Bridging the segmentation theory/practice divide

Dibb, Sally and Simkin, Lyndon (2009). Bridging the segmentation theory/practice divide. Journal of Marketing Management, 25(3) pp. 219–225.



More than thirty years ago, Wind's seminal review of research in market segmentation culminated with a research agenda for the subject area. In the intervening period, research has focused on the development of segmentation bases and models, segmentation research techniques and the identification of statistically sound solutions. Practical questions about implementation and the integration of segmentation into marketing strategy have received less attention, even though practitioners are known to struggle with the actual practice of segmentation. This special issue is motivated by this tension between theory and practice, which has shaped and continues to influence the research priorities for the field. Although many years may have elapsed since Wind's original research agenda, pressing questions about effectiveness and productivity apparently remain; namely: (i) concerns about the link between segmentation and performance, and its measurement; and (ii) the notion that productivity improvements arising from segmentation are only achievable if the segmentation process is effectively implemented. There were central themes to the call for papers for this special issue, which aims to develop our understanding of segmentation value, productivity and strategies, and managerial issues and implementation.

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