Success or failure? Every segmentation effort, whether for market research or on a customer database, ultimately will be judged by management along this dimension. To maximize the likelihood of success, one's segmentation should follow five rules:

Rule 1: Define the problem with clear objectives. No one would recommend building a new house without blueprints. However, too many analysts begin work on major projects without clearly understanding the strategic implications of their work. Make sure management understands ­– and is willing to accept –­ how the work is to be accomplished and how it will impact the business.

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