Marketing is about segmentation and targeting there is nothing more to it. Segmentation is recognizing that different people buy different products for different reasons and finding those reasons, occasions, usage scenarios and hence what the customer is willing to pay for. Targeting is delivering versions that meets those reasons and customer’s willingness to pay. I started a new series of articles on what I called “Fidelity Trap“. As I said in the introductory post, this is concept I based off of the concept of Fidelity, Convenience and trade-off as used by author Kevin Maney in his book Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don’t and on the concept of congruence and traps used in a different context by professor and author Henry Chesbrough (I did one course with him while at Haas School of Business).
If you take Maney’s book, the core of it is not new or groundbreaking – somethings catch on and others fail when the marketer fails to fully understand their segments and/or fail to target them with the right versions. By definition, products fail in the market place because of marketing failure. What Maney’s framework of Fidelity and Convenience does is to frame and group together different reasons, occasions and usage scenarios of the customers.
What about the Traps meme ? It is just another framework or my hope for getting a catchphrase. Traps result when a firm’s marketing strategy is inwardly focused, ignoring market evolution, or due to differences in customer’s stated preferences and behaviors.
In the Trade-off continuum, it is oversimplification to say Fidelity and Convenience are the only two factors involved in customer decision making. It should also be noted that customer utilities from these factors are functions of other variables independent variables. For the analytically inclined there are methods and tools like conjoint analysis that allow the marketer to find how much customers value the different features (be it a fidelity feature or a convenience feature), all other factors and how to define versions and at what prices.
There is absolutely nothing new in marketing – only restatements, new mental shortcuts and of course catchphrases.