As marketers, we all know that being as focused as possible on your target audience brings the best results. After all, there’s no point in advertising cat food to dog owners (at least I can’t think of any reason to do this) so, one of the most important tasks when building an audience is to look at segmentation. When it comes to dividing up your market, there are four main ways to do it—each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the four bases of segmentation so that you can decide which one is right for your business!
The Four Bases of Segmentation
There are four main bases of market segmentation: geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral. By understanding these different types of segmentation, businesses can more effectively target their advertising and marketing efforts to reach their desired audience. Let’s take a quick look at each of them now before diving into the details in the rest of this article.
1. Geographic Segmentation
Geographic segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct geographic units, such as countries, regions, states, or cities. Businesses may use this method to target customers in specific locations with products or services that are suited to that area. For example, a company that sells winter clothing would likely target consumers in areas with cold climates.
2. Demographic Segmentation
Demographic segmentation is dividing a market based on various demographic factors, such as age, gender, income level, or occupation. This approach is often used by businesses to identify groups of consumers that have similar characteristics and needs. For example, a company selling baby products would likely target parents or expectant parents as its primary demographic.
3. Psychographic Segmentation
Psychographic segmentation is the process of dividing a market based on psychological factors, such as lifestyle, personality type, or values. This approach can be used to identify groups of consumers with similar needs and preferences.
4. Behavioural Segmentation
The final type of segmentation, behavioral segmentation looks at factors such as purchase history, brand loyalty, and channel preference. This can be a very powerful type of segmentation as it most clearly defines a prospect’s alignment with your brand or product.
An alternative interpretation of the Four Bases of Segmentation is often used to create psychographic profiles, which can then be used to target marketing messages and strategies. In this case, marketers sometimes refer to the four bases as:
- Lifestyle: How a consumer lives their life, including their daily activities, interests, and opinions.
- Personality: The way a consumer perceives themselves, including their self-image and self-esteem.
- Values: The principles and beliefs that guide a consumer’s decision-making.
- Attitudes: The way a consumer feels about a particular topic or issue.
By understanding the psychological factors that influence consumer behavior, businesses can develop more effective marketing campaigns that appeal to the needs and wants of their target audience.
How to Use the Four Bases of Segmentation
For example, if you are selling a new line of cosmetics, you would want to segment your market by demographic (e.g., foundation, lipstick, etc.), price (e.g., drug store brands vs. high-end department store brands), geographic (e.g., online vs. brick-and-mortar stores or, perhaps, targeting a specific State or city), and promotion (e.g., direct mail vs. social media). By understanding the needs of each segment, you can tailor your marketing mix to more effectively reach your target consumers.
There are four main bases of segmentation: demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral. Demographic segmentation is the most common form of segmentation and involves grouping people based on factors like age, gender, income, occupation, etc. Geographic segmentation involves dividing people up based on where they live, while psychographic segmentation looks at lifestyle characteristics and personality traits. Behavioral segmentation looks at people’s past behavior and buying patterns.
In marketing, psychographic segmentation is the process of dividing consumers into different groups based on their psychological characteristics. These characteristics can include things like lifestyle, values, personality, and interests.
Psychographic segmentation is a powerful tool that can help marketers better understand their target audiences and craft more effective marketing messages. By understanding the psychological factors that influence consumer behavior, marketers can more effectively reach and motivate their target consumers.
One of the most popular methods of market segmentation is behavioral segmentation. This approach looks at how customers interact with a product or service. It can be used to identify different groups of customers based on their needs, preferences, and behaviors.
Some common behavioral variables used in behavioral segmentation include:
- Purchase behavior: This looks at how often customers purchase a product or service, how much they spend, and what type of products they buy.
- Usage behavior: This examines how customers use a product or service. For example, some customers may use a product more frequently or for longer periods of time than others.
- Attitude toward the product or service: This measures how favorable or unfavorable customers feel about a product or service.
- Loyalty: This indicates how likely customers are to continue using a product or service in the future.
Geographic segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct geographic units such as countries, regions, states, or cities. This type of segmentation can be useful for businesses that sell products or services that are affected by location. For example, a company that sells snowboards would likely want to segment its market by geographic region since snowfall varies from place to place. By targeting specific geographic areas, businesses can more effectively use their resources and tailor their marketing efforts to meet the needs of their target customers.
So, as we have seen, there are four main bases of segmentation: geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral. By understanding these different types of segmentation, businesses can more effectively target their marketing efforts to reach the right consumers. Geographic segmentation is perhaps the most straightforward form of segmentation, while behavioral segmentation looks at customers’ past buying behavior to better predict future behavior. Demographic and psychographic segmentation provide additional insights into customer needs and wants. No matter which type of segmentation a business uses, the goal is always to better understand the consumer so that marketing messages are more targeted and effective.