Segmenting Organisations for Institutional Products and services: A Framework

Anuradha Roy Chowdhury
MARG Marketing and Research Group, India

When today's consumer goods marketer is trying to understand what kind of consumers are most likely to buy his products, the steps he needs to take are fairly clear. Consumer segmentation, be it through demographics, psychographics, behaviour, or a combination of the three has been attempted often and the methodologies well validated on a variety of product categories; so much so that to most of us, segmentation has come to mean the classification of individual consumers. On the other hand, marketers of institutional products and services i.e. marketers for whom the ultimate customer is not an individual but an organization, are not quite as fortunate. Segmentation of organisations in India has not seriously been attempted, let alone validated. Most institutional marketers in the country have tended to identify potential customers based on their own experience and knowledge of the marketplace. However, the Indian economy is today experiencing a high growth curve, where there are a growing number of customers for every product category as well as an increasing number of players. In this scenario, experience based decision making may no longer be sufficient.