Under Armour clearly has established themselves as a leader in the sportswear world. I didn’t know exactly how it started until I read this article and did some of my own research. It’s always shocking (and somewhat irritating) when someone takes an ordinary problem, creates a simple solution and makes billions. Kevin Plank is a clear example of that. Plank stated in a 2014 Washington Post interview with DJ Harrison “I was a not-big-enough, not-fast-enough football player who wanted a little bit of an edge on the field. I figured my own sweat, if I could get that off my body, and more importantly, the weight that stood behind it, that would help. So the idea was why doesn’t someone make a better alternative for a short-sleeve cotton t-shirt in the summer and a long-sleeve cotton t-shirt in the winter. It was so incredibly obvious to me at the time, wondering why no one had ever addressed this issue.”
In the case study article, what market segments were identified and what segmentation strategies were implemented?
The case study explains how women weren’t being specifically marketed to by Under Armour until 2014. Which, honestly, is slightly ridiculous. By then, women should have been a major focus in their marketing strategy, in my opinion. To target this new market segment, they launched the “I Will What I Want” campaign featuring a well known dancer, Misty Copeland in a powerful video. Upon the success of that campaign, they launched another with model, Gisele Bündchen.
What do you believe are four to five key points to remember when implementing segmentation strategies?
I think the main point to remember when implementing segmentation strategies is to do research, do more research and when you’ve gathered all the research you think you need, do more. “Most marketers fall short during the first two stages. The research and data collection, though often rushed, is the most important stage of the implementation process of market segmentation.” (ActiveMarketing, 2018) Understanding what marketing strategies have worked on that group is crucial to initiating a campaign that works. And, conversely, what doesn’t work. Take the Saint Laurent ad campaign from 2017. The campaign featured provocatively posed women in fishnets and rollerskates. “An Yves Saint Laurent campaign has come under fire during Paris Fashion Week for promoting “porno chic,” with ads that show an underweight model in fishnet tights opening her legs for the camera.” (Hall, 2017) The backlash from the ads went unanswered by the company, which seems to be a trend based on their lack of comment in response to the outrage created by the campaign in this article about the use of a super skinny model.
Secondly, establish the market segment on a global scale. While an ad campaign might be appropriate for one region, it might be banned in another. Let’s stick with YSL for this example. Yves Saint Laurent is notorious for banned adverts, like this one featuring a completely nude model, Sophie Dahl. Which might be why I’ve never heard of this “fashion giant” until now. Many of their ads are banned in the US. “Manage your segments globally. Sometimes regional organization can set you up to be blind-sided later by a more dynamic global economy.” (ActiveMarketing, 2018) All that to say that when a segmentation strategy is being set in place, all marketed areas should be taken into consideration.
Another important thing to remember is to be relevant. Keep current events and pop culture in the forefront when implementing a segmentation strategy. Verizon is currently using actor Thomas Middleditch in their tv commercials. Middleditch is the lead actor in a tech-based sitcom about a startup company. Who better to push tech than someone who a good percentage of tech-savvy people view as a fellow tech-savvy celebrity? Utilizing appropriate verbiage and celebrity perception for the brand is key.
Lastly, have a full and complete understanding of your segmentation and narrow it down as much as possible. I really loved this visual description of this:
This example makes it clear that while the first branch including “Food service firms”, “Manufacturers” and “Supermarkets” might seem like clear market segments, the further you break it down, the easier it should be to market directly to those segments.
Identify a new market segment that you have noticed recently (during your own shopping experience online, in a commercial ad, or in a secondary resource such as a magazine) that you believe would be a great market to explore. How might you create a segmentation strategy to reach this new market segment?
This summer, I happened to be the one doing the outdoor maintenance and yard work because my husband’s start-up basically went from zero to sixty, leaving him with little to no time to even explain how to use certain machines. Unfortunately, the majority of small machinery ads are targeted solely to men. I can’t remember ever seeing a Lowes ad where a woman starts up a weed wacker. This left me to wonder why they haven’t established a more female-focused campaign for those of us who do that work ourselves. I don’t think home improvement stores market enough to women when it comes to machinery necessary for daily yard maintenance. This is what my segmentation strategy would look like:
Then, from there, I would be able to target those women who specifically want to do yard work (like myself) and develop a marketing campaign focused on reaching them and their specific need.
Hall, Emma. 2017, March 7. AdAge. ‘Misogynist’ YSL Ads Shock Parisans Ahead of International Women’s Day. Retrieved from https://adage.com/article/advertising/degrading-yves-saint-laurent-ads-shock-french-public/308196/
2018. ActiveMarketing. Market Segmentation: You’re Doing it Wrong. Retrieved from https://www.activemarketing.com/blog/strategy/market-segmentation-youre-doing-it-wrong/