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Advertising / Marketing: Segmentation

Market segmentation is the process that many organizations use in order to analyze their audience or service group. By dividing their audience into subgroups which have special needs, wants, or behaviours, you increase the ease of communicating, providing services or selling to them.

Marketers use four main methods to segment (or divide) an audience. These are demographic, geographic, psychographic and behaviouristic segmentation:

  • Demographic segmentation divides a market according to objective categories such as age, income, occupation and education;
  • Geographic segmentation separates people by where they live;
  • Psychographic segmentation looks at attitudes, values, beliefs and interests -– what they think; and;
  • Behaviouristic segmentation concentrates on habits, preferences, and purchasing patterns (also called lifestyle) -– what they do.

For example, a market segmentation analysis of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would look like:

  • Demographic: 49 years old, male, married with three children, post-secondary education (Bachelor of General Studies), American
  • Geographic: Multiple homes, California, Florida, Georgia, London
  • Psychographic: Health conscious, family life
  • Behaviouristic/Lifestyle: Weight lifts, social media

Geographic 	Country 	City 	Density 	Language 	Climate 	Area 	Population Demographic 	Age 	Gender 	Income 	Education 	Social status 	Family 	Life stage 	Occupation Psychographic 	Lifestyle 	Activities and interests 	Concerns 	Personality 	Values 	Attitudes Behavioural 	Benefits sought 	Purchasing usage 	Buyer stage 	Engagement 	Occasion

Read on the learn more about finding information for market segmentation and the best resources to use.

You can segment a market by the following key demographic groups:

  • By generational cohort (Great Depression, WWII, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Jones, Generation Y, Millennials)
  • By age (Children, young adults, middle aged, seniors)
  • By gender
  • By marital status
  • By income
  • By educational attainment
  • By religion
  • By country of origin/ancestry
  • By visible minority status
  • By mother tongue
  • By labour force participation
  • By occupation

Usually these demographic groups are located within a specific area, so demographic and geographic segmentation usually go hand-in-hand (e.g., comparing numbers of seniors in Toronto to seniors in Calgary).

Databases and Other Resources

Behaviouralistic segmentation is primarily activity based. It includes hobbies, sports and fitness involvement, purchasing behaviour, entertainment, social events, dining patterns -- any behaviour that can be measured and quantified.

Sometimes psychographic and behaviouralistic/lifestyle variables are bundled together as IAO variables (Interests, Activities and Opinions). There can be overlap between the two areas.

For example, a person who has a more conservative mindset (psychographic) will tend to vote for conservative candidates (behaviouralistic/lifestyle). Basically, what you think can influence what you do.

Databases and Other Resources

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