The 3 key considerations when segmenting an international market would involve the market segmentation, targeting and positioning. Firstly, market segmentation involves a group of customers who share similar sets of needs and wants. Market segmentation is consistent with the marketing concept and customer orientation and enables the firm to focus their marketing resources. It also helps the firm to gain competitive advantages using their expertise in the customer base.
There are 4 main levels of segmentation, which include preference segments, niche, local, and lastly the individual. In preference segmentation, homogeneous preferences exist when consumers want the same things, diffused preferences when consumers want different things and clustered preferences when natural segments from groups with shared preferences. In the case of HASH, it would depend if customers are looking for the services offered by the bank or if they prefer other banks. Secondly, in the niche segment, the customer group is more narrowly defined as seeking a mix of benefits.
This is shown by Hash’s offering of pet insurance which is relatively not well known but has proven popular with a growth rate of 125% a year. The third point, which is the local segment, involves marketing programs for local customer groups in trading areas, neighborhoods, and even industrial stores. Grassroots marketing is also included under this category. Connecting this back with HASH, which call themselves the “world’s local bank”, and also how the bank focuses on serving the local markets. Additionally, HASH maintains their local presence and local knowledge of each area they set up in.
They also blend their local knowledge with the worldwide operating platform. Lastly, the individual segment is one where customization combines operationally river mass customization with customized marketing such that consumers are encouraged to design the service according to their needs. HASH has also partnered to sponsor more than 250 cultural and sporting events with a special focus on helping the youth, growing education and embracing communities. The next point would be segmenting consumer markets. This is done using geographic, demographic, cryptographic, and behavioral methods.
Geographic refers to dividing the market into different geographical units namely, nations, states, region, cities or neighborhoods. HASH demonstrated their local knowledge with the marketing campaign where the wanted to prove to the New Yorkers that this London-based bank was one with local knowledge. They set up a contest for the scabies and promised the winner a year’s Job of driving for the company. Next would be the demographic segmentation. In this segmentation, consumers are divided by age and life cycle, life stage, gender, income, generation and social class.
In Malaysia, HASH targeted the student segment with their “smart card” and no-frills credit cards. HASH also set up “Premium Centers” for their high-value customers. In the cryptographic segmentation, it is believed that customers are inspired by ideals, achievement or self-expression. The groups with high resources are made up of the innovators, thinkers, achievers and the experiences. On the other hand, the groups with lower resources are the believers, strives, makers and the survivors.
Lastly, in behavioral segmentation, it is further divided into decision roles and behavioral. In the decision roles, this includes roles like the initiator, influencer, decider, buyer and the user. In the behavioral role, this includes the occasions, unifies, user status, usage rate, buyer-readiness, loyalty status, and also their attitudes to the service offered by HASH. In segmenting business markets, demographics, operating variable, purchasing approaches, situational factors and personal characteristics are to be taken into account.
If HASH were to provide their services to other businesses, these would be the appropriate factors to consider. The second key consideration when segmenting an international market is target marketing. This involves accessing the market’s attractiveness and also selecting the market segments. For HASH, having full market coverage is not possible hence, tattering to the specific needs of customers by providing different options of credit cards and offering special outlets for their high-value customers.
The segmentation process consists of the need-based segmentation, segment identification, segment attractiveness, segment profitability, segment positioning, segment acid-test and the market mix strategy. It is important that they are measurable, substantial, accessible, differentiable and actionable in order to be effective. The last key consideration when segmenting an international market is market positioning. This helps to develop the position for target segments as well as racketing mix for the segments.
In the case of HASH, wanting to be known as the “world’s local bank” has shown that they are committed to serving the local community with their positioning as a global-spanning institution. In order to choose a positioning strategy, they can first identity the possible set of competitive advantages on which to build a position, followed by choosing the right competitive advantages and finally, selecting an overall positioning strategy. They must effectively communicator and deliver their position to the market. 2. Perceptual map for the banking industry in Australia.