The future position of the segment would be the next

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characteristics and try to match the product characteristics and market segments. The future position of the segment would be the next consideration in the evaluation process. Usually, business firms seek out the high growth segments. In the soap business, market analysis would readily indicate that the premium segment happen to be the high-growth segment of the business. Next in line will be the consideration of profitability. In the example under consideration, the firm can easily size up that the premium segment is the more profitable segment in the soap business. The price in this segment is usually high, between Rs. 6 per cake in respect of the popular segment. The profit potential in the Annamalai University
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43 premium segment is quite high and a relatively lower volume would provide adequate returns to the firm. On the contrary, in the popular or regular segment, a much larger sales volume would be necessary for the business to be viable since prices and profit margins in the segment are low. The firm has to now consider whether the segment is accessible to it. This may need further analysis. The market realities of the segment under consideration will now enter the picture. Having satisfied itself that the premium segment is sizable, growth oriented, profitable and accessible, the firm has to analyse and find out if the segment would match the fi rm’s resources, objectives, ambition and distinctive capabilities. Given the position of the firm in these respects, for some firms, the popular segment may be natural and for others, the premium segment may be the ideal choice. The premium segment is a highly competitive segment; all new brands that enter the segment do not make a success; though it is a high growth segment, several new brands in the segment are seen falling by the wayside. Only a firm endowed with an aggressive marketing culture, a strong marketing organisation and the required resources can successfully fight for a share of the premium segment. The firm has to assess whether its marketing capabilities are compatible with the segment under consideration. In addition to the segmentation on the basis of premium vs. popular groups, the firm can also attempt a geographical segmentation of the soap market before finally selecting the segments to be served. The firm, for example, may look at each zone in the country as a separate market segment and analyse whether distinctive marketing strategies and distinctive marketing mixes could be applied over the different zones. Here again, an analysis of whether the segment considered is sizable, attractive, profitable and accessible, etc. will have to be seen. TARGET MARKET STRATEGIES There are three target market strategies viz., 1. Undifferentiated marketing 2. Differentiated marketing 3. Concentrated marketing 1. Undifferentiated Marketing: In undifferentiated marketing, the firm chooses not to recognize the different market segments making up the market. It treats the market as an aggregate, focusing on what is common in the needs of people rather that on what is different.
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