Many of us first learned to think about segmentation research as a powerful strategic tool for identifying optimum brand portfolio targets and the matching purchase drivers. Today, there are more than a few customer insight and marketing managers who, through experience, have come to view segmentation as something that is relevant just in strategic studies.

But the reality is that the underlying customer segments don’t just magically appear only when a strategic study is done. The truth is that the segments are always there, always present in the DNA of the market landscape whether we are conducting studies or not.

At RTi, we often recommend segmentation analysis modules for tactical studies. To be sure, not every tactical study warrants it: simple, small scale product tests and concept tests with modest sample sizes and test versus control performance action standards will typically not benefit from segmentation analytics.

However, it can be insightful and of value to include a segmentation capability in large scale tactical studies that would benefit from evaluations read among underlying segments. This can be achieved by applying a segment typing tool (based on prior segmentation work) or by segmenting the tactical study sample on benefits/attributes that drive choice.

Segmentation based on choice drivers allows us to better understand what lies beneath the picture we might see from the “total sample” perspective. We have often learned that the demand structure is in fact segmented and that helps to uncover potential opportunities.

RTi has been able to uncover deeper insights and understanding of outcomes in several types of tactical studies that would not have come to light without applying segmentation analysis, for example:

  • Large scale Value Proposition studies
  • Conjoint/Discrete Choice studies
  • Brand Tracking
  • Menu optimization research

Including segmentation analytics has enabled us to gain insight and direction in certain types of strategic studies that seldom include segmentation, among them:

  • Brand Extendability research
  • Brand Positioning/Brand Imagery research

So next time you are planning to conduct tactical or strategic research, ask RTi to share our thinking with you. You just might be on the cusp of uncovering insights from the segmentation that’s always there, waiting to be discovered.