Marketing Planet

The neverending story of segmentation

A continuous search

Marketing seems to feed itself with new customers and in this way its food could be called "segmentation". New customers represent new sales and new approaches. With the eternal - so it seems - search for new possibilities, marketing tends to discover new applications for same products over and over again.

Babies and children

The advertising and communication campaigns have been focusing since some years on children and babies. One of the famous advertisements are about baby’s napkins. According to these adds, it is no longer the mother who decides on what type is to be bought, it is the baby itself. This was accordingly developed towards the food and toys activity. Today we notice that everything related to children is being presented from their point of view. They have become the target and nowadays request for the products they have seen.

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Advertisement of Calvé
Dutch famous brand of peanutbutter.They stress the importance of children eating their products in order to grow.

The same will happen over and over again with any new segment marketing and communication can come up with. Already before, women were the target, when they just started to have money to spent. They were depicted as perfect housewifes looking only for the best. Their place in marketing has developed and nowadays women can be divided into a variety of segments.

Targets that develop

The aim is to detect the new future purchasers of products and services. "Who will be the one that might listen to our communication?" Who will be the one that might be interested in our product?" etc... It is also about the chicken and the egg story: should one define the product before having found the segment or rather the other way around? When focusing on a new segment, beware that it often needs time to get them accustomed to you before your target will buy it. Remember that "innovaters" take up on only 10%. Only afterwards the rest may follow. We can notice this process in the approach to Men, see also the article about this segmentation.

Segments of tomorrow.... or already of today

Time flies by in marketing. When a new segment becomes clearly visible, a future segment is already about to be detected. So we notice with current trends in economy and geography what may bring tomorrow in marketing:

  • The mass retirements bring us a focus on the new segment and possibilities of older people.
  • health increasement makes that people live longer, this creates new products since a new segment is "discovered" with these almost "100-agers".
  • People in towns appear to stay single for a longer period: new products and services are currently being developed to reply to this new target.
  • The Gay segment is a market that is in full development. Many products and services exist and will be still developed to satisfy this segment of population.
  • Stress is getting a hype in the world and starts to attract marketing too: Spa and health trips to get back in shape again and in fashion, but special home product will follow within few time.

We can think of many segments that can be developed. According to the country, habits and degrees or urbanisation, these segments may be developed sooner or later. This is also a trap for marketing: one cannot simply copy-and-paste a segment and product to another market or country. A same brand may proposed different campaigns for the same product but in different countries.

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Advertisement of Dove - Netherlands
In this advertisement, Dove approaches women in a more natural way. "No use of showing models that don’t need our modelling cream". In Northern Europe this "natural" approach is more appreciated than in South Europe.

Segments of the futur

How to detect the segments that will bring a new market and turnover in the near future? Finding these ones will bring the company ahead of competition and gives time to think about the approach to distinguish from future copying.
The only way to reply to this question is by following the economy. The new trends and markets of tomorrow are already under development. Sociology and culture plays a large influence in the applications. Trends start always very quietly and can find its resonances in various activities afterwards.

"Listen to the unheard"