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What is Market Segmentation and How Does it Apply to Survey Design?

 

In today's competitive marketplace, understanding what makes your target market tick is more important than ever. Market segmentation is the process of dividing your market into smaller, more manageable groups. This practice can help you better identify and understand your target market and design marketing messages that resonate with your target audience.

In addition to developing accurately targeted marketing campaigns, businesses use market segmentation to identify new market opportunities, improve customer satisfaction and retention, and optimize sales processes.

When it comes to market segmentation, survey design is fundamental – because you need to ensure that your survey questions yield the data you need to understand your segments. So if you're wondering how IntelliSurvey can help you segment your market, looking for market segmentation examples, or just want to know more about how market segmentation relates to survey design – read on!

5 Types of Market Segmentation

Geographic Segmentation

Geographic segmentation is about identifying meaningful differences between geographic areas. You might look at the weather, cultural values or preferences, population density, or other geographic variables. The idea is to use geographic splits to identify differences in the details you care about. With this knowledge, businesses can tailor marketing campaigns and product offerings. For example, a company selling winter clothing would likely focus its advertising in colder northern climates, while a company selling beach apparel would target its advertising to southern coastal regions.

Demographic Segmentation

Involves dividing a market into groups based on demographic characteristics. Age, gender, income, occupation, education, race, and marital status are all common factors used in demographic segmentation. For example, a company selling medical supplies might target nurses and doctors, while a company selling retirement planning services needs to identify and advertise to older adults. While demographic segmentation is vital for understanding your market, it's important to remember that not all consumers within a demographic group are the same. Therefore, to effectively market to a specific group, businesses need to go beyond demographic data and understand their target consumers' unique needs and wants.

Psychographic Segmentation

Divides consumers into groups based on shared psychological characteristics, like personality, values, lifestyle, and interests. Unlike demographic segmentation, which relies on objective criteria like age, gender, and income, psychographic segmentation reflects the more subjective elements of consumer personality and lifestyle. For example, a company selling camping gear might target adventurous and outdoorsy customers. This type of segmentation can be very effective in today's crowded marketplace, where consumers face an endless barrage of marketing messages from all sides. By understanding the psychological needs of their target market, businesses can cut through the noise and deliver messages that resonate with their target audience.

Behavioral Segmentation

Divides consumers into groups based on their observed behaviors like purchase history, spending habits, online activity, and even app and social media interactions. Let's say you want to market a new type of toothpaste. You could use any and all of the segmentation methods above, but what if you want to target people who are health-conscious and willing to pay more for a premium product? In that case, you would use behavioral segmentation to identify those people who would be interested in premium oral health. 

Firmographic Segmentation

Divides a market into distinct groups based on firm-level characteristics in a B2B market. The most common firmographic variables are industry, size, and location. However, other firmographic variables include financial stability, growth rate, and ownership structure. Firmographic segmentation is helpful for several purposes, including target marketing, lead generation, and competitive intelligence. For example, a company selling software to small businesses might use firmographic segmentation to target companies with under 100 employees.

The Right Combination is Key

Segmentation is one of the most important and commonly misused marketing tools. It's critical to combine segmentation methods correctly if you want actionable data. For example, let’s say you want to understand what restaurants different groups of people prefer. To accomplish that, you might choose to segment the market based on a variety of factors like age and gender (demographic segmentation), lifestyle and values (psychographic segmentation), and observed behaviors (behavioral segmentation). With that data, you can zero in on the restaurant choosing habits of various groups and identify the ones that make the most sense for your marketing campaign.

The idea is to find the right combination of segmentation methods that provides the most insight and accurately defines your target market. No matter how sophisticated your market segmentation definition strategy is, it's important to test and validate your assumptions about your target market and the best way to do this is through surveys. By asking questions and collecting feedback from real consumers, you gain an accurate picture of who your target market is and what they need from you.

Identifying the Most Effective Segments

Now that we understand the basic types of market segmentation, let's explore the importance of identifying effective segments that will help you reach your business goals.

The segments you target should be:

  • Measurable: can you track and measure the performance of this segment and calculate how much they might be willing to spend on your product?
  • Substantial: is the segment large enough to be worth targeting? Do they have the means to purchase your product?
  • Differentiable: does the segment have unique needs that require a different marketing approach?
  • Accessible: can you reach the segment through your chosen marketing channels? Have you identified the best channels to contact them through?
  • Identifiable: if a psychographic segment is so nuanced and hidden that you can’t reasonably collect data about them, then they aren’t a good segment to target.
  • Durable: will the segment remain stable over time, or is it in a period of flux?

Operationalizing Market Segmentation

Once you’ve identified your market segments, it’s time to implement your marketing strategy. When doing so, keep the following in mind.

Do:

  • Focus on one or two key segments at a time
  • Develop detailed buyer personas for each segment
  • Use multiple methods of market segmentation to get a well-rounded view of your target market
  • Test and refine your segmentation strategy over time

Don't:

  • Try to be everything to everyone. It's not possible (or sustainable).
  • Overlook the needs of niche markets. They can be extremely valuable.

IntelliSurvey: Helping Your Business Reach New Heights

By understanding market segmentation, businesses can better target their marketing efforts to reach the right people with the right message. The result is increased sales, higher customer satisfaction, and more efficient marketing spending. In addition, market segmentation can help businesses better understand their customers and develop better-targeted products and services to meet their needs.

Do you need help obtaining sample respondents that fit your market segmentation criteria? Or are you looking for a partner to help design a survey that collects the necessary data? IntelliSurvey is here to assist. We’ll help you run the studies and analyze the data to get an optimal segmentation. We program 5,000+ surveys for our clients annually and understand the latest, scientifically validated survey methodologies to collect the data you need to segment your market with precision and make informed strategic decisions. We'll work with you to design and implement a survey that gets to the root of what you need to know, and we'll ensure it's administered to provide you with accurate, actionable data. Need help with data analysis? We've got you covered there too.

So go ahead and take the guesswork out of your marketing decisions- let us help you get the information you need to make intelligent, informed business decisions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you segment and survey your market with maximum precision so you can rise above the competition!

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