Performing market segmentation: a performative perspective

Venter, Peet; Wright, Alex and Dibb, Sally (2015). Performing market segmentation: a performative perspective. Journal of Marketing Management, 31(1-2) pp. 62–83.



Conceptualising market segmentation as performative enhances our knowledge of how marketing frameworks shape marketing practice. Our study addresses the criticism that how marketing is accomplished in practice has yet to be fully articulated. We therefore address the question: ‘How does a market segmentation process emerge in an organisation and what causes it to materialise in this way?’ By constructing market segmentation as performative, we are able to draw insight into the relationships that marketing theories, models, ideas and techniques have with marketing practice. Our longitudinal study allows us to discern four sets of actions organisations can experience as their actors attempt to adopt and adapt a marketing process to the complexities of practice; these are establishing legitimacy, theory embodiment, contextualisation and maintaining the process.

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