Saturday, March 26, 2011

Market segmentation of computers

Having taken look at the segmentation of the automobile market in the last post, we shall now take a look at the segmentation of the computer market; which is one of the fastest growing markets globally.

·        Geographic segmentation
In the segmentation of computers, geographical segmentation yet again plays a very important role. This is because the demands of people would vary according to their regions. A very good example of this is the computer market in India. Few years ago, laptops were not at all popular in the Indian computer market which was dominated by desktops, despite the fact that laptops were very popular in the world market. Then arrived the LCD screen desktops and later the desktops gave way to laptops.
This happened because the laptops were very expensive for the Indian customer as compared with desktops. So, a global computer manufacturer would have after geographical segmentation, focussed more on the sale of computers as compared to laptops. This is not the case with India in isolation, and is common to most of the developing nations.
Even in India, further geographic segmentation would show that laptops are still not too popular in small cities and towns, where it’s still quite an expensive item for the potential buyers.
·        Demographic segmentation
Demographic segmentation plays a very important role in the computer market. It has been seen recently that most of the laptop manufacturers are coming with more and more coloured laptops in contrast to the black or silver coloured laptops. This has been done to attract the young customers towards the product.
Based on demographic segmentation, manufacturers have come up with different configuration of their product models. For example, a student may not necessarily require a computer with a very large memory space, which would definitely be the case of a professional photographer.
Also, based on demographic segmentation, manufacturers are coming up with small laptops or “net-books”, which are around 40% less expensive than the normal laptops. These having a surprisingly long power back up and are much smaller in size. These have been very popular in the corporate sector, where people like to work in cars and flights, and definitely like to be hassle free from the charger, sockets, etc.
·        Psychological segmentation
Based on the psychological segmentation, manufacturers of computers come up with different variants in the same model, which have different prices, features and configurations. Sony Vaio laptops are an example of this. More recently, the manufacturers of Sony Vaio have come up with less expensive laptops because of the brand popularity and the perception that a Vaio laptop is technologically more advanced and expensive than its competitors. More and more people would thus be attracted towards it due to its affordability.
·        Behavioural  segmentation
Behavioural segmentation is done on the basis of user status, requirements, etc. This is another important basis of segmentation of computers. Now more and more computer manufacturers are coming up with customised laptops. A very good example of this is “Dell”, where one has the option to customise his/her laptop. The customer places the order on the net stating the configuration he requires and the laptop is customised and delivered to the customer’s doorstep within a week.

Having seen the basis of segmentation of computers too, it should be noted that in most cases if a product falls under the low price range, an organisation resorts to mass marketing. However in case of products lying in the premium price category, an organisation on most occasions opts for multi-segment, single segment and micro marketing.
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