Market segments are groups of consumers, who share common needs and characteristics. The common segments a business may use are:

Age

Gender

Family Size

Generation

Income

Occupation

Ethnicity

Nationality

Religion

Social class

These are just demographical segments, others like geographical variables such as, region of the world, Country size, Population density and climate. Also behavioural variables are also taken into account, such as brand loyalty and product usage rate. Sometimes a business may factor in psychographical variations, such as life style, personality and attitude. A true market segment is one that differs from others, and the consumers in the segment have common needs.

For example, a person of age 12 will have different needs when it comes to magazines, to one of say 40. This is clear differentiation of a segment. Market segments, are based heavily on stereotypes that we hold. We commonly think that every single Muslim does not eat pork, this may not be the case, but this stereotype will be used when marketing a pork sausage, it will not be aimed at the Muslim section of society. A business must identify its target market, so that it can market its product efficiently towards the consumers that make up its target segments.

A child's toy, would not be advertised on television, after say 8pm, when typically children are in bed and will not see the advert, also it would not be advertised between the hours of 9am-4pm on weekdays, when children are typically at school. Instead this product could be advertised between say 4pm and 8pm on weekdays, when it is most likely that the advert will reach its target audience. Precision is key when marketing a product, because if it misses the target audience, it can result in a complete failure and prove costly for a business.