Life cycle and income segmentation

Date of publication: June 15, 1981

Author: Pym Cornish


In media research we are generally concerned, either explicitly or implicitly, with measures of media audiences on the one hand and with measures related to the consumption of goods and services on the other. In a given survey it may be possible to collect a certain amount of marketing data as well as media data, but single source data can never be complete. The marketer will always have other valuable information which ho cannot directly integrate with his primary source. The first reason for segmenting data is therefore to have a means of comparing and moving between two or more sources of information. Even when single source data exist on the media and the market being studied, there remains the need to understand their structures. The second reason for segmentation is to provide these structural insights for a great variety of marketing purposes. In practice in media research studies a large number of demographic and psychographic classification measures are collected as a matter of course. Any one or more of these measures may provide the basis for a useful segmentation of the population in the case of a given media or marketing problem. However, there is clearly also a need for a single primary segmentation which can be applied as a matter of course to any market or medium to reveal its general characteristics. In the UK, but not to the same extent elsewhere, this primary classification system has been Social Grade.

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