketing strategies and the segmentation strategy. For instance, in the traditional approach, mass marketing was practiced. The marketer typically sent out a message to a large pool of potential customers in the hope of reaching out to buyers of products or services. In segmentation, the customer pool is stratified and each is treated differently from the other.

The behaviors that can be used as the basis for segmenting are numerous. They will largely depend on your judgment. Any client behavior that you consider significant enough to influence demand for your goods can be used. Product loyalty is widely variable among clients for many goods and services. It is possible to classify your clients in several groups depending on their levels of loyalty. By so doing, you will get the opportunity to determine the factors that enhance or discourage the use of your products.

The other way to achieve the subdivision is to use the benefits sought as the guideline. Even for the same product, consumers do not always look for the same things. It is important to be aware of the different reasons that will make consumers demand for your goods. If the different segments are large enough then it may be necessary to modify the product in a manner that helps each consumer maximize on the benefits.

A number of goods are only bought occasionally. Their demand is noted to be unusually high during specific periods of the year when marking particular occasions or festivities. Christians buy lots of religious goods during Christmas and Easter. For this reason, they form a very important segment that needs to be recognized. If one is not aware of the existence of this segment of customers then they will not adequately meet the demand.

Usage rate is yet another criterion commonly used segmenting markets. The idea here is to create consumer groups based on how frequently they use the product or service in question. Generally, customers can be divided into three major groups using this criterion: these are the heavy, moderate and light users. Other than the frequency the quantity used by each of them can also be used as an attribute.

Buyer readiness is the willingness of a buyer to use a service or good. While some buyers simply like a product others are willing to pay for it. The levels of willingness are divided into 6 that represent increasing levels of willingness to spend on the product. The first stage is awareness of product existence and the last stage is the purchase stage.

Apart from behavioral segmentation, there many other ways of subdividing markets. The commonly used ones include the use of geographic, demographic and psychographic characteristics. The most important thing is to ensure that the segment created has members that share the same concerns.

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