EXAMPLES AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

Generally, segmentation is used to enable service providers to understand differences in the communities they serve, so that they can gear their services to specific requirements and ensure the service is equally accessible to everybody and not more oriented to serving one group than another. It is thus a powerful tool for ensuring equality of access.

Segmentation in small organisations

Whist it may be impractical for small organisations to use sophisticated approaches to segmentation and commercially available segmentation classifications, they may well be demonstrating an approach which shows they are aware of the differences in the community they serve and are using this knowledge to be responsive to all of them. These differences could be socio-demographic (for example an understanding of different ethnic groups in the community) or based on need (for example people who are disabled or carers). The key issue here is whether the organisation takes care to understand the differences and also ensures it uses this knowledge in delivering its services (for example ensuring opening hours suit everyone and that language abilities are not a barrier).