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What is the purpose of market segmentation?

December 11th 2020

Camilla Bass

By Camilla Bass

Senior Content Marketing Manager

Market segmentation

Market segmentation is a strategic marketing approach used to divide a broad target market into subsets — or segments — of consumers with common needs, interests, and priorities. It offers a framework for understanding a customer’s desires and preferences, which can guide various business decisions, from product development to marketing communications and interactions.

The primary goal of segmentation is to make it possible to tailor marketing efforts and product development to specific segments. Personalized marketing improves conversions, enhances engagement, inspires loyalty, and increases overall marketing effectiveness.

Market segmentation often relies on a combination of external market research and internal customer data and typically considers a wide range of factors, including: 

1. Measurable statistics such as age, gender, income, education, and family size.

2. Location, such as country, state, city, region, or neighborhood.

3. Psychographics such as lifestyle, values, attitudes, and personality traits.

4. Consumer behaviors, such as purchasing habits, brand interactions, and product use. 

By identifying distinct segments within your market, you can create highly targeted campaigns that resonate deeply with specific audiences. This targeted approach not only ensures that your marketing message is more relevant and compelling to each group but also maximizes the efficiency of your marketing spend. 

How market segmentation can boost your strategy 

Market segmentation can be used to tailor all aspects of your marketing strategy. It can also influence product development, pricing strategies, distribution methods, and customer service. This nuanced approach fosters stronger customer relationships, enhances loyalty, and ultimately leads to a competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

Five key benefits of market segmentation

Increased resource efficiency 

Instead of deploying a costly spray-and-pray marketing approach, market segmentation allows companies to target specific groups with tailored messages and offers. This focused approach ensures advertising budgets, sales teams, and other resources are dedicated to prospects that are most likely to respond, reducing waste and improving the return on investment for marketing activities. It also allows for better product development and inventory management, as businesses can predict and meet the specific demands of each segment, optimizing production and distribution costs. 

Stronger brand image 

By conveying more focused and consistent messaging aligned with the needs, preferences, and values of distinct customer groups, a company can position itself as a specialist rather than a generalist, which can enhance perceptions of expertise and credibility. Tailored interactions foster a sense of understanding and personal connection between a brand and its customers. This personalized approach makes customers feel valued and understood, which can significantly heighten brand trust and reputation, resulting in a stronger brand image. 

Greater potential for brand loyalty 

When a business understands and segments its market, it can tailor its products, services, and messaging to align with the specific needs, preferences, and behaviors of different customer groups. This personalized approach can make customers feel seen and valued, as the brand is perceived to cater specifically to their unique requirements and desires.

Furthermore, segmentation allows for the cultivation of niche markets where customers may feel a stronger sense of belonging and connection to the brand, which is difficult to achieve with a broad, undifferentiated approach. Customers who believe a brand understands and meets their needs are more likely to become repeat buyers and advocate for the brand to others. 

Better-targeted digital advertising 

By understanding the characteristics of each segment, businesses can craft more effective digital advertising campaigns, ensuring that marketing messages and ads appeal to the distinctive characteristics and preferences of the various segments. This can increase the relevance and effectiveness of ads. For instance, a segment defined by a particular age group or digital behavior might receive advertising that aligns with their online activities and interests.

With detailed segmentation, advertisers can also use programmatic advertising technologies to serve ads to users at the right time and place, significantly increasing the chances of conversion. By avoiding a scattergun approach, businesses can invest in campaigns that are more likely to result in a favorable response from a well-defined audience. This precision improves click-through rates and conversion and enhances the overall user experience by providing value through relevance. 

Expanding your efforts 

Market segmentation can reveal opportunities for growth and innovation that may not be apparent in a more generalized marketing approach. By analyzing different segments, companies can uncover underserved markets or develop new products and services tailored to specific needs. Additionally, segmentation can help uncover new channels and touchpoints for reaching customers or inspire the creation of tailored marketing campaigns that speak directly to the preferences of specific groups.

Segmentation also enables businesses to enter new markets by adapting their offerings to the cultural, geographic, and economic conditions of different regions. By focusing on the most lucrative segments, companies can prioritize their expansion efforts more effectively and allocate resources to the areas with the highest potential return on investment. In essence, segmentation facilitates a more strategic deployment of marketing efforts, leading to diversified revenue streams and a broader business footprint. 

Types of market segmentation 

There are five key types of segmentation:

  • Geographic
  • Media preference
  • Demographic
  • Behavioral
  • Psychographic

Let’s look at each type of segmentation in more detail. 

Geographic segmentation

Geographic segmentation divides the market based on geographical boundaries. This type of segmentation is crucial for businesses whose products or services vary in popularity or relevance across different regions. 

Media preference segmentation

With the advent of digital media, understanding where your audience spends their time online is crucial. Media preference segmentation allows businesses to identify the most effective channels to reach their target audience, be it social media, search engines, or online forums. 

Demographic segmentation

Demographic segmentation involves segmenting the market based on demographic factors such as age, gender, income, education, and family size. 

Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation divides the market based on behaviors such as purchasing habits, browsing behavior, carted items, and product preference. 

Psychographic segmentation

Psychographic segmentation is about dividing the market based on lifestyle, values, attitudes, and interests. This type of segmentation enables businesses to connect with their audience on a deeper, more emotional level. 

Market segmentation strategies

Developing an effective market segmentation strategy involves several steps: 

1. Using in-house sources or an external agency, conduct thorough market research. Use surveys, interviews, and focus groups, to collect primary data from sources such as customers, suppliers, and industry experts. Include secondary data from industry reports, academic papers, company records, and online databases. 

2. Analyze this data to identify distinct groups within the broader market that would be most advantageous for your business to target based on shared characteristics such as demographics, buying behavior, or lifestyle. 

3. Once the segments are defined, assess their profitability and alignment with your business goals to prioritize focus areas. When choosing segments to target, ask these questions:

·  Is this segment large enough to be profitable? For how long?

·  Is the segment growing? Collapsing? Or stagnant? (If it isn’t growing, the Boomer population, for example, does the profitability outweigh future growth? Can your product line transfer smoothly to other segments?)

·  Is there too much competition for this segment? Your product doesn’t have to be niche, but fewer competitors can mean a higher profit potential.

·  Are the segment’s values and expectations a match with your brand promise and culture, and can they be reached with your available resources (i.e., marketing, sales, support, and distribution)?

·  Are there extra legal or regulatory hurdles that might hamper your ability to serve this segment profitably?

·  How often is this segment likely to purchase your products or services? Are they likely to be repeat purchasers? 

4. Craft a unique value proposition that addresses each segment’s needs and differentiates your brand. Use this value prop to communicate consistently across all touchpoints, ensuring that your message aligns with the segment’s values and lifestyle, thereby establishing a strong and relatable brand identity. 

5. Use what you’ve learned about each segment to customize your marketing mix and marketing message to ensure a better customer experience for the long haul. Tailor your product, price, place, and promotion strategies to suit the needs of each segment. 

6. Continuously monitor performance and feedback, adjusting your strategy to ensure it remains relevant and effective as market dynamics evolve. 

By following these steps, businesses can create a market segmentation strategy that not only attracts but also retains customers. 


Market segmentation is not just a beneficial strategy; it’s a necessity in today’s diverse and competitive market. By understanding and implementing different types of market segmentation, businesses can create more focused, efficient, and effective marketing strategies. The key lies in identifying which segments are most aligned with your business goals and tailoring your approach to meet their needs. With a well-thought-out segmentation strategy, businesses can build stronger brand images, foster greater customer loyalty, and achieve sustainable growth.

Camilla Bass

By Camilla Bass

Senior Content Marketing Manager

As Senior Content Marketing Manager at Fresh Relevance, Camilla leads the global content strategy and manages, writes and edits user-centered content that helps marketers in the eCommerce and travel spaces get their jobs done.