Audience & Market Segmentation

Who are your most targetable customers? How do they behave? And most importantly how can they be reached? These are the core questions that our segmentations are designed to answer.

Segmentation Research from Norstat

A rational and more precise adjustment of product and marketing effort to consumer or user requirements, it consists of viewing a heterogeneous market (one characterized by divergent demand) as a number of smaller homogeneous markets.

Wendell Smith, Father of Market Segmentation.

The more simple definition is simply a comprehensive view of a market, separated by segments where they are same within, but different without. We are experts at consumer, audience and shopper segmentations, having the statistical resource in house, as well as the research tools available to deliver. Additionally, our commercial insight leads are able to expertly craft the segmentation to fit your needs and deliver on growth. We generally prefer needs & attitudinal based segmentation for sustainability.

Add a new dimension to your data with segmentation

At Norstat we conduct bespoke segmentations to provide the best solutions for your research needs and business objectives. This means tailoring everything from questionnaire design to the sample required, whether sample comes from your customer database (which would allow us to append our segmentation directly to your CRM database) or whether this is via our in-house online panel, Norstatpanel. We have the capabilities to target your required audience whether this is in a niche market sector or the wider population.

We have in-house expertise with years of experience – statisticians who utilise cutting-edge machine learning techniques to create robust models and experienced researchers who can guide you through questionnaire design, interpretation of the results and how best to deliver these results to your stakeholders. Our reports can range from being highly quantitative in nature to being extremely visual, or anywhere in between. We create character profiles to make getting to know the segments easy, great for sharing with wider teams and stakeholders.

We use statistically robust sample-sizes

We structure a project by firstly ensuring a robust sample size, whereby we advise a minimum of 800 completed interviews to guarantee a low margin of error and to ensure segments are representative of the population in question. Experience has taught us there are core questions that work in segmentation (below) so when designing your questionnaire we can begin with a core structure (below) and tailor content, add sections, to meet your specific research objectives.

Questionnaire content for segmentation studies

  1.  Demographics – Age, gender, social grade, region etc.
  2. Behavioural & personality traits – e.g. extrovert/introvert, leader/follower, interests, activity, influence
  3. Brand awareness, brand/market perceptions – Gauge brand and competitor health and brand knowledge
  4. Brand interaction – Assess spend, frequency of purchase, product usage & brand connection
  5. Need state – What do individuals require from a product / brand / service, how can they be retained/acquired
  6. Communications – How to bridge the gap, preferred communication channels, content, what influences

Detailed analysis

After data collection, our statisticians utilise a mixture of algorithms to find the best solution for your data, these are tailored specifically to your research (for example we use different algorithms for an FMCG product than for a client selling high value goods). Consumers have a different mind-set when making these purchase decisions therefore it’s necessary to capture these behavioural differences in our segmentation to provide the most insightful models.

When the statistical analysis is complete our statistician and lead researcher can discuss a range of models (2 or 3) with yourselves through an interim debrief to discuss which model works best for your business needs, budgets available and targeting capacity. Once the final model has been decided we then produce a full report tailored specifically to your requirements.

We ensure that each segment is distinctive, recognisable (i.e. straight-forward to slot any customer or potential customer into one of the segments), durable (i.e. won’t be out-dated in a couple of years), appropriately sized (i.e. too many segments would be impractical from a marketing perspective, while too few suggest further refinement might be required), and actionable (i.e. it makes sense from a marketing and sales perspective).


Our reporting can range from being highly quantitative in nature, with data provided in Excel tables, SPSS, Askia, or other formats, to forming character profiles and pen portraits.

Future proofing

Additionally, we can add a sub-set of questions (referred to as “golden questions”, typically 8-10) to your future research enabling us to append the segmentation to new interviews, meaning it can continue to provide insight and drive key business decisions beyond the initial research.

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Add a new dimension to your data with segmentation! We are experts at consumer, audience and shopper segmentations.

Get started