Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.485326
Title: Market segmentation : critique and implications of consumer lifestyle fragmentation
Author: Stirling Quinn, Lee
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
Market segmentation lies at the core of many normative, strategic marketing initiatives, arguably facilitating the identification and satisfaction of an organisation's most profitable customers. Therefore, a central task for managers adopting a market segmentation strategy is to identify customers in a meaningful way, satisfy their requirements profitably,' and implement the segmentation concept in ways which provide manageable solutions. However, it is suggested that the increasing fragmentation of consumer lifestyles has, paradoxically, made market segmentation more difficult to implement in many contexts, leading some observers to question the effectiveness and efficiency of the approach. Furthermore, the uncritical acceptance of some of the broader assumptions underpinning a market segmentation approach also raises fundamental questions for the theoretical . foundations of the concept in mainstream .marketing discourses. In practice the response to managing consumer fragmentation has seen an increased popularity of segmentation approaches based on behavioural characteristics, and arguments in the marketing literature highlight a requirement for scholarly research to focus on the so-called theory versus practice deba~ in market segmentation. In this thesis epistemological considerations are described as a reflective process from which the methodological stance was developed. Dominant paradigms in segmentation research are therefore interrogated, alongside commentaries which critique them, before outlining how a social constructionist standpoint informs an appropriate methodological direction. Moving beyond these abstract debates, the adoption of a sensemaking perspective facilitates an evaluation of managerial accounts in a manner consistent with utilising social constructionist thinking in empirical research. The UK apparel retailing sector provides an illuminating empirical context in which to locate the research problem. The research demonstrates sensitivity towards arguments calling for a more modest form of engagement with the marketing discipline and its representations of the everyday practices of managers. Dialogues have been maintained, primarily through key informant interviews, within data consultancies and apparel retailers, in order to examine how managers develop and make sense of market segmentation in practice. This thesis makes a number of contributions. First, it offers an original qualitative insight into managerial constructions of market segmentation in practice. Second, it extends critical debates in marketing by introducing and applying a social constructionist perspective to the segmentation debate. Finally, the key informant interviews are presented as narratives in order to make sense of managerial accounts pertaining to uses of segmentation. In doing so, the research answers calls for a more comparative perspective on marketing through the integration of a multi-disciplinary approach. This work offers a first step in developing critical perspectives in market segmentation research and indicates an alternative direction for further research based on this inquiry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.485326  DOI: Not available
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