MARKET SEGMENTATION PRACTICES OF RETAIL CROP INPUT FIRMS

While market segmentation and the associated idea of target marketing are not new, there are questions about how the strategy of market segmentation and target marketing is being used in retail agribusiness firms. Previous research has demonstrated that distinct groups of farmers/customers exist (Alexander). However, retail crop input firms tend to be of modest size and are geographically bound. Both lack of resources and confinement to a specific geographic market present challenges for successful implementation of a market segmentation/target marketing strategy (Stolp). In this study, market segmentation/target marketing practices were explored in two types of crop input retailers: independently owned and operated firms (9 firms) and agricultural cooperatives (11 firms). A number of questions related to market segmentation/target marketing strategy were assessed via a web-based survey and telephone interviews. Referencing Best's seven-step framework, market segmentation is compared and contrasted by firm type; gaps in market segmentation strategy execution are identified; and challenges to implementing a market segmentation strategy are considered. Results show that market segmentation/target marketing was employed by 85% of the crop input retailers in the sample. Key gaps identified in market segmentation strategy execution include measuring market segment attractiveness; evaluating market segment profitability; developing a product-price positioning strategy for a tailored offering; expanding the positioning strategy to include promotional and sales elements of the marketing-mix; and evaluating the progress/success with each target market segment. Addressing these key gaps will aid industry professionals as they work to serve the needs of a continuously evolving farmer/customer base.


Issue Date:
2007
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/6713
Total Pages:
41
Series Statement:
Staff Paper
07-03




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-22

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