For years, b2b and b2c marketers have relied on attitudinal segmentation research to help them group their current customer base, and potential customers as well, for communication, promotion, marketing and experience initiatives. The thesis has been that, by asking a small, but meaningful, set of attitudinal questions, they would be able to develop an index, algorithm, or framework equation that ranked these consumers by propensity to buy, both near-term and long-term. Similar thinking has been applied by some organizations, as they conduct employee satisfaction and engagement research.
These frameworks – they’re arithmetic, so we can’t rightly call them ‘models – typically include questions regarding the importance of elements like value for money, acting with the consumer’s interests in mind, credit and payment terms, having knowledgeable employees, offering products which will meet the consumer’s needs, and the like. From these questions, basic segment categorization can be determined; and, once these three, four, or five segments are established, we’ve often seen companies go on to build assumptive marketing, experience, or communication plans, and conduct further, more detailed and targeted, research around them.