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Segmentation and Target Market Essay

The point of being in business is to provide a service or product to a particular consumer base and to produce a profit of the service or product given. In order to accomplish this, companies must be able provides its’ products and services to a particular type or group of consumer that calls for a the need of it. It takes care planning and research in order to produce something that your customer based will embrace and continue to come back for more. It takes, further, skill and effort to advertize your product and service to the right groups of consumers. Apple, Inc. is a prime company to take a look at in terms of the services and products that it provides to its customer base. Apple, Inc. can address the needs and wants of its’ entire customer base within a particular market segment. In today’s business world, there may not be another company out there that is quite like Apple.

Over the last two decades, Apple, Inc. has emerged as the premier, go-to, technology retailer for your all your tech needs. Apple offers a comprehensive portfolio to meets all of your entertainment and productivity needs. From the introduction of the Mac desktop computers to the creation of their I product line, which includes the iPod, iPad, iPhone and the new iWatch. Apple provides laptops, music streaming and cloud services along with audio equipment and printers. The company operates in a space where they can reach most individuals and their needs. Understanding market segmentation is what has along Apple to accomplish all it has.

“Market segmentation divides a market into well-defined slices. A market segment consists of a group of customers who share a similar set of needs and wants” (Kotler & Keller, 2011, p. 214). They have created easy to use products to help even the busiest student or business person throughout their work day. They have provided a means for the mom to keep her children entertained while out running errands. Apple has made family time better within home video streaming options as well. Even big and small business have the ability to increase productivity and streamline their workflow with the software and products that are offered by the company.

Apple has invested plenty of time and energy in understanding what the wants and needs are of its’ customer base. Based on the segmentation, there are other variables that a company, like Apple, must acknowledge and address. Demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral segmentation are vital parts to a marketing program. In terms of demographics, it seems that product saturation is not an issue for Apple. According to an article posted on USA Today’s website, entitled “Half of U.S. homes own Apple products” (2012), explains Apple’s reach across the United States in the title. To put that into perspective “that’s more than 55 million homes with at least one iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac computer. And one-in-10 homes that aren’t currently in that group plan to join it in the next year” (para. 1). The breakdown goes further stating that consumers “tend to be male, college-educated, and younger” (“Half Of U.s. Homes Own Apple Products”, 2012).

It does not appear that money is an issue when it comes to those who own Apple products. “Those on the higher end of the income scale own an average of about three Apple devices, compared with 0.6 for lower-income homes” (“Half Of U.S. Homes Own Apple Products”, 2012). Outside of income, age does not appear to be a factor in those who own Apple products. Another statistic from the article shows that “just as many Americans between ages 18 and 34 count themselves among Apple users, as those ages 35-to-49 (63 percent). The number drops to 50 percent when you get into the 50-to-64 age group, and down to just 26 percent among those 65 and older” (“Half Of U.S. Homes Own Apple Products”, 2012). Parents are more likely to own Apple products than those without children. “Sixty-one percent of households with children own Apple devices, compared with 48 percent of homes without kids” (“Half Of U.S. Homes Own Apple Products”, 2012).

Based off the numbers that were produced in 2012, it seems that Apple has everything working for them. With that many people invested in Apple products, their doors will continue to stay open. Apple has put an emphasis on the quality of their products to make them as easy to use as possible while helping to increase productivity and staying economically friendly. Placing an emphasis on quality design and adapting to today’s culture is another reason Apple, Inc. has been very successful. In today’s society, the population has become more concerned about the environment than ever before. Issues of global warming, pollution reduction, and the polar ice cap melting are what drive the eco-conscientious consumer. Apple has a adopted an ‘environmental responsibility’ for all of their products.

“As a global company that makes some of the most popular products in the world, we know we use a lot of energy and material, which in turn generates greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. That’s the part of the problem we can help solve” (“Environmental Responsibility”, 2015). Being able to appeal to a growing, societal concerns makes a play on the human psyche. Apple showing concern for their impact on the environment allows them to reach that environmentally friendly consumer and bring them to their doors.

That is one example of how playing to a particular thought process can be in your favor. Apple has, also, answered the growing demand for sleek looking products that can be easing carried around and still provide access to certain daily pleasantries. With today’s on-the-go society, being able to access information, view videos, email, listen to music and otherwise stay connected is another way Apple has attacked the psychographic nature of product marketing. The company understands what is essential to its consumer base and will do what it needs to do to appeal to them.

Another aspect that needs to be considered is a marketing program is behavioral characteristics. Apple deals with this on several fronts. The first way Apple deals with this is in the quality of its’ products. With an excellent product comes customers and revenue. A great product is not the only thing that is taken into consideration the marketing plan. A company must take into account what the consumer expects to receive from the company and in exchange for those expectations being met, consumers reward the company with their loyalty. Outside of product quality and appropriately addressing the needs of all its’ consumer based. Apple has adopted a quality approach in how its’ retail employees treat those customers in their store locations. They have created an a 5-step process for the customer experience. “(A)pproach, (P)robe, (P)resent, (L)isten, (E)nd.

Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome. Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs (ask closed and open-ended questions). Present a solution for the customer to take home today. Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns. End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return” (“Apple’s Secret Employee Training Manual Reinvents Customer Service In Seven Ways”, n.d.). According to “By The Numbers: Iphone Vs. Andriod” (n.d.), in an infographic provided, it showed “device upgrade trends reveal that 76% of Apple customers upgrade for one iPhone to the next” (Brand Retention). Creating an excellent environment for the customer is one way to meet expectations and build brand loyalty. The reason we. see customers flock to stores every fall in bigger and bigger crowds for the latest iPhone model is due to the loyalty that Apple’s consumer base has for their products.

What company in the world can create a mass movement that way Apple does across national retailers and those that shop there? There is none. One last factor that goes into a marketing plan is the ability to reach your intended target regardless of their location in the world. Apple, Inc. is not just a United States company. The company has grown into a global presence. An organization or company must be able to meet the demand for its’ consumer base where their customers are located to achieve the best results possible. Apple as a presence in 16 major countries around the world including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, China, France, Italy, and Japan to name a few. In a press release drafted by the company, it stated that by the end of 2014, the new iPhone 6 and 6+ would be available for sale in 115 countries worldwide.

The Statistic Portal created a graph showing the growth and expansion of Apple and their retail store locations. According to The Statistic Portal, Apple increased its’ retail store locations from 116 in 2005 to 437 in 2014. This shows the growth and willingness to reach as many customers as possible who can all benefit from the use of Apple products or to have place to go to continue to purchase Apple products. This year Apple became the first U.S. company in history to be worth $700 billion. Understanding the market that you are in and how to best service your consumer base is a surefire way to ensure success in marketing your products.

This is what Apple as vowed to do and continues to demonstrate that with the incredible productivity level that they are producing with the help of their strong consumer base. There does not look to be an end in sight for the mega company. Marketing is a fundamental element to their success, but it is not limited to the marketing of their products in terms of getting the word out to the population. It is an essential element when it comes to understanding the marketplace, its consumers, and their wants and needs. With that under control, everything else becomes simple and sweet. Like an apple.

References
Apple, Inc.. (n.d.). First Weekend iPhone Sales Top 10 Million, Set New Record. Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2014/09/22First-Weekend-iPhone-Sales-Top-10-Million-Set-New-Record.html Apple’s Secret Employee Training Manual Reinvents Customer Service in Seven Ways. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2012/08/30/apples-secret-employee-training-manual-reinvents-customer-service-in-seven-ways/ By the Numbers: iPhone vs. Andriod. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.yahoo.com/tech/by-the-numbers-iphone-vs-android-97842025474.html Environmental Responsibility. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/environment/ Half of U.S. homes own Apple Products. (2012). Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-03-28/cnbc-survey-apple-products-us-homes/53827254/1 Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2011). Marketing Management (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. The Statistics Portal. (n.). Number of Apple Stores Worldwide from 2005-2014. Retrieved from http://www.statista.com/statistics/273480/number-of-apple-stores-worldwide-since-2005/


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