Form of market segmentation that groups consumers
based on specific behavioral patterns they display
when making purchasing decisions.
By Monika Baranowska
Behavioural segmentation is a marketing strategy based on
actual consumer buying behaviour. It divides the market into
groups of customers according to their knowledge of, attitude
towards, use of or response to a product.
In order to divide customers into groups marketers look at their
patterns of buying and using, patterns of spending money and
time, their lifestyle and other factors.
The objective of segmentation is to identify specific segments-
niches and address needs or desires that are believed to be
common. This enables marketers to target specific groups by
developing advertising programs for each segment or creating
new products to attract one or more segments. Behavioural
segmentation has the advantage of using variables that are
closely related to the product itself.
TYPES OF BEHAVIOURAL SEGMENTATION
brand loyality status
buyer readiness stage
Customers are segmented on the basis of the benefits sought
from purchasing a specific product. For instance hair shampoo
can be targeted towards normal hair, colour hair, sensitive scalp,
split ends, anti-dandruff etc. Other example would be a
toothpaste that customer buys to have whiter teeth or protect his
or her sensitive teeth. Discount or the appearance of a shop can
also be a benefit.
The other variable is the occasion when customers purchase, use
or think of buying a product. For instance cereal advertisements
encourage consumers to eat breakfast cereals on the "occasion"
of getting up. However, consumption patterns can be changed
by targeting `occasion`. The same cereal could be promoted as
an anytime snack food. Research shows that during festival
seasons consumers became less price sensitive and purchase
more premium priced products. Therefore products such as
chocolates, flowers and premium foods will sell out on
Usage rate divides customers according to the level of usage they
make of the product. We can distinguish heavy, medium or light
users. Let’s take the example of beauty products. Heavy users will
use and buy eye shadows and lipsticks quite often while light users
will buy them rarely. Other example would be airlines that focus on
frequent flyers, because they are a lucrative market and their needs
are different than those who fly only once a year. The objective of
an organisation should be to attract heavy users who will make a
greater contribution to sales.
Customers can be grouped according to their level of loyalty to the
product. Consumers are loyal to brands at different levels. Some
individuals will always buy a particular brand, others will buy this
brand occasionally and ‘switchers’ will switch between brands.
Many companies try to segment their markets into those where loyal
customers can be found and retained as it is much more profitable
than acquiring new customers. The best example of behavioural
segmentation by loyalty can be seen in the hospitality sector where
airlines, hotels and restaurants give their best to provide the best
possible customer service so that they can retain their customer.
User status groups customers based on whether they are potential
users, first-time users, regular users, non-users or ex-users of a product
which can be very useful
• The last variable is a Buyer readiness stage where
customers are segmented according to their
readiness to purchase the product. There are 6
stages of buyer readiness (awareness, knowledge,
liking, preference, conviction and purchase). Sales
promotion discounts, or personal selling through
sales representatives may be used to encourage
customer to purchase.
• The marketing concept calls for understanding
customers and satisfying their needs better than the
competition. The number one reason why people
unsubscribe or opt-out of service is due to irrelevant
messaging. Enticing all customers with the same
offer or campaign is useless. Different customers
have different needs, and it is rarely possible to
satisfy all customers by treating them alike.
Segmentation allows companies to better satisfy
the needs of their potential customers so that the
marketing effort is effective.
The objective of behavioural segmentation is to
identify specific segments of customers within a
market that require custom tailored promotion.
Foundations of Marketing (2012)
John Fahy and David Jobber,
Berkshire, McGraw-Hill Higher