The problems of market segmentation

Date of publication: August 1, 1967


Classic market research methods do not provide us with any basis for differentiation. In fact, they merely establish simple and rudimentary links between different socio-economic characteristics and buying behaviour, which amounts to slicing the individual up into pieces. Hence the need for a more integrated approach, which would enable us to divide the market into homogeneous groups of buyers. Market segmentation consists of just this. Briefly, segmenting the market means dividing the population into groups of consumers which are homogeneous both in their apparent characteristics and in their buying mentality. Methods of segmentation, generally, consist of using mathematical techniques to divide a sample into classes. This gives a concrete and living framework for the intuitive work of the advertising man, which consists of thinking in terms of the actual buyer and not in fragmentary terms like age, town size, or profession. No definitive and completely satisfactory solution seems to have been found for this problem. There have, however, been some attempted solutions and we shall go on to describe them here.

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