What is marketing and purpose of segmenting the market?

  • What is marketing and purpose of segmenting the market?

    Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. The American Marketing Association has defined marketing as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. 

    Marketing is used to create, keep and satisfy the customer. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that Marketing is one of the premier components of Business Management – the other being Innovation. Other services and management activities such as Operations (or Production), Human Resources, Accounting, Law and Legal aspects can be bought in or contracted out. Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to a market to buy or sell goods or services. Sales process engineering views marketing as a set of processes that are interconnected and interdependent with other functions, whose methods can be improved using a variety of relatively new approaches.

    The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. A similar concept is the value-based marketing which states the role of marketing to contribute to increasing shareholder value. In this context, marketing can be defined as the management process that seeks to maximize returns to shareholders by developing relationships with valued customers and creating a competitive advantage.

    Marketing practice tended to be seen as a creative industry in the past, which included advertising, distribution and selling. However, because the academic study of marketing makes extensive use of social sciences, psychology, sociology, mathematics, economics, anthropology and neuroscience, the profession is now widely recognized as a science, allowing numerous universities to offer Master-of-Science (MSc) programmers. The overall process starts with marketing research and goes through market segmentation, business planning and execution, ending with pre and post-sales promotional activities. It is also related to many of the creative arts. The marketing literature is also adept at re-inventing itself and its vocabulary according to the times and the culture. 

    Purpose of Segmenting the Market

    Market segmentation is the process of dividing a broad consumer or business market, normally consisting of existing and potential customers, into sub-groups of consumers (known as segments) based on some type of shared characteristics. In dividing or segmenting markets, researchers typically look for common characteristics such as shared needs, common interests, similar lifestyles or even similar demographic profiles. The overall aim of segmentation is to identify high yield segments – that is, those segments that are likely to be the most profitable or that have growth potential – so that these can be selected for special attention (i.e. become target markets). Many different ways to segment a market have been identified. Business-to-business (B2B) sellers might segment the market into different types of businesses or countries. While business to consumer (B2C) sellers might segment the market into demographic segments, lifestyle segments, behavioral segments or any other meaningful segment. Market segmentation assumes that different market segments require different marketing programs – that is, different offers, prices, promotion, distribution or some combination of marketing variables. Market segmentation is not only designed to identify the most profitable segments, but also to develop profiles of key segments in order to better understand their needs and purchase motivations. Insights from segmentation analysis are subsequently used to support marketing strategy development and planning. Many marketers use the S-T-P approach; Segmentation→ Targeting → Positioning to provide the framework for marketing planning objectives. That is, a market is segmented, one or more segments are selected for targeting, and products or services are positioned in a way that resonates with the selected target market or markets.

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