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Breaking Down Market Segmentation for Designers


The understanding of the target audience is crucial for building a product or service that is going to accomplish a niche in the market across several audiences. Companies use market segmentation as a focus for determining production and giving services and then creating materials for marketing campaigns to specific segments. While the term marketing segmentation is commonly used in the marketing world, both the design and marketing teams should have a clear understanding of what it means and how it relates to your work.

By the textbook definition, market segmentation is the process of dividing a market of potential customers into groups (aka segments) based on different characteristics. The segments should be composed of customers who respond similarly to marketing strategies and who share traits such as similar interests, needs, or location. Essentially, in the world of design filled with close partnerships with clients, it simply means getting to know the client’s customers in order to understand and fulfill their needs.

But it’s more than a “Hi, how are ya… I’m doing good, you?… yadda, yadda…” and the rest of basic information exchanged. Creating market segments is going to need extensive detail. The segments should be composed of information about their age, profession, income, marital status, family relations, background, political stance, hobbies, lifestyle, personality, and concerns. Each factor adds into what it will take to assess the market’s needs. As a designer, it is crucial that you do not skip this step before designing materials because you need to know what is going to inspire the market’s response and be a call to action.

Please keep in mind that the goal for market segmentation is not to be strictly analytical in whichever industry you are working in, but is to be observant, considerate, and almost personal of the people in your market. Be humble when you inquire about these details with your clients and their customers. In return, they will reveal their feelings, behaviors, priorities and emotional attachments when it comes to making decisions about their needs and desires.

The more educated you are about the needs of each segment, the easier it will be to help you and the client find the multifaceted solution of how to reach the market. Then you will be able to put in thoughtful purpose behind designing materials that will attract customers in the market.

Setting aside your time and energy for getting to know your clients and their customers– as well as creating each segment’s profile– is how you are going to build and maintain beneficial relationships within your business and partnerships. And it will positively impact your partnering companies’ perspective on your designing services to be reliable, secure, and transparent.

Marketing to the specific needs of each segment is what will set you apart because clients and potential clients will understand that you empathize with the needs of their customers. The rest of your research and efforts will equip you with the knowledge to thrive and be successful as a designer.


Graphic Created by Allie Wilson

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