Market Segments

It is critical to recognize that just as in domestic marketing, there ill be market segments that must be identified and understood in order to develop successful marketing programs internationally. Marketers should be aware that segments may be identified globally as well as within individual countries or regions. For example, one study surveyed over 15,000 adults in 14 countries on five continents to identify five distinct global consumer segments that share attitudes values, and actual purchasing patterns, uniting them across national boundaries and different cultures.

1) Strivers are young – their median age is 31 –and lead active lives. They are under stress most of the time and prefer products and services that are sources of instant gratification.
2) Achievers are about the same age as strivers, but they have already found the success they seek. They are affluent, assertive, and society’s opinion and style leaders. Achievers value status and quality in the brands they buy and are largely responsible for setting trends.
3) Pressureds are mainly women, in every age group, who find it extremely difficult to manage all the problems in their lives. They have little time for enjoyment.
4) Adapters are older consumers who live comfortably. They are content with themselves and their lives, and they recognize and respect new ideas without losing sight of their own values. They are willing to try new products that enrich their lives.
5) Traditionals embody the oldest values of their countries and cultures. They are resistant to change and they are content with the familiar products.

The survey showed that during next decade, consumer tastes will grow increasingly materialistic and divisions between consumer classes will widen and that marketers should emphasize products and services that help consumers to control their lives.

Within foreign markets the multinational marketer may also be able to segment groups of similar buyers. For example, a study of Canadian women revealed two broad groups – those who focus on home life and those who focus on work involvement – but five segments:

1) Contended, striving: This is the largest segment usually over age 40 and a homemaker. She is content with that role. She believes it is unwise to buy on credit (other than house and car) She reads ads and uses coupons)
2) Independent self confident: This is the youngest segment, with an average age of 32. She thinks he is a leader, is ambitious and has initiative. She doesn’t spend a lot of time talking with friends about brands or products. She is not one to save and redeem coupons, shop by catalog, or take advantage of special offers on packages. She is not overly price conscious or likely to buy brands on sale.
3) Insecure: This is the third largest segment with an average age of 36. She is not satisfied with herself or her role in life and ends to feel lonely and inadequate. She believes generics are as good as nationally advertised brands, and is brand loyal. She values price over convenience and quality.
4) Traditional: This segment, predominant in Quebec and rural areas has an average age of 42. She believes the best values are from the past; she is strongly committed to the belief that a man should head the family and women belong in the home. She’s a comparison shopper but seeks quality and convenience over price. She is loyal to stores and brands and reluctant cash and shops on the basis of a budget.
5) Career oriented: This segment, with an average age of 39, is similar to independents but more committed to work and opinionated about role. She prefers doing things other than shopping. She views brands as homogeneous pays cash, is not price conscious and will pay more for convenience.

Thus, separate marketing mixes and programs may need to be targeted at Canadian segments. Sometimes they can be language based (French / English) or even determined on metropolitan geographical factors. Especially for food items – where the French and English subcultures show differences in food preparation motives, brand and store loyalty patterns and usage patterns of convenience products – separate and themes media and distributional policies may be developed and maintained to appeal to each segment.