A market segment is a sub-set of a market that is made up of organizations or people with one or more features which cause them to demand the same products based on their quality. A true market segment should be unique in terms of needs, should be homogeneous within the market and responds similarly to market stimuli, and can be reached by market intervention. The following write up is an analysis of two market segments that Escom (a company which manufactures laptops) could consider targeting.
Escom might consider targeting university students (age 16-25) and high schools. University students are a good market segment to target for a company that manufactures laptops, due to their lifestyle of interaction and making friends coupled with the plummeting of social networking sites. Majority, if not all students in university, own at least one social networking site account, and they participate in it at least thrice each day. According to statistics, 85% of college and university students use face book. At least 130 US universities have a You tube educational channel. Majority of university students use social networks for entertainment and social reasons. These figures are encouraging, and an entry into this market segment can be guaranteed of prosperity. Collaborations between universities, banks and telecommunication companies such as Escom are being encouraged so that each student can acquire a laptop for use in doing class assignments and research. In fact, most educationalists have always emphasized on the need for all student to own laptops due to its significance in learning and its portability. Also, in universities, there are Internet hotspots hence providing an easy access to the Internet. Attitudes of university students towards ICT are getting more positive, and it is the high time a company that deals in ICT took advantage of this market opening. Universities are being encouraged to embrace ICT fully, meaning that a laptop will no longer be a luxury but a necessity. Research at the university level also calls for easy access to a computer so as to access the different technologies it offers such as spreadsheets, word processing and email.
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High-school schools are also potential market segments. Here, the company may not target the individual students, but the schools as a whole. This is because the students at this stage depend on their guardians for cash; hence do not have money of their own. At the school level, though, with the rising popularity of technology incorporation into learning, proper marketing will see sales plummet. The government through the ministry of education has been advocating for use of technology in this level so that students are computer literate by the time they leave high-school. This means that each teacher will have to buy a laptop so that they can teach students how to use the same. The government has been carrying out educational seminars for teachers in high-school level to familiarize them with the latest technology so that they can, in turn, teach the students.
University students will need laptops that are flashy but suitable for research entertainment and social networking purposes. The company will, therefore, have to choose the laptops that fit this criterion. Such a laptop will have good academic programs such as word processing and spreadsheets, as well as social-networking features such as webcam, Bluetooth etc. Students also like fancy looking things rather than dull ones. This means that the company will have to give the students those laptops that fit them in terms of outward appearance and brand name. With such laptops, the university students will be assured of ‘class,’ superb social networking and excellent research features. The company can also carry out, in conjunction with the administration, training on the importance and usage of the laptops. Such a stunt wins the students trust in the products.
Once the company presents its offer of laptop products to one university, this will serve as enough assessment of how well the students will have embraced the idea. The company has to make sure that as far as the features aforementioned, it strikes a balance that will be impressive to the students.
Of the marketing mix, price is one of the most vital elements as it is the one that will generate a turnover for the company. The company can carry out bundle pricing, where the students are given other computers accessories such as modems, bags, flash disks, after they have bought a laptop. This though has to take consideration of the other factors to ensure that the profit margin is not prohibitive for the company. The total cost of the laptop and those of the accessories have to be considered before presenting such an offer. Whichever way, such excesses are the best way to win the students customers away from the competitors.
Through collaboration with the administration, the company can set up camps within the universities to offer and provide consultancy services. This will see to it that all students have a chance to see what Escom has to offer. Such expensive commodities tend to be insecure and, therefore, the closer one buys it the better. The company, though, after proper marketing can relocate to a more stable location near the universities. The best thing about targeting university students is that each year new students are expected, and they will also need frequent upgrading of the old ones to keep up with the latest fashion (Little and Marandi pp.11).
The Escom company will just need to print brochures that will be available in all the tents set up within the universities. These brochures will include the bundled and unbundled price, as well as the features of each computer, and the warranty. This will be advantageous because, in case of any questions, the students will ask the company representatives in each tent. Promotion through the mass media such as TV’s will also psyche up the students, since they have a sense of fashion.
For high-school segment, wholesale pricing is the most convenient. Promotion can be done through sending sales representatives occasionally to each of the schools with a sample of the products and their prices. Also, when the schools are having functions together, and seminars by teachers would be an appropriate time to market the products.
Market segments composed of teenage and adolescent students is the best to consider joining for a company that deals with ICT products. For such students, their money is only for recreation and would not mind spending a fortune on a laptop due to the class and services it has on offer. Reaching them and convincing them, though, requires a connection with their needs such as latest and fanciest technologies for social networking.