Sociology Index


Audience segmentation is a process of dividing people into unique subgroups based on criterion such as demographics, product usage, communication behavior, media use and psychographics. James E. Grunig proposed a model of segmentation comprising a series of inner and outer nests. [Balancing social values and social change. Sage.] “As digital marketers we must continue to refine audience segmentation until we can reliably communicate at the ‘individual’ level.” - Nick McLain. The outer nests consist of communities, psychographics, lifestyles and subcultures, and social relationships, geodemographics, demography, social categories and mass audience. In marketing, Social Segmentation may be determined by wealth, location, education, age and sex.

Advantages Of Audience Segmentation

Audience Segmentation enables a brand to focus its efforts. With Audience Segmentation greater attention can be paid to data-driven decisions impacting productivity and profitability. Audience Segmentation can aid in identifying new market opportunities identify areas that are offer expansion.

With Audience Segmentation messaging can be targeted to specific audiences, by understanding target market’s psychology and behaviors. Audience Segmentation can also drive smarter product development and decisions are made safer.

Audience segmentation is used by advertisers to design and tailor products and services that satisfy the targeted groups. Audience segmentation can cause conflicts within the community as in the case of STD/HIV Management Project in Nigeria in 1999 where non-targeted community members felt resources had been unfairly allocated to the "unworthy" audience segment. Audience segmentation is used to efficiently utilize limited resources to reach the intended population particularly in health interventions. 

Ethical questions arise when health communicators identify audience segments and plan health interventions for these groups, depriving in the process, those not targeted. Audience segmentation is accepted as a strategy in communication campaigns to influence health and social change.

Audience Segmentation reporting of Bing ads gives advertisers detailed insights about how their search audiences are performing.