Putting It Together: Segmentation and Targeting

Remember Chumber, your new employer from the beginning of this module?

Now that you've learned something about segmentation and targeting strategy, let's return to the request your boss made for recommendations about whom Chumber ought to target and why.

Remember that Chumber’s product is an automated, fully online system for checking the references of job candidates. Chumber's customers are other companies. After learning about market segmentation, you know that "all companies" is too broad to be a useful target market. Even on your first day of work, you can guess that marketing to every company you can find isn't going to be a smart strategy.

Instead, you do a little research. It stands to reason that Chumber will be most valuable to companies that do a lot of hiring. A Google search for "employment by industry" brings up U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics data to help you identify which industries are expected to post the biggest gains in employment in the coming years.

Table showing Employment by Major Industry Sector Online source: http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_201.htm


Segmenting by industry makes a lot of sense in this case because some industries clearly do more hiring than others. You decide that Chumber should focus on industries with the highest projected hiring increases in the next decade: health care; professional and business services; construction; leisure and hospitality; and retail. Companies in growth industries will definitely get the most value from Chumber.

Next you want to understand more about which decision makers in these companies will be the best targets for Chumber. Having just come through the hiring process, you know who is interested in reference checking: human resources professionals, job recruiters, and hiring managers. You email Ken, the Chumber HR person who handled your hiring process, to see if he can answer a few questions about how decisions are made in HR departments.

Photo close-up of a man grinning largely into the camera Ken is very helpful. Prior to Chumber, he worked in HR for a health care company and a consulting firm. He confirms that an HR manager or director of recruiting oversees the reference-checking process for new hires. This person would also be the primary decision maker for a product like Chumber.

Ken explains that the requirements for reference checking differ by industry. In health care, for instance, where people routinely handle life-and-death situations, reference checks are essential and thorough. Ken mentions a couple of features Chumber could add to fit the specific requirements of the health care industry. You take notes about product improvements that could be part of the marketing mix for this segment.

When you're back at your desk, Ken sends you a list of Web sites, publications, and conferences where many HR recruiters go for professional information. This will be really useful when your boss wants to talk about promotion and place!

You invite Ken out for lunch to thank him for his valuable input.

You still have a lot to learn about Chumber and product marketing. But applying your knowledge about segmentation and targeting is giving you a good feel for how you might help the company succeed.

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