Media & Marketing


Carlos Barge

Behavioral segmentation is defined as the process of dividing the total market into smaller homogeneous groups based on customer buying behavior.

Behavioral segmentation is done by organizations on the basis of buying patterns of customers like usage frequency, brand loyalty, benefits needed, during any occasion etc. It is done keeping in mind the needs and wants of a customer based on the behavior that they show.

Behavioral segmentation is one of the four ways of market segmentation, along with demographic segmentation, geographic segmentation and psychographic segmentation.

Behavioral segmentation parameters

The target consumers for a product or a campaign can be grouped on the basis of their behavioral characteristics which can be as follows:

a). Occasion oriented: When a product is used or purchased for a particular occasion only. The occasion can be repetitive or can be once in a lifetime occasion. This is also known as occasion segmentation.

b). Usage oriented: The grouping can be on the basis of how much a product is being used/consumed by the customer. Accordingly, we call them heavy user or light user groups. Hence the usage frequency is considered as a part of behavioral segmentation.

c). Loyalty oriented: Markets are segmented based on the retention rates of the consumers which is a fair indication of brand loyalty among them. A brand commanding a high degree of loyalty has a very high retention rate and does not need to worry too much about acquiring new customers. But a brand with low loyalty levels continually needs to recruit new and new consumers to its basket.

d). Benefits sought: This is also known as benefit segmentation. Consumer segmentation is also done on the basis of the different benefits perceived by different consumers. There are certain benefits that a person is seeking from a product. Many such products are available which have different variety, prices, etc which fulfill the needs of a customer. But a customer opts for only those which gives him or her the maximum benefit.

Advantages of behavioral segmentation

Market segmentation is a critical part for breaking down the market into homogeneous groups having similar behavior which becomes easier for a company to cater to. There are several benefits of segmenting on the basis of customer behavior. Some advantages of behavioral segmentation are:

  1. It helps a company identify customers with a similar behavior. This makes it easier for companies to target them.
  2. Needs of people showing consistent behavior can be catered to as compared to people with erratic behavior.
  3. Brand loyalty can be further built upon those customers who have shown as affinity towards a brand. Thus behavioral segmentation can create a loyal customer base.

Disadvantages of behavioral segmentation

There are certain drawbacks on segmenting the market on the basis of behavior. Some of them are:

  1. Customer behavior changes with time, location, occasion, requirement etc and it can not always be predicted correctly. Behavioral segmentation can only give a framework on personality traits and behavior.
  2. Mostly, behavioral segmentation would be done on the basis of qualitative data and not completely quantitative data. Hence, making forecasts, budgets, expenses etc would all depend on certain assumptions.
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