A SEGMENTATION THATíS INTERESTING AND ACTIONABLE:
AN IMPOSSIBLE DREAM?
Anyone whoís ever dealt with large groups of people Ė marketing to them,
evaluating their opinions Ė will tell you: the world is complex.
People are different in backgrounds, opinions, attitudes, and needs.
Itís almost impossible to deal with them as a single, undifferentiated
mass; in order to address the world (or the part of it that interests
you) effectively, you need to break it down into manageable, meaningful
groups. Thatís called segmentation.
But many people shy away from segmentation, because it leaves them with
The real problem is to find a segmentation that is both useful and interesting.
And now, there is a tool to do just that: itís called
Classical techniques of attitudinal segmentation, like Cluster Analysis,
divide people into groups that are meaningful and interesting; but
these groups are not associated either with an outcome measure (such as
likelihood of purchasing a product), or with background data that would
allow them to be identified so that specific messages can be addressed
to them. As such, classical clustering produces groups that are interesting,
but not useful.
Targeting methods like CHAID produce groups that are related to an objective,
and easily identifiable; but since CHAID doesnít work very well with
attitudinal data, the groups it produces tend to lack depth and complexity
(or their complexity is uninterpretable). So CHAID-type approaches
produces groups that are useful, but not interesting.
from Renaissance Research & Consulting.
What does it do? It finds the demographic breaks that split a
sample so that it segments as cleanly as possible on a set of needs or
attitudes. It then produces detailed descriptive information on each
segment, allowing it to be both identified, located, and interpreted.
can be used to answer questions like these:
Do all consumers of a given product have the same needs and wants for it?
Or do consumers of different backgrounds want different things? What
are the product characteristics that motivate each of them to buy?
Are different types of consumers attracted to different product lines?
How many different lines is it worth bringing out to satify everybody?
What would those lines look like?
What demographics split the likely electorate into groups that coalesce
around specific sets of issues? What are the issues that unite each
You can download a PowerPoint slideshow describing TargetVoicesm here.
finds your targets, then gives them a voice, producing segments that have
depth and actionability at the same time. To find out more about
or to discuss a specific application,
call Paul M. Gurwitz, Ph.D., at
or email us at
Strategic Marketing Models