Market Segmentation: Why Market Segments Are Important to Marketers

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Marketing managers must understand the importance of segmenting a market and the specific criteria for successful segmentation. Before the 1960's, most companies tried to market products to the masses with declining success. It is important to identify key target markets! Updated: 07/15/2019

Market Segmentation

Is the pet rock a perfect birthday gift for everyone? How about a football or lipstick? Products need to be tailored to a specific customer who makes up a target market. A market is people or organizations who have the ability to purchase a product or service. A market can be further broken down into segments.

A market segment is a subgroup of people or organizations that have one or more characteristics in common that cause them to have the same product needs. Everyone needs water to drink, but does everyone need bottled water? For companies to successfully reach their precise customer, they need to divide a market into similar and identifiable segments through market segmentation.

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Purpose and Concept of Market Segmentation

Example of a market segment a company may target
Market Segment Example

The main reason companies divide markets into identifiable groups is so that the marketing team can create a custom marketing mix for the specific group. For example, Farmer Joseph realized early on that not everyone would purchase his expensive organic produce. He did not want to exhaust his financial budget by advertising to the masses. Instead, he identified his target market and created a specific marketing plan to communicate effectively with his prime customers.

His target market consisted of females age 18-65, with an income of $50,000+, who have healthy eating habits and who are concerned about pesticides. His plan consisted of ad placement in local women's magazines, newspapers and also email blasts to a list that he formulated with age and income specifics. Lastly, he advertised with a local gym about his healthy produce. Marketers have numerous choices in how they can segment a market.

If the farmer had planned on targeting everyone, then the type of segmentation would have been called no market segmentation. The opposite type of segmentation would be if he decided to target based on every individual factor available. This would be called a fully segmented market. Other choices include segmenting just by gender, income, lifestyle, ethnicity, family life cycle, age group, or even a combination-type.

Importance of Market Segmentation

Companies will not survive if the marketing strategy is dependent upon targeting an entire mass market. The importance of market segmentation is that it allows a business to precisely reach a consumer with specific needs and wants. In the long run, this benefits the company because they are able to use their corporate resources more effectively and make better strategic marketing decisions.

An accessible market segment may be targeted through emails or relevant publications.
Market Accessibility Strategies

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