Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
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
2014. , 78 p.