Rather than offer the same marketing mix to vastly different customers, market segmentation makes it possible for firms to tailor the marketing mix for specific target markets, thus better satisfying customer needs. Not all elements of the marketing mix are necessarily changed from one segment to the next. For example, in some cases only the promotional campaigns would differ.
A market segment should be:
A market can be segmented by various bases, and industrial markets are segmented somewhat differently from consumer markets, as described below.
Consumer Market Segmentation
A basis for segmentation is a factor that varies among groups within a market, but that is consistent within groups. One can identify four primary bases on which to segment a consumer market:
The optimal bases on which to segment the market depend on the particular situation and are determined by marketing research, market trends, and managerial judgment.
Business Market Segmentation
While many of the consumer market segmentation bases can be applied to businesses and organizations, the different nature of business markets often leads to segmentation on the following bases:
Profiling the Segments
The identified market segments are summarized by profiles, often given a descriptive name. From these profiles, the attractiveness of each segment can be evaluated and a target market segment selected.