Market segmentation is the process of splitting customers or potential customers within a market into different groups or segments within which customers have the same or similar requirements satisfied by a distinct marketing mix. Market segmentation is important to the marketing process because: -

* It lets the business know what people want

* The managers can organize customers in segments easily

* It can help the business know the characteristics of customers in a given segment

* It lets the companies deliver good quality products and services to customers which in turn gives a good repetition to the company

* It lets the business know where to sell the products or service

* It makes the business aware of the competitors

* The business can be very successful making high profits since its delivering high quality products and services to the customers

* Increased cash flow for the business if everything is going to plan

* Reduction in expenses since there are less chances of going wrong

* It can lead the company to involve itself in social activities if they are doing well and they want to give back to the public

My chosen product, Persil performance (non-biological) is located in the "detergents" and "laundry" industry. It is mainly targeted at family washing done using automatic washing machines. The people most likely to use it are those with sensitive skins since its non-biological. It also contains a stain-removing preposition. The heavy users use three or more bottles a month, the medium users use two or more bottles a month and the light users use one or less bottles a month. The heavy users are families consisting of mother, father and atleast two children who wash heavily.

The parents are averagely aged between the ages of 29-36 with and the children between 3-13 years old. The medium users are mainly maturing men and women who don't have families and they can be aged between18-28. The light users are the old people who don't have much to wash and they are in their late 60's upwards. These people live mainly in the urban areas like the capital London and they are mainly of middle class and working with fair annual incomes except the old users. Source MINTEL report

The secondary research methods that I have used are: -

1. Going on the Internet looking for websites of the product am doing.

2. Looking through already produced reports like MINTEL for specific information

3. Looking at government reports like "Family Expenditure Survey"

4. Searching for information in newspapers and magazine articles

5. I contacted the product producers for the most accurate information I could get

The reasons I used the methods above were because: -

1. I found it easier to get the information especially from the Internet since it has got a lot of WebPages.

2. It was cheap getting the information since I didn't have to pay nothing because the information was already available.

3. Most of the information was up-to-date so I had chances of producing up-to-date work

4. It provided me with basics for further investigations.

I didn't use the other methods because they were expensive and time consuming. Most of them didn't provide me with specific information yet I wanted to collect the most accurate data as soon as possible. These methods included going to the company (Persil) and collecting their market reports that have already been produced, calling up government firms or the company's competitors for data that I can compare.

The primary research method I used was sampling. This is the process of selecting a small number of people to represent the whole population. The selected people become the sample for research and by studying sample, it is possible to generalise the characteristics of the whole population. I used this method because:-

* Its cheaper

* I didn't have to interview the whole population but just a small number

* Since the data is not too much, its easy to deal with

* The data collected was on my specific interests

* I learnt more of the customers easily

* I could find out the size of the market easily

* If it's a big company, it can create a good relationship between the firm and the customers.

From the survey that I did, I found out that Persil is one of the most common detergents washing product in the market with a 61% popularity in the market segment. Most of the users trust it with the fact that 93% get the results advertised in the commercials like "brilliant white washing". Many consumers use other products other than those produced by Persil but few think that they are better than in quality. With the fact that more customers are always free with trying out new products on the market, Persil can continue to invest in research for new products which can earn more profits.

The mostly heavy users according to my primary research are aged between 20-25 yrs mainly females as they are mainly the people who do housework like washing with families of averagely with four children or less etc. the reason they use the non-biological version is because some of the family members have very sensitive skins and the percentage from my survey was quite high, 52%.

Evaluating my findings, I see that it averagely corresponds with secondary research in a way that it's the same age range of the users, it's also the same market target i.e. the family market.