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This essay explores the idea that the use of e-marketing means that segmentation is no longer relevant.

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Introduction

Assignment 1 Question 4 This essay explores the idea that the use of e-marketing means that segmentation is no longer relevant. This statement is discussed in relation to organisations that use e-marketing to complement traditional marketing strategies and in the context of 1:1 marketing. It is emphasised that e-marketing is not limited to the internet. Although a number of examples in the essay involve the internet, the same basic principles apply in relation to the other e-resources an organisation can use. Traditionally, a firm can choose from 3 different marketing coverages. These are mass marketing, multi-segment marketing and niche marketing (Strauss, 2001). The evidence in the literature is overwhelming that segmentation still has a central role to play. The reasons for this include that segmentation enables an organisation to: * group people and organisations with similar needs * define marketing objectives * allocate resources and evaluation (Study Guide, 2001). In addition to the 3 traditional marketing coverages, more recently individualised or 1:1 marketing is being used by organisations. 1:1 marketing involves customising a product offering for individual customers. The very nature of targeting individuals seems to make segmentation no longer relevant. However, it is clear that this is only correct in part and that segmentation still has a significant role to play in 1:1 marketing. ...read more.

Middle

With the proliferation of e-communications it is important for organisations to hold a defined market position. It is not possible to develop such an image if the organisation does not target particular customers. As the e-market place becomes increasingly crowded, the establishment of a new brand becomes increasingly difficult. Very large resources are required to establish major new brands brand using both traditional and e-marketing activities. Some organisations, such as amazon.com, were able to achieve first mover advantage. However, the bursting of the dot com bubble clearly showed that an early mover advantage only brought success to those organisations that had a workable business model. A number of existing brands have an advantage because they have an existing market position (Klein, 1996), (Kane, 1999). These are known as the 'brick and clicks'. Therefore, it appears certain that, in the context of 1:1 marketing, segmentation will continue to play a major role in targeting new customers because it will be highly unlikely that all businesses could be all things to all people. It is also important to consider that there are only approximately 200 million users of the web worldwide (Web References: Cyber Atlas (www.cyberatlas.com). Therefore, only people with access to the internet can be targeted. There are a number of examples of web sites that customise their products to individual customers. ...read more.

Conclusion

The contents of the newsletters and website were also designed to be suitable to particular target groups. The factors we used to segment the market included: * their potential to be change agents in their particular communities * their perceived potential to change and adopt new technologies * their access to broad band internet connections The planned strategy was not fully implemented. Rather than implementing a targeted strategy, the decision was made to target 'everyone' using generic promotional material and an electronic notice board for 'everyone' to use. The result has been that the project has had little impact and the electronic discussion board was left unused. It is suggested that the strategy of trying to target 'everyone' resulted in the resources of the project being spread too thinly. The fact that the needs of the particular target groups were not incorporated into the project meant that none on the target groups properly engaged with the project. In conclusion, it is very clear that the advent of e-marketing has not diminished the relevance of segmentation when firms adopt mass marketing, multi-segment marketing and niche marketing strategies. Although 1:1 marketing does involve the customisation of a product to the needs of particular customers, segmentation remains a very important (if not essential) role in initially targeting and managing such a strategy. It is suggested that segmentation will in fact become increasingly important as a result of the advent of e-marketing. ...read more.

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