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Market Segmentation

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Market segmentation means dividing a market into distinct group of buyers with different needs, characteristics or behaviour, who might require separate product and marketing mix. It is a way by which companies identify different ways to segment the market and develop profiles of the resulting marketing segment. Kotler et al (2005). It is the process of dividing the total heterogeneous market for a good or service into several segments. Each of which tends to be homogeneous in all significant aspects. Market segmentation is a new customer-oriented philosophy and is consistent with modern marketing concept. It studies needs and expectations of different consumer groups and provides something for everybody. This promotes sales and also offers more satisfaction to buyers of that group. Here, the producer employs a 'Rifle Approach' and not the 'Shotgun Approach'. This means he pinpoints the target (customers group) and draws specific plan to meet their needs rather than fixing broad target (all customers) and preparing one general plan to meet the needs of all customers. It is an accepted fact that markets are not homogeneous. Consumers differ in their needs and also the manner in which the needs are to be satisfied. For example, clothing is required by all consumers but all consumers do not wear the same type of clothing. Gaurav Akrani (2010)

1.2.0 Essential qualities of Segmentation

As firms attempt to segment market, they have many methods from which to choose. However it is important to segment and how far the segmentation effort should go in targeting specific markets. There is a point where market can be segmented too much, with the resulting subset being too small to be profitable. It may not be sufficient to develop several marketing programs for the various kind of market segment when one or two could be used for the entire market. When any segmentation effort are undertaken, the following qualities should be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the market segmentation strategy.

1.2.1 Accessibility

This is a quality used to evaluate the effectiveness of market segmentation. The large target market must be reachable or accessible, through a variety of marketing communication effort. Reid et al (1988). Marketing effort can include a variety of approaches, including but not limited to advertising, promotion , direct marketing, telemarketing and personal selling. Without accessibility, there is a little reason for segmenting the target market. A major reason for segmenting the market is to isolate variable segment of potential businesses and to direct marketing communication effort related to specific market of the product- service mix towards the segments. Without accessibility, this is not possible and segmenting the target market is of little value.



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