Marketers choosing to segment at the Stage 3 level face an enormous challenge in gathering useful segmentation information but, for those who do commit to segmenting at this level, the rewards may include gaining competitive advantage over rivals whose segmentation efforts have not dug this deep. However, to reach the reward the marketer must invest significant time and money to amass the detailed market intelligence needed to achieve Stage 3 segmentation. Additionally much of what is needed at Stage 3 is information that is often well protected and not easily shared by customers. In fact, many customers are unwilling to share certain personal information (e.g., psychological) with marketers with whom they are not familiar.
Consequently, segmenting on Stage 3 variables is often not an option for marketers new to a market unless they acquire this via other means (e.g., hire a consultant who knows the market). To get access to this information, marketers who already serve the market with other products may be able to use primary research such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, observation research and other high-level marketing research techniques. Additionally, companies with existing customer relationship management (CRM) technologies may be in position to tap into their customer information in order to identify customer characteristics that may potentially lead to new segments.
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