Today, we focus our methodological article on the dominant and emerging Segmentation approaches. As we know, quantitative research offers a wide range of consumer segmentation techniques, most of them being around since the beginning of the century. And I think this old character of some segmentations says a lot about where we stand.

Even since our early times as market research professionals, we have been learned about the use of gender, age, income, education etc. as key variables according to which we recruit, select, target and analyze respondents. It is rather mandatory for almost any type of study to make sure that these topics are covered. And don’t get me wrong, it is clear that these socio-demographic variables have a certain degree of impact on customers’ perceptions and attitudes.

But in world of big data, of “social network tribes” and online groups, market segmentation is more complex than ever and the old rules are continually questioned. The new world we live in is defined by common behaviors, interests and lifestyles rather than demographics. People are gathering online mostly because they share the same values and passions and not because they have the same gender or age. Furthermore, this type of behavior is translated into the offline world, which gained many characteristics of the online one. People are going out in places in which their favorite music is played, like and buy products that suit their lifestyle, even if not necessarily their age, and are captivated by those media channels that are able to catch their attention.

In this context, the most suitable solution for the market segmentation debate is one based on a mix of traditional approaches: demographic, lifestyle, and usage segmentations. Using this type of merged technique may allow marketers to better understand their customers and to obtain more valuable and actionable results on the topics they are interested in.

However, shifting our thinking from demographic segmentations and targeting to more complex ones is a long term process, which needs to be further emphasized in the context of “the global village network”

Stay connected to Questia Group and find out more on our upcoming segmentation on youngsters.