How to segment markets

4. What about geographic segmentation?

Your interviews will reveal whether different regions have the same needs or not.

In some cases, new product teams already know that the needs of different geographic markets are different. Home construction techniques may vary greatly between North American and Europe for instance. But when in doubt, it’s helpful to approach this as a global project. When you do this, one of three things will happen:

  1. Same outcomes: You hear mostly the same outcomes between Asia, Europe and N. America (for instance) during Blueprinting qualitative Discovery interviews. Then in quantitative Preference interviews, all three regions will provide essentially the same 1-to-10 importance and satisfaction ratings. Congratulations: You can develop a single global product! (For this scenario, you'll use a single Blueprinter project.)
  2. Different outcomes: The outcomes you hear in each region are so different, that you can’t ask for 1-to-10 Preference on a common set of outcomes. In this case, you’d need to develop three different products. (Here you'll need a different Blueprinter project for each region: Use Blueprinter's "Save-As" command to copy your original Blueprinter project before beginning Preference interviews.)
  3. Similar outcomes: You generally hear the same Discovery interview outcomes in each region, but after Preference interviews, the regions give different 1-to-10 importance and satisfaction ratings. And these result in different Market Satisfaction Gaps for many of the outcomes. In this case you look for common outcomes to pursue, and may be able to create a single platform product… with nuances for each region. (In this case, you've been able to do all your work in a single Blueprinter project.)

For more on Market Satisfaction Gaps, download the AIM white paper, Market Satisfaction Gaps.


Keywords: Geographic segmentation, geographic segments, market segments, Market Satisfaction Gaps, global project, Discovery interviews, Preference interviews