All customers differ in terms of their purchasing power, needs and preferences. Successful marketing therefore requires studying the market and coming up with an effective strategy for reaching each kind of customer. Behavioral segmentation is basically dividing people into different categories based on how they behave or act towards products. Here are some of the most common segmentations based on behavior:
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1. Segmentation based on usage rates
This type of segmentation looks at how frequently consumers use the products of the company. Users are categorized as non-users, light users and heavy users. For example, someone who drinks a coke every day after work can be classified as a heavy user. This kind of segmentation can also be applied to services. For example, an airline could classify its passengers based on their frequency of flying. In order to retain their loyalty, heavy users could be offered VIP status. Companies should also look for ways of convincing non-users to purchase their products and services.
2. Segmentation by loyalty
The level of loyalty to services and products can also be used to classify consumers. This can either be low, medium or high loyalty. Some people refer to these classifications as switchers, soft core loyals and hardcore loyals. Switchers will buy any brand they come across, while soft core loyals occasionally purchase other brands. Hardcore loyals are people who are committed to one brand only. Most firms are likely to focus their marketing efforts on high loyalty customers (hardcore loyals) in an attempt to retain them.
3. Segmentation by occasion
Consumers are known to purchase specific services and products during specific occasions. For instance, flowers are usually in demand for occasions such as weddings and funerals. Similarly, items such as confectioneries and wines sell well during festivals. Therefore, the best way of marketing such products is through occasion segmentation. This can be divided into three categories; rare personal occasions, regular personal occasions and universal occasions. One great example of a company that has made use of this type of segmentation is Hallmark Cards. They have cards for all kinds of occasions, from college graduation, wedding and birthdays, to sickness and bereavement. This allows consumers to choose the most appropriate card to express their sentiments during different kinds of occasions.
4. Segmentation by benefits sought
This kind of segmentation is based on the idea that products or services are meant to meet specific wants or needs. Therefore, it classifies people based on the kind of benefits they are looking for. For instance, people seek different kinds of benefits from toothpaste. This could be its ability to whiten teeth, freshen breath or prevent tooth decay. When it comes to airlines, people often look for benefits such as low fares, flight punctuality and aircraft safety. Marketers should therefore craft their messages to ensure that they meet the needs of all these people.
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The ability to segment your consumers based on their behavior can significantly enhance the success of your marketing efforts. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.