One key of success in formulate a customer-driven operations strategy for both manufacturing and service firms is understanding what the customer wants and how to provide itbetter than the competition does . Market analysis first divides the firm`s customer into market segments and then identifies the needs of each segment. In this section we define and discuss theconcepts of market segmentation and needs assessment.
Market segmentation is the process of identifying groups of customers with enough in common to warrant the design andprovision of products or services that the target group wants and needs.
In general, to identify market segments the analyst must determine the characteristics that clearly differentiate each segment.
Thefollowing characteristics are among those that can be used to determine market segments.
1-DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS.-age, income, educational level, occupation, and location are examples of factors thatcan differentiate markets.
2.- PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS.- factors such as pleasure, fear, innovativeness, and boredom can serve to segment markets . For example, people with fear of crime constitute amarket segment that has prompted a flood of new products and services for protection.
3.- INDUSTRY FACTORS.- customers may utilize specific technologies (e.g., electronics, robotics, or microwavetelecommunications), or participate in a particular industry ( e.g., banking, health care, or automotive). These factors are used for market segmentation when the firm`s customers use its goods orservices to produce other goods or services for sale.
The second step in the market analysis is to make needs assessment, which identifies the needs of each segments and assesses howwell competitors are addressing those needs.
The needs assessment should include both the tangible and the tangible product, attributes and features a customer desires.
Each market segment has...