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Customer groups: psychographic segmentation

Psychographics is the science of using psychology and demographics to better understand consumers. Psychographics is the activity of attempting to categorize people in this way. Psychographic segmentation: consumers are divided according to their lifestyle, personality, values. It is based on the idea that individuals have modes and patterns of living that may be reflected in the products and brands they purchase. For example, some individuals prefer a ‘homely’ lifestyle, whereas others may have a ‘sophisticated’ lifestyle. So, psychographics involves grouping people with similar lifestyles, as well as shared attitudes, values and opinions. Attitudes, values and opinions require special research to learn more about a group’s personality and motivation.

· Education: the highest qualification that a person has, such as a diploma or a degree.

· Attitudes and opinions: how a person feels or thinks about issues, people, brands.

· Lifestyle: a way of life that reflects a person’s values and attitudes.

Young and Rubicam, the advertising agency, put forward a lifestyle classification called ‘4Cs’ where ‘C’ stands for ‘Customer Type’. Consumers are put into one of the following categories:

  • Mainstreamers (the largest group) ● Aspirers
  • Succeeders ● Reformers

People within the same demographic group can exhibit very different psychographic profiles. For example, the VALS system divides people into such groups as:

1) Fulfilleds - mature people who like solid products that give value for money,

2) Experiencers - young, impulsive people who spend a lot on clothes, music, etc.

This information is often colleted by means of questionnaires used to profile different kinds of buyers.

Here are some description of VALS types:

· Experiencers are young, enthusiastic people who spend a lot o clothes, for example, without planning for a long time what they are going to buy.

· Strugglers are poorer, elderly people who are loyal to familiar brands.

· Actualizers are successful, active people with cultivated, expensive tastes.

· Believers are conservative traditionalists who prefer familiar products and established brands.

· Makers are practical family-oriented people who buy practical, functional products such as tools.

· Strivers are insecure people without much money but who buy stylish products to imitate those with more money.


3. Match the consumer type to the lifestyle definitions:

1.This person has a traditional, conservative and conformist lifestyle. He or she likes to feel comfortable but does not like change.

2.This person has the original idea to do something.

3.This person id young, ambitious, successful, hard-working and determined to win in life.

4.This person is ambitious and competitive, and seeks to become richer and more successful, but is content with life.

5.This person has worked hard and got what he or she wanted. He/she is rational and reasonable.

6.This person announces that something is going to happen.

7.This person tells other people about an innovation they think is a good one, and recommends buying.

8.This person is unable to survive well alone because of age, lack of money or a physical or mental disability.

a) achiever b) belonger c) decision maker d) dependent

e) emulator f) influencer g) initiator h) integrated


4. Read the text and explain the meanings of the words and phrases which have been highlighted. What are the ways of pinpointing the elusive consumer?

It is difficult to sell anything when the whole world seems your potential market. That is where segmentation comes into the picture.

The marketing concept holds that any organization exists to gratify the needs and desires of those consumers it is the best in the position to serve. Segmentation involves selecting those groups of consumers who would probably be most receptive to the market item in question.

Market segmentation is the key to all advertising decisions. Advertisers use market segmentation to determine positioning strategy, media strategy, and creative strategy.

How is the elusive consumer scientifically pinpointed? Methods of consumer targeting includes an exploration of sociocultural influences on consumer behavior. Advertisers may examine the influence of groups, social class, and familial ties on consumers. Advertisers are concerned also with individual influences on consumer behavior. They are interested in the psychological concepts of learning, perception, motivation, personality, and attitude change.

Still another way to study a target market is through an examination of the decision process. This process begins with need recognition and goes on to search, brand comprehension and evaluation. Choice is the outcome.

Of course, not all advertisers have the financial resources (to conduct) their own detailed research programs. They can carry out small-scale surveys by mail, over the phone, or by direct interview. The library, too, can be a valuable source of consumer behavior data, as can professional research outfits equipped to cope with problems that are beyond the abilities of the low-budget advertiser.


5. Fill in the gaps with the most suitable words from the box:


information marketing differently advertise print manufacturers

customer interested benefits research readers message

Consumers Versus Customers

A product may have more than one target market. For example, ….. of children’s cereal know that they need to target children and parents ….. . They have two target markets: one is the children (consumers) who will be asking for the cereal and eating it. The other is the parents (customers) who need to approve of it and will be buying it. To reach the children, marketers might ….. on morning television programs specifically designed for children. The advertising ….. might be how much fun it is to eat this cereal. To reach parents, ….. advertising in magazines might be used, and the ad message might stress health ….. .

To develop a clear picture of their target market, businesses create a customer profile. A customer profile lists ….. about the target market, such as age, income level, ethnic background, occupation, attitudes, lifestyle, and geographic residence. Marketers spend a lot of money and time on ….. to collect data so that they understand the characteristics of their target market’s ….. profile.

This information helps them make intelligent ….. decisions. An easy and fun way to understand customer profiles is to look at magazines. If you thumb through a magazine’s articles and advertisements, you will know who reads the publication. According to Seventeen magazine’s Web site, the magazine targets teen girls and young women who are ….. in beauty, fashion, and entertainment. It is larger than any competitor in the 12- to 17-year-old market and 97.9 percent of its ….. have accessed the Internet regularly.


products single precision differentiate segments

slogan popular niche customers competitors

Mass Marketing Versus Segmentation

When products have universal appeal and few features to ….. them from ….., mass marketing is used. Mass marketing involves using a ….. marketing strategy to reach all ….. .

Since most ….. can be segmented by demographics, psychographics, geographics, or buying behavior, mass marketing is not as ….. as it once was. The current trend is ….. marketing, which means that markets are narrowed down and defined with extreme ….. . Even products that use one ….. in their advertising, such as Got Milk? ads, will use different models or themes to reach different ….. of the market.


6. Complete the text describing market segmentation for children’s art supplies:

Kid’s arts and crafts market growing

Kids’ art and crafts is brighter than ever, say many retailers. ‘This (1)_____ segment is growing without questions. We’re seeing a larger population of young kids entering school than in previous years and creating a great opportunity,’ said Walgreens’ spokesperson Yvette Anne Venable.

An increasing number of products are (2)_____ at parents and grandparents who want their kids to be smart and creative, not just television junkies. Grandparents are a customer segment with strong economic (3)_____ . It is relatively easy to (4)_____ to them using positive images of their grandchildren.

Steven Jacober, SHOPA’s president, agrees: ‘Art supplies and crafts continue to grow. This ties into the baby (5)_____ generation, the way they are raising their children and their tendency to make everything a learning experience. There are a lot of different factors, and the demographics support continuing growth of the marketplace.’

Arts and crafts are targeted at households with (6)_____ , kids aged 12 years and under.

boomer appeal power market tweens targeted

7. Fill in the gap with the most suitable word:

1. Diving a market into distinct groups of buyers who have different requirements or buying habits is … .

a) market segmentation b) market division c) market cutting

2. In many markets there is a firm with a much larger market share than its competitors, called a … .

a) monopolist b) multinational c) market leader

3. Small, specialized companies, which target segments within segments, are called …

a) market failures b) market followers c) market nichers

4. A company that is number two in an industry, but which would like to become number one – think of Pepsi vs. Coke, Reebok vs. Nike, Avis vs. Hertz – is a … .

a) market challenger b) market competitor c) market follower

5. A smaller company in an industry, more or less content with its existing market share, is called a … .

a) market challenger b) market follower c) market sharer

6. The extent to which a market is dominated by a few large companies is called … .

a) market concentration b) market environment c) market supply

7. The proportion of the total market which one company controls.

a) domination b) market place c) market share

8. The way people choose to live, a factor to consider in market segmentation.

a) lifestyle b) lifehabit c) lifecustom

9. Part of a market; a group of customers with specific needs, defined in terms of geography, age, sex, income, occupation, life-style, etc.

a) market segment b) market share c) market slice

10. A small specialized part of a market is called … .

a) hole b) niche c) small area

11. A company which sells more of a particular type of product than its competitors is called … .

a) trend setter b) multinational c) market leader

12. … is a group of persons for whom a firm develops and maintains a marketing mix suitable for the specific needs and preferences of that group.

a) target b) target market c) target marketing

13. A firm using the market segmentation approach directs a marketing mix at … rather than at the total market.

a) segment b) target c) sector

14. … is a group of individuals or organizations within a market that share one or more common characteristics.

a) target market b) market share c) market segment

15. A term for considerations of social class, lifestyle, personality, etc. used in market segmentation is … .

a) geography b) demography c) psychographics

16. Standards that are used for judging something or making a decision about something.

a) factors b) criteria c) features

17. The study of population, especially birth and death statistics, is called … .

a) demography b) demarketing c) societal marketing

18. … is an increase in the success of a business or a country’s economy, or in the amount of money invested in them.

a) growth b) height c) enlarging



Who is the target market for a product? In relation to consumer products, the ‘mass market’ is becoming an old-fashioned concept. Products are increasingly targeted at specific market segments. Market segmentation is defined as: ‘The process of breaking down the total market for a product or service into distinct sub-groups or segments, where each segment might represent a distinct target market to be reached with a distinctive marketing mix’.

The marketer has to evaluate the various market segments. They should be appraised with respect to sales and profit potential. This requires that each segment be appraised with respect to: overall size, projected growth, extent of competition, nature of competitive strategies and customer requirements.

The company must decide which segments in the market it is best able and willing to serve. This decision must be based on company resources, competition, segment potential and company objectives. Four characteristics make a market segment attractive:

  • The segment has enough sales and profit potential.
  • The segment has the potential for growth.
  • The segment is not over competitive.
  • The segment has some unsatisfied needs that the company can serve well.

Marketers examine customers in terms of their purchasing behaviour and how they can most effectively divide them into distinct purchasing groups.

To improve opportunities for success in a competitive marketplace, marketers must focus their efforts on clearly defined market targets. The intention is to select those groups of customers that the company is best able to serve so that competitive pressure is minimized. The sequential steps in this process are segmentation, targeting and positioning. They can be used to improve the effectiveness of marketing decision making. Then examining why consumers and people purchasing on behalf of their organizations make purchasing decisions.


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Date: 2015-01-12; view: 3960

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