What Is A Market Segment Profile?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - market segment profile

A market segment profile is a detailed description of the market segment – that you wish to offer your products or services in – across a range of factors and measures. It is designed to provide the organisation with an in-depth understanding of consumers within each segment for the purposes of comparison and strategy.

Specifically, a market segment profile would outline important aspects of, for example, consumer needs, consumer behaviour, brand preferences in addition to product usage levels. A market segment profile would also offer a demographic as well as a psychographic description of the segment, along with fundamental measures of segment size and growth.

How Can You Define A Market Segment Profile?

Definitions of a market segment profile are often quite similar, as shown by the following two definitions:

  • A [market segment] profile might may information about lifestyle patterns, attitudes towards product attributes as well as brands, product-use habits, geographic locations, and demographic characteristics.
  • A market segment profile explains the similarities among potential customers within a segment and also explains the differences among people as well as organisations in different segments.

When building segment profiles, we are attempting to describe the consumers in each of the segments in order to understand their needs, particularly regarding how they are fairly unique as compared to the other market segments that are identified.

Therefore, a suitable definition of a market segment profile, for our purposes, is:

  • A descriptive summary of the size, needs, behaviours as well as preferences of consumers within a particular market segment with the view of evaluating segment attractiveness and developing suitable marketing strategies.

What Is A Category Of Need?

The number one thing which you should establish is a category of need which your offering satisfies. The following classifications may be of assistance:

For businesses:

  • Strategic – Your offering is – in some way – important to the business’ mission, objectives as well as operational oversight. For instance, a service that helps to evaluate capital investment opportunities would fall into this domain of influence. The purchase decision for this category of the offering will be made by the prospect’s top-level executive management.
  • Operations – Your offering affects the overall operating policies as well as procedures. Examples could be an employee insurance plan or a corporate-wide communications system. This purchase decision will be taken by the prospect’s top-level operations management.
  • Functional/ end use – Your offering deals with a specific function within the organisation, like data processing, accounting, HR, plant maintenance, engineering design, manufacturing, as well as inventory control. This is the most probable domain for a product or service however you must recognise that the other domains may also get involved in the purchase of the product or service develops into a high-profile decision. This purchase decision will be taken by the prospect’s functional management.

 For the individual consumer:

  • Social Esteem or Pleasure – Your offering satisfies a purely emotional need for the consumer. Examples are an expensive perfume or a diamond ring. Some products are on the boundary between this category and the functional category such as a Rolex watch (a Seiko would satisfy the functional requirement and probably keep time just as well).
  • Functional – Your offering meets a functional requirement of the consumer such as a broom, breakfast cereal or lawnmower.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

Your choice of market segment profile will be informed by your marketing strategy. Make sure that you know how to develop a rock-solid plan for your marketing with our Marketing Strategy Course. For more information, please follow this link.

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