Market segmentation as defined by Cleveland, Papadopoulos and Laroche (2) plays a significant role in determining marketing strategies employed by a business. It is an important tool used in identifying a target market and understanding appropriate strategies to meet the needs of the target market. Ideally, market segmentation group consumers with similar needs and value profiles as such individuals require adapting a similar marketing strategy while addressing needs of the target market (Osland and Yaprak 53). However, needs of customers are subject to change, especially in the current setting, hence organizations have to identify strategies that will satisfy the needs of evolving and fragmenting customer groups in different parts of the globe (Yaprak 1).
According to the case study, it is evident that Colgate has a good reputation in the international market and introduction of new products by the company has significantly played a role in enhancing the business market share (Quelch and Randle 1). Colgate wishes to expand its business to China and Mexico where consumers seem to have almost similar needs, which is gum protection. Colgate-Palmolive Company (CP) as evidenced operates in more than 200 countries and focuses on two main product segments (Quelch and Randle 1). The target markets (China and Mexico) lies within the company’s geographical lines, by adapting an effective marketing strategy, the business can effectively meet the needs of the target market.
Application of market segmentation has attracted different concerns from various stakeholders with global segmentation drawing increased interest from various scholars. Based on recent studies carried out in eight countries including Mexico and China, it is evident that consumers in the countries have varied characteristics. Therefore, CP will treat the separate markets differently; hence require development of different marketing mix as an efficient strategy of satisfying the diverse needs of its target consumers. Although embracing a standardized approach is perceived to have numerous benefits to the business such as economies of scale and efficiency, adaption marketing strategy is more suitable for this case study (Cleveland, Papadopoulos and Laroche 3). The fact that the two countries (Mexico and China) differ regarding cultural diversity is adequate to show the need for utilizing adapting marketing strategy.
Some of the important market segments that Colgate should consider investing its effort include the following; the first is in the germ and tooth decay which is the largest segment for Colgate. However, competitors are attacking the segment with the introduction of new products such as Germicheck variant which is preferred by consumers. However, Colgate should capitalize on its “Colgate Strong Teeth” as it is a strong brand in the segment. Another significant segment that the organization should consider investing is its effort include sensitivity as consumers in the market are concerned about the issue, hence it is an ideal opportunity for enhancing business growth. Gel and Gum protection are some of the other areas where Colgate experiences a lot of competition from competitors, hence the need focus on the segments. However, due to change in consumer tastes and preferences, Colgate should further focus on producing products with multi-benefit, as the segment is understood to impact positively on the business growth.
To overcome competitors in the market such as P&G and Close-UP, it is important for Colgate to consider embracing effective marketing strategies. This includes introducing sub-brands products such as; Colgate Gel, Colgate Herbal, Colgate Sensitive and Colgate Total among other brands with unique benefits in the target market. The improvisation will ensure that Colgate can meet the needs of small sub-segments, a strategy that will help the business to retain its leading position in the market. Besides, it will be an effective strategy that meets the needs of their consumers based on their buying behavior or lifestyle habits (Euromonitor International n.p).
This paper seeks to understand whether CP will implement standardized marketing strategy or an adaptive marketing while venturing into the new market. To achieve the study objective, the paper will further evaluate some of the important segments that the organization will focus its marketing efforts and some of the required adaptations that should be embraced to achieve the set goal for the business.
Cleveland, Mark, Nicolas Papadopoulos, and Michel Laroche. “Identity, demographics, and consumer behaviors: International market segmentation across product categories.” International Marketing Review 28.3 (2011): 1-30.
Euromonitor, International, “Consumer Types for Successful Targeted Marketing.” (2015)
Osland, Gregory E., and Attila Yaprak. “Learning through strategic alliances: processes and factors that enhance marketing effectiveness.” European Journal of Marketing 29.3 (1995): 52-66.
Quelch, John and Randle, Jacquie, “Colgate Max Fresh: Global Brand Roll-Out.” 2007; (1-30).
Yaprak, Attila, “MKT 7500 International Marketing Strategy Marketing Fundamental Handout” 1-4.