Segmentation enables companies to specialise their products and target their marketing. When choosing their careers, people specialise into a niche of their profession. For example, law graduates can become solicitors or barristers; they can specialise in family law, finance law or property law. Each specialisation enables them to become more expert in a narrower field and target specific needs of the general public. Segmentation offers similar benefits to marketing.
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Few products are targeted at the entire population. Some products, such as computer games or care homes, were created specifically to address the needs and aspirations of a specific segment of the market. These products, by their nature, are unavoidably pinned to a market segment and all design and development of these products and services fit naturally into their niche audience. More general products, such as food, cars and holidays can enhance their marketability if they are tailored or packaged to appeal to a specific market segment.
Advertising that expresses a company’s or product’s affinity with the target customer is more successful than general themes. Marketing segmentation enables a single organisation to tailor its advertising along with product range to specific segments of the market. An example of this phenomenon is the range of products financial institutions like banks offer. They use different advertising methods to attract customers for student accounts to those they would use to advertise mortgages or pensions. Each product aims at a different segment of the population and should use advertising methods and styles that match that segment.
The British media is highly segmented. It is possible for a company to market the same or similar products in different styles to different segments, without confusing its image. For example older women would read different magazines to teenage boys. Therefore, by exploiting this fragmentation of the print media, the producer of a skin care product could use very different images and copy for each market. Neither segment is likely to see the advert intended for the other segment.
Segmentation allows a product to follow its original client base through their advancing years. The product matures along with its target market. As loyal customers age, product designers can adapt their offering to appeal to altered priorities of their customers by adjusting the segment to which they appeal. Thus, viewing markets as a series of segments, marketing managers can reposition their strategy by referring to the standard techniques applicable to the segment into which their followers have passed.
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