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19 May 2017
It’s very important to know your audience. Ask any product that failed because some people who should know better assumed that what worked in one market would work in another. Customer Segmentation ( ) works because it divides your audience, or your market, into sections, allowing you to send different messages—or the same message in different ways—in order to communicate effectively with the future clients you hope to gain success with.

How to market a French car in Japan

When a French car manufacturer wanted to market a small city car to an audience in Tokyo, they found the Japanese quite interested, but when they went to their first meeting, they didn’t get the reception they intended. They failed to understand their customer segmentation. That is, they didn’t consider why the Japanese (who make fine automobiles of their own) would be interested in a French car. The French car company wanted to talk about the speeds and gas mileage, the horse power and durability of the car, the appearance. But at that time, the majority of the Japanese would likely buy a French car for the romance of France. To sell a French car, you are actually selling wine and cheese, coffee and pastries, and other French symbols and idealizations (like the Eiffel Tower). Once they polled the market, they changed their marketing strategy.

Know your audience

Customer segmentation divides the group of people you wish to give your message to into groups that have similar spending habits (either due to similarities in income, age, gender, cultural differences, hobbies, etc.). Customers do not segment themselves, but at the same time, the segmentation happens naturally. It’s up to the marketer to decide where the audience fits and which message would appeal to them.  You can’t market a French automobile in France the same way as you would market a French automobile in Japan because the customers think differently and have different interests.

Do the research. It pays off

This may seem like a lot of work, and a lot of expense, but once you know the basic research about the people who live in your area, the customer segmentation surveys that you put work into can last a long time, and they will pay for themselves—over and over again. Once the work is put in, you can then send out personalized sales messages and build customer loyalty—plus you’ll be able to keep those customers much longer.

Know your own business

Once you know who your product appeals to, you will be better able to put your company in a position to better serve the customer segmentation group that is most likely to buy your product. And you can adapt to the market that does not, if possible. You can evolve to serve not only your market, but a segment of the population who were previously not interested, too.

Understanding how to make a product a success is not an easy task, but serving each market individually is the best way to turn an unknown product into a household name. A lot of research and thought goes into a good marketing ( ) campaign, so don’t put it all to waste by neglecting your customer segmentation data.


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