Mrk- 3-1 discussion: market segments

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply consumer behavior identification strategies
  • Examine the key elements of consumer behavior
  • Identify the major factors that influence consumer buying behavior

Module Reading and Resources

Textbook: Marketing: An Introduction, Chapter 5
This chapter covers consumer buying behavior and the elements that influence this behavior.

Access this resource by going to the MyMarketingLab area under the course Table of Contents menu.

Presentation: Marketing Concept Glossary III
Module-related marketing concepts and terms are presented. Visit the glossary for a quick review of the key terms from this week. You can also look up words in the glossary found along the left-hand navigation bar.

MyMarketingLab Video: Chapter 5: Goodwill: Understanding (6:43)
This video discusses the thrift store chain Goodwill, describing its business model and demographic-based marketing approach and how the company adjusts to differences in customers’ needs. To access the video, go to MyMarketingLab, click on Multimedia Library, choose Chapter 5 from the drop-down menu, check “video,” and click on “Find Now.”

Access this resource by going to the MyMarketingLab area under the course Table of Contents menu.

Video: The Consumer Buying Process
This is a short animation showing the consumer buying process to serve as a supplement to the module overview, applying concepts to store/new product. Transcript available here.

Website: Discover Community Lifestyle and Demographic Information
The site provides access to a tool you can use learn more about specific market segments using an area’s zip code.
This resource can be used for this week’s discussion.

Website: US Census Bureau – FactFinder
The site allows you to search for facts about communities in the United States.  
This resource can be used for this week’s discussion.

Assignment Calendar
Assignment Calendar Module Three

Module Overview

Consumer behavior is the study of how “individuals, groups, and organizations select, buy, use, and dispose of goods, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy needs and wants” (Kotler & Keller, 2012, p. 151). These are heavily influenced by cultural, social, and personal factors. Marketing is one part psychology, and to understand where, what, why, and how consumers buy, consumer motivations need to be understood.

The study of consumer behavior has two main categories: motivation and perception. Motivation is studying what it is that influences or persuades a consumer to buy. Many experts have studied motivation and how it impacts marketing decisions. The theories of two researchers, Freud and Maslow, have greatly shaped this area. Sigmund Freud believed that psychological forces that shape human behavior are unconscious. In other words, people do not fully understand what motivates them.

This has significant implications for marketing. Freud’s theory indicates that when making decisions about logos, packaging, and advertisements, consideration needs to be given to the less conscious elements of marketing such as the shape, size, weight, material, color, and even product placement in a store. For example, if Lucky Charms cereal is considering redoing its packaging, the company needs to consider how consumers might respond if its cereal was no longer in a tall, red, rectangular box with gold lettering.

  • What does the box represent to consumers?
  • Does it represent quality? Security (in that the box protects the cereal from being crushed)?
  • How would consumers react to no box? To a box that was a different shape, like a triangle or a square?
  • What about color choices? Certain meanings are associated with colors that go beyond being descriptive.

Individuals make connections with these aspects of a product in an unconscious way, so marketing professionals must consider what those colors and shapes may mean to a consumer and choose carefully, especially when changing an established brand or moving into a new cultural market.

To explain human motivations, Abraham Maslow developed Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. He argued that this hierarchy demonstrated why people were driven to fulfill certain needs at certain times. For example, if someone’s need for safety were not fulfilled, his or her purchases would not be based on meeting the need for esteem. For marketers, this means that they need to understand where in the hierarchy the product falls and then develop appropriate messaging and market targeting. Another example is that if an individual is concerned about where he or she is going to sleep next week, he or she is not as likely to be concerned with what movie is leading sales at the box office or the latest news on interest rates.

The second component of consumer behavior is perception. There are a few ways that perceptions can be categorized. The first, selective attention, comes into play because humans cannot internalize and react to all of the messages that they are bombarded with every day. A scan of the internet indicates that daily exposure to ads can range from as few as around 200 to as high as 30,000. Consequently, marketers need to identify ways to break through the clutter. There is no one right answer here, and success requires the right mix of channel, message, and offering (product or service).

Selective distortion comes into play as consumers view products through the lens of the preconceptions they already have about a product category, brand, or issue. For example, when some people see a cat, they think it is cute or soft. It may remind them of their childhood or give them a sense of companionship. For others, that same image of a cat may cause them to feel anxious because cats cause a bad allergic reaction, or maybe they were scratched or bitten when they were younger. Marketers need to try to identify and compensate for preconceptions. Consider the messaging BP (British Petroleum) used after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP recognized that the preconception about the company and the work it was doing (offshore drilling) was negative and sought to offset that through a marketing campaign. The article BP Oil Spill Advertisements Since the Deepwater Horizon Disaster provides an overview and examples of the ads BP has run since the spill to try to repair its reputation.

Selective retention is another perception-based component that may reward companies with consumer loyalty. This theory outlines how people remember the good aspects or elements of a company or product that they like or are loyal to and how they disregard the good features of competitors. For example, someone highly loyal to the Apple brand may be well aware that Samsung is rapidly gaining in the cell phone market; however, selection retention maintains their connection and loyalty to Apple, and information in a Samsung advertisement would not be retained.

There is a specific buying process for consumers and businesses outlined in the text. The video The Consumer Buying Process provides additional details about that process and provides an example of how the pet supply store would use that process.

Now, take a minute to review this week’s glossary.


Kotler, P., & Keller, K. (2012). Marketing management (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Complete the assignment as follows:

Companies use different resources to learn more about the specific market segments they plan to target. Using the resources in this module, search for information using a zip code of your choice. Some options to consider include Beverly Hills 90210, Las Vegas 89101, Miami Beach 33139, or Manchester, NH, 03101. First, enter your chosen zip code to access information about that area. Review the information provided about the area. In your initial post, describe the attributes of the segments in your area and what strategies marketers should use if they were trying to reach someone in this area.

In your responses to classmates, compare segments and draw similarities and differences between the marketing strategies. 

In your response posts to your classmates, discuss how the company’s threats or weaknesses could affect your classmates’ proposed marketing activities. 

For more information, view the following documents:

For your response posts (2), you must do the following: 

  •   Reply to at least two different classmates outside of your own initial post thread.
  •   Demonstrate more depth and thought than simply stating that “I agree” or “You are wrong.” Guidance is provided for you in each discussion prompt. 

classmates Post #1:  

For this assignment, I have chosen my hometown, which is Erwin, Tennessee, 37650. Erwin is a fairly small town located in the Appalachian Mountain range, containing around 2.4 million households, with a median age range of around 46.8. Most of these households include older married couples with children no longer at home, and during my research I discovered that nearly all of the households in this area tend to practice traditional gender roles within the marriage. I was also able to determine that the average household income in Erwin is around $37,000 annually, which is not necessarily surprising considering the lack of resources for higher paying jobs within the area. Residents from this area tend to prefer American-made and generic products, which I can certainly back up since I grew up in this region. Most free time for residents of Erwin include: hunting, fishing, hiking, gardening, and spending quality time outdoors with loved-ones and/or pets. 

Although researchers haven’t been able to determine the exact science behind consumer purchasing habits, they have been able to gather data revealing a few of the factors that can contribute to consumer spending. These factors include, but are not limited to: cultural, social, personal, and psychological traits. In order to determine the most effective marketing strategy for Erwin, I will be focusing on social factors, specifically on social class. Social class isn’t necessarily determined by income, but a combination of educational status, job roles, wealth, and many other factors. People within a social class often have similar spending patterns, and for Erwin these spending patterns reflect purchases mostly pertaining to outdoor activities.

Based on the fact that residents of Erwin tend to make purchases relating to outdoor activities, it would be crucial for marketers to express their devotion to keeping the planet clean, and a green company would be most successful for a city that spends most of the time outdoors. As a marketer, I would focus on manufacturing outdoor products for hiking and camping, such as: backpacks, tents, hammocks, canteens, thermoses, and coolers. I may also focus on products related to hunting and fishing, such as: kayaks, canoes, fishing poles, quality clothing, and more. I would aim to reach middle-aged residents around 30-40, since this is close to the median age of residents in Erwin. Since Erwin practices traditional gender roles, I may choose to aim products such as hiking and camping gear towards females and couples, and focus on producing hunting and fishing gear towards men.

(n.d.). Retrieved from,Median-Age,Financial-Optimists

Kotler, P. (n.d.). Understanding the Marketplace and Customer Value. In Marketing An Introduction(12th ed., pp. 133-136). Pearson. doi:

classmates Post #2:  

The Zip Code I chose was my Zip code 30310, Which resides in Atlanta Georgia. Atlanta sounds big but actually it’s not that big at all we currently have 486,299 median population which has increased over the years. 33.3 median age, the average household median income is $57,597. The poverty median rate is 22.4%; Number of employees 253,859 which has increase around 6.37% which means almost all the people in the City of Atlanta are employed, this follows the median property value at $299,400. Atlanta is almost multi- cultural but as we stand its predominantly black but there are all different kinds of people and it makes up a great city I think. You are considered middle class if your making between 40,000+ in Atlanta and those 22.4% under 40,000 that makes up our lower class.  Georgia itself is a pretty cheap place to live, but as we stand in Atlanta there’s a lot of new construction in homes that have came about and the real estate median is up and alive. Atlanta is home of LGBT community, and the new billion dollar movie industry which have brought a tremendous amount of jobs along so those poverty numbers which are sure to change soon. In Atlanta People Social life thrives on fashion music and eating. Very nice concert a good pair of a shoes and a 5 star restaurants seems to play a big part in Atlanta which we call the night life; plays, movies, museums, spas etc., are included depending upon the person, these are some of the ways we “Atliens” (Atlanta residents) relax. 

The way I would target Atlanta is by first setting the trend with the LGBT community and the rest normally follow they have a really big influence in Atlanta night or social life. Social Media and Billboards very popular also the radio will be a good way to advertise. 

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