Segmentation is an integral part of marketing strategy of any organization for any product. It is important to know the different segments that exist in the possible target customers to ensure that a product is positioned to the right segment of people. It actually means dividing a market into sub-segments and each segment have something in common.
It helps in identifying a different set of people who are interested in different products and look for specific featured or prices in a product. This segmentation can further be understood and segregated on the basis of various dividing identifiers like geographic, demographics, and many more.
Among the various types of segmentation, lifestyle segmentation holds its value in a unique way. As the word suggests, lifestyle means the way of living a consumer is pursuing and then based on these ways of living they are grouped to form the lifestyle segment. The importance of lifestyle segmentation comes at two very important phases of the lifecycle of a product.
The study of the lifestyle of consumers helps the marketers understand the right need of customers so making a decision about what product should be targeted to which customer set becomes easy. And another significant phase is the product communication as it tells what communication message needs to be portrayed in front of the target audience to ensure they can relate to it.
Lifestyle segmentation helps in understanding the customer requirements better and based on which marketers can take appropriate decisions of rightly placing the products in the right market segments.
The lifestyle of consumers consists of many aspects and to do the segmentation on this basis, it is important to understand these different aspects. These aspects help in delivering the customized services and good quality products. These lifestyle aspects are majorly divided into below as per the commonly used tool called AIO (Activities, Interests, and Opinions):-
- Activities – What are the daily activities of the consumers in which they are spending their time and money?
- Interests – What are the interest of consumers?
- Opinions – What do they think about various issues, people, and surroundings?
- Demographics – What category in terms of age groups, gender, income, and occupation they belong to?
All the above aspects are important to define the lifestyle of consumers and finally to come up with the lifestyle segmentation. Let us now understand the AIO with examples.
Activities of consumers help a marketer in understanding the kind of work a consumer does or the ways he/she keeps him/her indulged on a daily basis like work, hobbies, social events, vacations, entertainment, club membership, community, and many more.
These activities decide the person’s routine for e.g. if we have a sales guy whose job involves a lot of traveling on a daily basis then we know that his work is exposing him with a lot of outdoor activities. On the other hand, a person who works in a BPO will be the one who is sitting and talking to people regularly. There will be a huge difference between these two types of people and similarly multiple profiles can be generated on the basis of the activities that a consumer performs daily.
Interests are the next part of understanding a customer’s lifestyle. A consumer may have multiple interests like someone may like to go out and see movies, on the other hand, another person may like to watch live sports for entertainment.
Interests can be in any form or towards any particular thing like family, home, job, community, recreation, fashion, food, and other areas of interest. These are an important factor for a marketer to decide what is the next thing that a consumer is looking for and finally to have the right kind of segmentation.
Then comes the Opinions which again different people will have different on various topics of general availability all around. These opinions may be related to anything social issues, themselves, politics, business, economics, education, products, etc. Suppose a consumer is very much attached to a particular social issue and a promotional campaign involves the negative side of that social issue, then as a marketer, you immediately lose the interest of that particular consumer.
Culture, emotions, and family values are really very important, it becomes a significant deciding factor when segmenting the customers in a category.
Lastly, demographics are an important part of any kind of segmentation and for lifestyle segmentation as well these play theirs as a usual vital role. What age-group a marketer is talking about, what are the gender of the prospective consumers, which geography they belong to, their occupation, and income levels always help in deciding up a direct customer-oriented strategy for marketers?
Therefore, as marketers, the most important thing to remember is that lifestyle analysis is an ongoing process. The interests, activities, opinions, and demographic changes with time and situation. Everything in this dynamic world takes a shift, groups with something else, changes due to various factors, and tastes are continuously changing.
New trends and social changes determine what the consumers will pick to do next. Hence, it becomes utmost important to keep an ardent eye on all dynamics and continuously change strategies according to these changing factors. Lifestyle segmentation is periodic, consistent, and never-ending.