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February 4th, 2019



The goal of a segmentation study is to refine a broad target market into more specific groups or “segments”, and to understand the nature of each one in terms of demographics, psychographics, and shopping habits. With this information, highly customized marketing messages can be developed, leading to campaigns that resonate more strongly and that have more impact than they otherwise would.


The process begins by administering a survey to respondents and applying data analysis software to the results in order to produce “computer-generated groupings”. These groupings lack description and are purely collections of respondents who answered a variety of questions in a similar manner. Respondents’ attitudes, lifestyles, and values are strong determinants of which segments they end up in.

It is then up to the analyst to examine these segments, and to ascertain what underlying profile would explain why a given group of respondents recorded similar answers. It is this analysis that ultimately results in clear portraits of each segment and that allows us to develop these segments into “personas” which highlight the personality and general themes of each one.

Once the segments have been identified, the next step is to determine which are the best to target. Suggestions in this regard are typically based on the overall dollar value of each segment (based on average spending in the category) along with their existing affinity towards the client’s brand.

When these priority segments have been established, a full list of key insights are provided for each one, answering pivotal questions like which channels should be used to reach them, what buying criteria they use most, and what messages or positionings resonate most strongly with each priority segment.

As a final takeaway, segmentation studies also provide algorithms that can be added to all future research, making it easy to track a client’s progress among the segments over time. These same algorithms enable recruitment and follow-up qualitative research among the priority segments.

If you are looking to improve your campaigns and develop communications with even more impact, then a segmentation study may be your best option. To discuss this type of study in further detail, please contact Tom Rigby (

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