Attitudinal Segmentation - It's How Your Customers See the World

Creating Actionable Customer Groups Based on their Attitudes

To round out our blog series on segmentation, we are focusing today on attitudinal segmentation. This topic is a third layer deep as far as segmentation goes, and, along with needs-base segmentation, offers a wealth of information that can drive your marketing efforts beyond the basics.


What Is It?

In short, attitudinal segmentation is a description of how your customers see the world. You have to know the basics (demographics, firmographics, etc.), and why they would use your product or service (needs-based), but in order to connect with them on a personal level you need to understand their attitudes toward life and how your product fits into it.

For example, we recently completed a study for the travel industry, testing a service that international travelers might find useful. In addition to understanding who is likely to use the service (students, business travelers, vacationers, etc.), we asked a series of questions about their views on international travel and their views on their personal life as it relates to the client’s service. The questions were directly related to the service and provided a list of attitudes that customers are likely to have about life. This provided a set of attitudes that allowed a better understanding of the likely customer of the service.


When Is It Useful?

Attitudinal segmentation can be a very useful tool if done correctly. Questions that define attitudes are rarely directly appropriate across different industries or companies. For example, a question about your views on your health and healthcare in general is not likely to tell you much about how people feel about roller coasters (bad comparison, but you get the point). In this scenario, attitudes about your health might be applicable to those considering a health club or gym membership. Views on the healthcare industry may also be applicable if part of your strategy is to tout working out to keep yourself healthy and away from the doctor.

Questions should also correlate with each other enough that analysis reveals any sort of pattern. As a market researcher, we are always looking for patterns, trends or correlations. Your questions should adequately cover possible issues or views that will provide enough background to be useful. From there, you can conduct analysis that allows you too see if there are answers to questions that cluster together, giving you insight into how people feel. Only when the questions are framed correctly can you make this leap.


How Is It Useful?

Attitudinal segmentation is used to help you understand how to market to your customers in a meaningful way. If you understand that there is a large group of potential customers who think a certain way (and are a certain gender, age, etc.), you can tailor your messages to meet them where they are. This is where the proper questions are important. Your questions need to adequately describe potential thoughts or opinions in a way that will help you move forward.

To use our gym membership example, you may find that those who believe in the gym as a good way of staying in shape are split into two groups: those who prefer working out on their own to avoid the doctor; and those who believe working out provides a sense of accomplishment and makes them feel better. You may also find out that those who are not as personally health conscious believe the gym is a waste of money. From this, we look for demographic and behavioral patterns that describe the two positive groups (avoiding the doctor, sense of accomplishment). For example, those looking to avoid the doctor may be primarily men, aged 45-54, working full-time, married with kids, who are always looking for ways to fit more in. Those wanting a sense of accomplishment might be women in their 30’s who are into fitness, and want state-of-the-art equipment, no matter where it is.

Creating these groups based on their attitudes, and gaining more information by looking at their demographics and needs, gives you a stronger base from which to message. You can create campaigns that specifically focus on their attitudes in areas where they are likely to see it, for the best possible ROI.


What Comes Next?

If you have an interest in segmentation research, particularly in attitudinal segmentation, and would like to learn more, contact us today. We can send more information, or schedule a brief call with our researchers to discuss your needs. We have a strong background in attitudinal segmentation with a proven track record. We would be happy to help.