Strategic market segmentation

Date of publication: April 1, 2001


Previous work by Maclennan and Mackenzie indicated that while top executives in the pharmaceutical industry often advocate being market oriented and customer focused, few companies (large or small) use market segmentation to its maximum potential. Segmentation often remains largely data-driven, resulting in segments increasingly divorced from segmentation theory. One might take a ‘Delphi’ approach to developing strategic market segmentation. Starting with a hypothesis, one would seek to validate a strong conceptual model for segmentation. Used implicitly it can improve the quality and focus of problem definition, while explicitly it provides a template for isolating critical decision points and information needs in support of those decisions. Any systematic analysis of the process on comparative product performance and the marketplace would be premature. However, early indicators suggest this approach can produce a higher level of client satisfaction, a more rational approach to setting market research objectives, enhanced market understanding, and more significantly, clinical development priorities reviewed as a result of leveraging information needs more effectively.

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