Letters: The drawbacks of segmentation

My mum has always been amused by my attempts to pigeonhole her into the ‘mum’ box. She is a Black Sabbath fan. An educational psychologist and a feminist.

Apparently I’m not alone in having a mum who isn’t defined by this label. Recent research by Mumsnet showed that “mums are women who happen to be parents…” (Helen Rowley, head of brand partnerships and insight at Mumsnet).

Herein lies the problem of segmentation. As marketers, we believe this makes us better at targeting and influencing others. Yet, beneath the surface of a category label, there’s usually a heterogeneous group of individuals waiting to burst out.

When implementing a segmentation strategy it’s important to guard against your ethnocentricity. Not everyone thinks in the same way. 

And remember, think small. We approach customer targeting like it’s a dart board when actually it’s like whiskey. The less diluted the segment, the bigger the impact.

Nicola Carter, senior planner, Rufus Leonard


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