Helen Edwards wrote an article for Campaign titled How to avoid segmentation silliness.

The article presents the late Professor Peter Doyle’s 5 criteria for segmentation. « His classic 1994 textbook, Marketing Management and Strategy, is probably the most widely used marketing text on European MBA programmes. »

« Doyle’s criterion No.4, alone, would put a line through most of these wild segmentation forays: how do you isolate your discrete target in communications? I remember an agency pitch for a muesli brand where the planner had separated the female universe into ‘Mrs Harvest’, who likes to put a lot of variety on the table, and ‘Mrs Plain’, who plays it straight, culinary-wise… The strategy was daft because there was no way of isolating the desired ‘Mrs Harvest’ in media. Turned out she read and watched the same stuff as dull old Mrs P. »


  1. Effective – Are the needs of people within the segment homogenous but different from the needs of people outside?
  2. Identifiable – Can customers in the segment actually be isolated and measured?
  3. Profitable – Is the segment large enough to still achieve economies of scale?
  4. Accessible – Can the segment be reached in media without too much overlap?
  5. Actionable – Does the business have the resources to segment its offer in the first place? »




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