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The gap between theory and practice: An investigation of how service companies practices the theories of segmentation
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Segmentation is one of the most fundamental corner stones in the theory of marketing.

It has been a subject for research for over 60 years. The subject has been actualised

because of the lack of research within the practice of segmentation. There is an obvious

gap between how the theories are recommending the companies to practice

segmentation and how the companies actually do it. Attempts have been made to cover

the gaps between theory and practice through providing implementation strategies, but

still the gap remains.

We will in our degree project focus on the gap between theoretical segmentation and

practical segmentation within the service sector. Our conclusions from this degree

project have the aim to provide information regarding 'how' companies practise

segmentation within this setting. Therefore the research question we have conducted is:

How are Swedish service companies practicing segmentation in their business?

Our research question is answered through three main objectives, which together creates

our conceptual framework that is tied to theories regarding business-to-business

segmentation, CRM and the service setting.

The data collected were done by the use of a qualitative method, through semi-structured i

nterviews with seven companies from the service sector. The respondents

from the companies were mostly marketing managers with insight regarding their

company’s segmentation strategy.

The empirical findings were analysed in comparison to our theoretical framework, to

establish the difference between theory and practise. Main conclusions drawn from our

degree project were that the companies understood the importance of segmentation.

However the difference between theory and practise were large, companies adapted the

basics but rather than creating a strategy of which customer to pursue, the majority

acted retroactively trying to capture every customer as an initial step, to later focus on a

specific group. The reasons found for this behaviour was that the companies applied a

short-term focus rather than a long term, not having enough time to spend on

segmenting and the fear that by using segmentation they might miss other customers in

the process. Recommendations to the practitioners of segmentation, is to have a more

long-term focus, as well as to be decisive in their segmentation. Future studies are

recommended to focus on where within an organization the responsibility for

segmentation should lie and the relationship between CRM and Segmentation in the

service industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 78 p.
Keyword [en]
Segmentation, Service marketing
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95727OAI: diva2:760738
Available from: 2014-11-06 Created: 2014-11-04 Last updated: 2014-11-06Bibliographically approved

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