Markets and Segments Industry Overview

Industry Overview, Markets, Segments
Industry Overview
Every product or service has different groups of audiences that are recognized as the most likely to
need or want it. For this reason, promotions/communications need primarily be focused on these
audiences. Typically, these audiences are identified and defined by narrowing the market based on a
variety of factors. Primary and/or secondary research can help further narrow and define audiences to
help ensure message effectiveness.
As you may recall from previous courses, primary research involves the discovery of new or unique
information that has not been collected before, such as information gained by the researcher through
interviews, focus groups, surveys, new political opinion polls, or audience observation. Secondary
research involves finding information that has already been gathered or collected by others, such as
sales data, magazine subscribers, television or radio audience numbers and engagement (e.g. Nielsen
ratings/data), government data (e.g. Census numbers, public health figures), previously conducted
public opinion or political polls (e.g. Gallup or Pew Research polls), etc.
The total market for a product or service is an umbrella term that refers to the overall potential
demand for a product or service. It is overly generalized with broad implications, so the total market
must be reduced to find the best audience for the product or service. For example, the potential
market for a music video intended to spread the word about a specific artist would be anybody who
enjoys hearing about new music. However, if the video will be available to view only online (like on
the artist’s website or on YouTube), then the market must be narrowed even further to the available
market – that is, those from the potential market who have the financial means for, and access to,
the product or service. In this case, it would be anybody who enjoys hearing about new music, who
also has access to the Internet.
But just because somebody enjoys hearing about new music and has access to the Internet, does not
mean that they will automatically see the music video the next time they open up a web browser.
Therefore, the market becomes even narrower, this time being reduced to the qualified available
market – anybody who enjoys hearing about new music, who also has access to the Internet, and
who also actively engages in at least one of the outlets in which the video will be available on (e.g.,
YouTube, Facebook and so on).
Finally, from the qualified available market, we can separate the group one more time to arrive at the
final audience whom the video is intended to reach – the target market. The target market would be
anybody who enjoys hearing about new music, who also has access to the Internet, and who also
actively engages in at least one of the outlets in which the video will be available, and who has an
interest in the genre of music being featured in the video. If one of the members of the target market
does end up watching the video, then that individual becomes a part of the penetrated market –
those in the target market who have purchased or engaged in the product or service.
After figuring out which audience comprises the target market, there can be even smaller, more
specificgroups that can come from the target market. These groups are known as segments.
Segments are a specific group of the market that has similar needs, purchasing habits, characteristics,
etc. Segmentation divides the market. It is an important concept to be cognizant of, because different
groups of consumers can have different desires and different perceptions for the exact same product.
For example, a target market of people who use body wash can be divided into distinct segments
whom all have similar characteristics to each other:
● How body washes generally market to women:
○ Pink or soft-colored bottles
○ Perfume or flowery scents
○ Moisturizing effects
○ “Shapely” bottles to appeal to them (notice how many bottles are shaped like
a woman’s figure)
● How body washes generally market to men:
○ Black, gray or dark-colored bottles
○ Ocean/water/rain or musk scents
○ Odor-blocking effects
○ Ergonomic or “tool”-shaped bottle design
● How body washes generally market to kids:
○ Bright, colorful bottles often labeled with a character
○ Fun, fruity, novelty scents
○ Tear-free formula
○ Swirling, playful bottle design
Note that segments are not always based only on such demographics as gender or age. They can
also be based on the geography of the market (e.g., pepperoni rolls being marketed and sold in West
Virginia or winter gear being marketed in Colorado).
In addition to demographics and geography, professional communicators need to think about more
individual characteristics as well (i.e., hobbies, interests, family type/size, political and religious
leanings, supported social causes). These more nuanced characteristics that involve a person’s values,
attitudes and lifestyles are called psychographics. Examples of these audience segments might
include physical activities (e.g., shoes and how there is a different shoe for every different physical
activity or sport), desired social image (e.g., having an expensive, fast car or carrying a coffee cup
with the Starbucks logo) and so on.
Finally, there are behavioristic segments that are based on individual purchasing habits and usage
behaviors. The different segments are detailed in more depth below, along with examples for each.
The main thing to look over here is the difference between the two concepts (markets and
segments). After going through the process of identifying markets and narrowing it down to the
qualified available and target markets, the different segments should be derived from whatever you
conclude (i.e., the different sets of groups that can be found in those markets).
The target market should receive the most focus, as those in the target
market are most likely to be interested in or respond to a good or service.
However, those in the qualified available market are also interested in and
eligible to obtain the good or service, too. They are not as likely to respond as
those in the target market, but they could still become customers. Therefore,
they should not be ignored.
Markets: A Walk-through with Example
It’s probably easier to understand markets after seeing one written out in an actual example. Let’s use
the local Morgantown bar and nightclub Bent Willey’s for illustration:
1. Total Market
Total market is comprised of all potential customers
This means any person who may or may not be interested in acquiring the good
or service… You are considering ALL potential / possible consumers. Any level
of interest from this market is not gauged at this point.
2. Potential Market
Potential market includes all people from the pool of potential consumers who actually express interest
in the product or service
In this example: Any person with an interest in evening/late night recreation
Keep the market broad here… You don’t want to exclude too many people right
from the start.
3. Available Market
Available market includes all people who have interest, plus the financial means for, and access to, the
product or service
In this example: Any person with an interest in evening/late night recreation,
and has the discretionary income available to participate, along with a way to
get to the Bent Willey’s establishment
Do they have the discretionary income to spend (meaning not only do they have
money, but do they have the extra money left over to spend on the good or
service after all bills and obligations are paid?). Discretionary spending typically
refers to non-essential goods and services; the “fun” things that we want but
don’t necessarily need.
And if someone has the money to spend, that doesn’t really mean anything if
they can’t get to the place to spend it! So that is where access comes into play.
This doesn’t always mean some form of transportation to get to a physical
storefront or establishment. If there’s a product that someone wants available
only on, then access would be considered a device (desktop,
laptop, smartphone) with enabled Internet access.
4. Qualified Available Market
Qualified available market includes all people who have interest, financial means, access, and any
needed qualities to be eligible for the product or service
In this example: Any person with an interest in evening/late night recreation,
and has the discretionary income available to participate, along with a way to
get to the Bent Willey’s establishment, and who is of required legal age to enter
the establishment
In this example, you could go even farther and specify that the person must be
of legal age with a valid form of identification.
QAM often deals with age as an eligibility requirement (e.g., 21 to purchase
alcohol, 18 to buy tobacco, 18/21/25 to reserve a hotel room [varies by hotel],
The QAM is not always narrowed down by legal age requirements, though. For
example, a quality of the QAM for a political figure campaign could be “has a
current voter’s registration card.”
5. Target Market
Target market meets all criteria #2-5
Target market includes all people who have interest, financial means, access, eligibility, and would be
the most interested or most likely to respond…. Meaning, whichever market that makes the most
“sense” for the organization to focus on
In this example: Any person with an interest in evening/late night recreation,
and has the discretionary income available to participate, along with a way to
get to the Bent Willey’s establishment, who is of required legal age to enter the
establishment, and who enjoys loud music, dancing, or an energetic
6. Penetrated Market
Penetrated market includes those who have purchased the product or have been served by the
In this example: Any person who has paid admission to enter the establishment
and/orpurchased a product at the establishment
Segments: A Walk-through with Examples
As detailed above, segments typically fall under 4 distinct categories:
1. Geographic Segments (location)
● By specific division
○ Country, state, county, city, borough, etc.
● By general location
○ Region, direction, route
● By quantifiable measurement
○ Distance, miles, radius
● By territory
○ License (such as a license to practice in certain states)
2. Demographic Segments (profile of a population–think statistics or
census-related info)
● Age
● Gender
● Ethnicity
● Occupation or profession
● Employer
● Income
● Education
● Marital status
● Children
● Generation (Baby Boomers, Generation X, etc.)
3. Psychographic Segments (consumer lifestyles, preferences, attitudes)
● Leisure activities
● Hobbies
● Interests
● Personal values
● Political views
● Social causes
● Personality and character traits
4. Behavioristic Segments (purchasing habits and usage behaviors)
Why someone makes a purchase or engages in a service
● Buying laundry detergent (because you ran out of it and need to wash your clothes)
● Buying a car seat (because of the birth of a child)
● Buying a movie ticket (because you’re out with friends and that’s what they want to
● Going to the doctor (because you proactively want a flu shot to prevent the illness,
or because you reactively need antiviral medication after getting the illness)
Loyalty & desired benefits
● Price-based (lowest price, discounts or rebates offered)
● Brand-based (reputation, perceived quality)
● Influence-based (positive reviews, word-of-mouth)
● Incentive-based (frequent shopper/rewards program, referral bonuses)
● Experience-based (previous positive experiences, strong customer service)
● Convenience-based (close location, open 24 hours, variety of selection)
● Rational motivation (based in logic or reasoning; quantifiable or objective)
○ Motivators: Quality, practicality, efficiency, utility, security, savings
○ Decisions are influenced by: Reviews, testimonials, statistics, product
○ Taking a vehicle in for service when a dashboard warning light comes on
○ Purchasing a pair of steel-toe boots after getting hired for a job in
● Emotional motivation (based in feelings or perceptions; personal or
○ Motivators: Appearance, prestige, fear, empathy, happiness, habit, vanity,
○ Decisions are influenced by: Feelings, emotions, impulses, reactions
○ Donating to a humane society after seeing a sad animal commercial
○ Purchasing a pack of cigarettes because of habit and perceived need
Purchasing Behavior
How much planning (financial planning, price comparisons), research (reading reviews, asking for
opinions), decision-making (complexity of choosing between options, finding acceptable substitutes) is
● Impulse purchases
○ No conscious planning beforehand; spontaneous purchases
○ Example: Picking up a candy bar while waiting in line at a checkout register
● Routine purchases
○ Very little planning and decision-making involved; almost automatic
○ Examples: Milk, cleaning products, toilet paper
● Limited purchases
○ Occasional-purchase items; require some level of research and
○ Example: Clothing—when, for example, you are familiar with what jeans are
but you are not familiar with a specific brand of jeans
● Complex purchases
○ Can be complex for a variety of reasons (unfamiliarity, expense of purchase,
infrequently purchased product, high commitment purchase); require
extensive research and decision-making
○ Examples: Vehicles, homes, college education

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