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Whilst customer market segmentation research systems are widespread, many fall down in that they are based around the behaviours of existing customers rather than the market as a whole. Behavioural market segmentation models are also flawed in that behaviours change rapidly and these systems fail to explain the motivations that drive the behaviours.
We see market segmentation research as a means to the end of effective targeting. This will aid all forms of marketing and communication. Whilst for some, the idea of focusing on a small number of segments can appear daunting, the lack of any form of segment priority can result in the total lack of focus across an entire organisation. For this reason we find that increasingly forward-thinking organisations are putting segmentation at the heart of their strategy. In many instances, however, businesses fall into the trap of using a behavioural segmentation model. Whilst this appears to have a number of advantages, in terms of understanding, it is a high-risk approach which often fails to be actionable. Therefore, as market research consultants, we use a market segmentation research and analysis tool, which puts people’s values, beliefs and motivations at the heart of the market segmentation model. We do this by overlaying the Values Modes™ model, owned by Cultural Dynamics. This uses the responses to a carefully designed questionnaire which places individuals in one of three groups: Pioneer, Prospector or Settler. We are able to gain an in depth understanding of the beliefs and motivations which help explain why people behave as they do.
NB If required, each group can be then be subdivided into a further four groups which gives a total of twelve sub-groups also known as the Values Modes™ or VMs.