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By Harriett Crosby

Behavioral segmentation is a key advertisement strategy that involves the categorization of large markets into smaller units. The smaller units are easier to manage and satisfy. The creation of the segments depends on the various behaviors of customers as relates to the use of various goods and services. The patterns of responses of customers as related to changes in the market are studied and this is used in marking important decisions related to production. The popularity of this strategy has grown over the years due to its numerous advantages.

There is sharp contrast between market segmentation and mass marketing. The latter is the traditional method of advertisement that approached the market as a unit. The disadvantage of doing this is that some customers will not have their needs fully met and this reduces the cells of the business in the end. Segmenting is more customer-centered and rewards the users well.

Occasional buying is a common behavior that is exhibited by different groups of customers. Some goods or services appear to be increasingly demanded during specific occasions and at no other times of the year. For instance, religious gifts are usually on high demanded during religious seasons and occasions such as Christmas and Easter. The business needs to identify these users and to satisfy them appropriately.

It is not uncommon for different customers to demand for different benefits from the same products. In the event that a business is dealing with products that have multiple benefits, there is need to know the various groups interested in each of the benefits. By so doing, it will be possible to modify the products so that each of these benefits are maximized and all the customers are happy.

Product or brand loyalty helps to keep a business going. It is a fairly common behavior among customers. To establish the presence of loyalty, a business needs to conduct research. It will be possible, after such research, to classify consumers into those who are loyal and those who are not. Efforts should be made to retain the loyal customers and to bring the not so loyal closer.

Another attribute used in segmenting the market is usage rate of various products. Since customers have varying usage rates, they can be categorized into various groups comprising the light, moderate and heavy users. Each of these groups has a specific need or needs that should be identified. For example, heavy users need frequent supply of products to the outlets close to them.

By identifying usage rate segments, it will be possible to make important business decisions. The group with lesser usage rates, for example, can be targeted for more aggressive advertisement campaigns aimed at improving demand for the products or services. Similarly, the moderate and heavy users can be rewarded so as to encourage them to continue using the products frequently.

There are many other different ways of segmentation other than behavioral segmentation. Demographic characteristics such as gender, income and age have been used successfully in some cases. Geographical location and psychological characteristics may also be considered. The important thing to remember is that the segments must be large enough to warrant all this trouble.

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