Unilever Company’s Market Segmentation

Accessibility

This is a vital factor in segmentation. Although the broader geographic segments have been widely targeted by internet traffic, it is usually necessary to market or promote goods and services to the targeted market in the most effective way. In other words, a business enterprise requires economic marketing of its products. For example, geographic segments may be targeted by a local business (Simkin, 2008). The latter can be carried out beyond an immediate targeted market. When it comes to accessibility, the distribution of goods and services across various marketplaces may affect segmentation greatly. Therefore, accessibility can only be feasible when adequate and effective product promotions are carried out.

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Needless to say, there can be no need to carry out segmentation if the targeted market is unreachable. It is essential to mention that communication planning should include the nature and the target market needs and business objectives. A business entity should not just select the channels of communication since there is a need to analyze the political, economic, social, cultural and legal environment which the market develops. This will help to structure an effective promotion strategy and consequently reach out to more customers.

Advertising

The above stands out as one of the most robust means of reaching out to the wider market and targeted consumers. Ads in magazines, newspapers, banners on websites, search engines, emails, television, radio, outdoor, airport media, posters, direct mail, gifts, alternative media, among many other existing forms of advertising can be used to improve the accessibility of products into the market. Unless the products being sold are adequately promoted, customers may equally fail to access them (Simkin, 2008) Advertising is the main tool used by Unilever to provide the marketing needs of the company. When it comes to advertising, it is almost inevitable to associate the idea to an advertising agency. Accessibility of goods and services to the market requires serious planning which should consider the nature and needs of the market at any given time. It is essential to mention that all communication planning should include the nature and target market needs and business objectives. It is not enough to just select the channels of communication to use when making sure that products are accessible to consumers. As it stands now, Unilever regularly analyzes the political, economic, social, cultural and legal environment in which it operates. This assists in restructuring an effective promotion strategy for the company (Liu, Ram, Lusch & Brusco, 2010).

Public relations involve all related activities with business stakeholders (customers, employees, media, suppliers, government, representatives and so on), conflict resolution with these groups, crisis management, and business image projection. When the latter is attained, it elevates the presence of products into the target market. Other vital tools include press relations, social responsibility actions, events, corporate communications, relationship programs with customer relationship programs with employees (Liu et al., 2010).

Personal selling is also another promotional strategy that attempts to make products accessible to the market. It refers to face to face selling involving the consumer and seller (Hassan & Craft, 2012). Unilever does not employ personal selling in most of its marketing processes. Personal selling t is one of the oldest ways of selling a product or service and covers a live relationship bearing in mind that it is immediate and interactive and allows the seller to create a lasting and productive relationship with the customer. This type of promotional strategy does not exist in the virtual buying process (Hassan & Craft, 2012). Therefore, the online marketplace for Unilever cannot benefit from face to face promotional strategy since it largely sales its products in physical stores.

Unilever also uses sales promotion in order to make its products available to the market. It refers to all actions to promote the product in the short term for the sake of driving high revenues. Some of the examples of sales promotion used by Unilever include discounts, free samples, prize draws, cultural competitions, demonstrations and tastings, among others (Liu et al., 2010).

Sales promotion is a set of incentive tools designed to stimulate buying faster or in greater quantities. It mostly takes place for the short term. This marketing tool is of key importance when it comes to holidays like Christmas. As a matter of fact, Unilever employs a number of sales promotions as part and parcel of ensuring that its products can be accessed by the wider market (Hassan & Craft, 2012).

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Resources and segmentation

For the Unilever Company, the segmentation adopted is indeed appropriate according to the resources owned by the company. The objectives of the company are also in tandem with the segmentation plan in place. The company has been carrying out segmentation based on gender. For instance, the company has developed new toothpaste that specifically targets men. It is also an innovation factor for the Unilever Company to design products based on gender (Simkin, 2008).

Appropriate principles

The marketplace must be validated in line with appropriate principles of segmentation. In the case of Unilever, the company has simplified the process of segmentation, although it is robust in some cases (Simkin, 2008). When evaluated for a long time, the product segmentation process at Unilever is quite cost-effective and more flexible because it can allow changes to be executed on a regular basis. Nonetheless, the appropriateness of the segmentation process to the policies and resources of Unilever can be witnessed through the new growth opportunities put in place by the company (Hassan & Craft, 2012).

The concept of segmentation entails selecting groups of customers with similar profiles and demands. The latter is indeed in line with Unilever’s value proposition which is attractive for the business organisation. The attractiveness is related to the size of the product being segmented and profitability margin. These groups cannot be too narrow and hence makes it less worthy of investing resources in this regard. In addition, it should not be too large so as not to show its main features. This is an appropriate procedure that prevents a more focused approach (Hassan & Craft, 2012).

Segmentation structure

For each identified segment, it is necessary to establish an approach strategy. In some cases, it demands a performance through direct sales force while in others, the performance of diversified channels will be needed by Unilever. Close interaction with each of this public should also be performed in a personalized manner so that each customer understands that the proposition was developed for the stated purpose (Liu et al., 2010). In essence, the practice of segmentation in customer satisfaction is a common experience at Unilever. From the outset, Unilever concludes that it is necessary to give up some customers (Hassan & Craft, 2012).

References

Hassan, S.S. & Craft, S 2012, ‘Examining world market segmentation and brand positioning strategies’, The Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 344-356.

Liu, Y., Ram, S., Lusch, R.F. & Brusco, M 2010, ‘Multicriterion Market Segmentation: A New Model, Implementation, and Evaluation’, Marketing Science, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 880-960.

Simkin, L 2008, ‘Achieving market segmentation from B2B sectorisation’, The Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 464-474.

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