What's next for segmentation?

Marie Lenatupot and Tim Stock

Segmentation needs to embrace consumer collaboration, crowdsourcing and culture mapping to be relevant and avoid being ignored in favour of the 'big idea'

Through the years, market segmentation, the art of grouping and regrouping consumers to better target brand messaging for maximum impact and cost-efficiency, has evolved into an elaborate science as we explore how we can use segmentation to best understand consumers.

Häagen-Dazs brand owner General Mills began to rethink its approach to planning in 2009

We group by demographics or lifestage, behaviour, lifestyle, value, attitude, and then we mix it into a hybrid of the above. We look for patterns that technology and data make apparent. But, in the remixing and demand to quantify every move a marketer makes, instinct and intuition get lost. Some agencies are beginning to abandon segmentation in favour of big idea brainstorming. Is the need to segment obsolete?