There are, broadly speaking, two approaches to segmentation: a priori (or prescriptive) and post hoc (or exploratory).
A priori (prescriptive)
Segments and segment membership criteria are determined upfront by the marketer or researcher. Data is usually collected through questions like:
Post hoc (exploratory) – our recommended approach
Segments are determined on the basis of multivariate relationships observed in the data. This approach usually uses qualitatively-derived inputs that describe both attitudes and behaviour. It then experiments with various “inputs” and iterations to come up with the best solution to match the business and the brand.
This means the result is not just a demographic segmentation or geographic segmentation, and not just a psychographic segmentation or behavioral segmentation, but an all-encompassing solution where the segments are maximally different from each other, and the consumers within each group are maximally like each other.
We recommend post-hoc exploratory approaches as they are generally needs-based and therefore more useful to marketers, as they allow marketers to target specific segments with specific marketing solutions.
Let D&M Research create a unique market segmentation to suit your category and brand.
For a detailed guide to the approaches and techniques used in market segmentation, download our printable Market Segmentation Guide.