According to McDonald and Christopher (2003), direct marketing can be defined as: marketing of products without using intermediaries. In order to organize a direct marketing campaign, Sports Gear Incorporated should gather information about its potential clients around the UK. Segmentation allows Sports Gear Incorporated to divide up its market into customer groups or segments. Customers within a segment are similar to each other and dissimilar to other groups of customers in other segments (Evans, et al. 2004).
Segmentation will be used to understand individual customers in the sports memorabilia market place and to group them together to form distinct segments which are identifiable, accessible and substantial. At its simplest, a consumer segmentation may be:
In business markets, segmentation is often used to make selling more cost-effective by prioritizing the companies that require regular face-to-face salespeople and that can be served better by telesales and direct distribution. Market segmentation involves finding out the key drivers that distinguish one group of customers from another. The key drivers of consumer market segmentation in sports memorabilia will be:
Statistical modeling techniques can be used to isolate the key drivers and to identify customer clusters or groups. Alternatively, Sports Gear Incorporated can use off-the-shelf segmentation classification systems. There are two types of data: primary and secondary data collection. Methods of primary data collection can be thought of as the means by which information is obtained from the selected subjects of an investigation (Robertson, 1992). A sampling technique will dictate which method is used and in other cases there will be a choice, depending on how much time and manpower (and inevitably money) is available.
The following methods can be used by Sports Gear Incorporated in order to collect primary data:
Individual interview of sport club members and fans. This method is probably the most expensive but has the advantage of completeness and accuracy. Normally questionnaires will be used.
Street (informal) interview. This method of data collection is normally used in conjunction with quota sampling, where the interviewer is often just one of a team. Some factors involved are: possible differences in interviewer approach to the respondents and the way replies are recorded, non-response is not a problem normally since refusals are ignored and another subject selected. convenient and cheap.
Telephone interview. This method is sometimes used in conjunction with a systematic sample (from the telephone book). It would generally be used within a local area and is often connected with selling a product like sports memorabilia. It has an in-built bias if private homes are being telephoned (rather than businesses) since only those people with phones can be contacted and interviewed. It can cause aggravation and the interviewer needs to be very skilled (Dillman et al. 1996).