Segmentation beyond cultural boundaries

Date of publication: February 23, 2003


Although the use of market segmentation analysis is standard research practice in the United States and Europe, many researchers experience difficulty when applying the same methodology to research in other cultures. Market segmentation can be implemented anywhere in the world. The ability to segment a market is not dependent on the geographic region but on the researcher's ability to use the various bases and methods at his/her disposal. In any market segmentation study, two issues need to be addressed: the method of segmentation and the base for segmentation. While there are several bases of segmentation, there are only two methods to form segments: either a priori or post hoc. A typical segmentation study includes an analysis of a priori segments, post hoc segments, and a market forecast of each target segment. Post hoc segmentation analysis offers one of the most effective means of determining target segments in any country, and is applicable beyond cultural boundaries. With a well-designed questionnaire, the process of implementing post hoc segmentation is no more challenging or expensive than any other form of primary research, but will yield far richer and more usable data.

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