Market Segmentation Using Perceived Constraints
Keywords:constraints, involvement, market segmentation, motivation, place attachment
AbstractWe explored the practical utility of segmenting potential visitors to Cleveland Metroparks using their constraint profiles. While a number of previous investigations have examined the performance of segmentation bases that provide insight on why people are attracted to specifi c activities (e.g., motivation, involvement, loyalty, place attachment), little is known of the merits of segmenting based on factors that inhibit access to leisure and leisure service providers. Our analysis began with exploratory factor analysis of 16 park use constraint items which identified four dimensions of constraints. These constraint items were worded to reflect potential barriers to using Cleveland Metroparks’ settings and facilities. The first dimension, Other Priorities, consisted of items that examined constraints related to time and scheduling. The second dimension, Setting Elements, was comprised of items that explored issues related to the setting that inhibited visitation and access. The third constraint dimension, Access, consisted of items touching on issues of transportation. The forth dimension, Social Factors, was comprised of items that touched on issues related to having associates and social inhibitions. Next, the four factors were then used to cluster analyze the sample into homogenous groups sharing common constraints. The cluster procedure revealed three segments. The fi rst market segment, Other Priorities, consisted of respondents who scored highest on items that examined time constraints and scheduling conflicts. The second market segment, Highly Constrained, scored relatively high on all of our constraint indicators. The last market segment, Least Constrained, scored the lowest on all of our indicators of constraints. We then examined variations among the three clusters using indicators of socio-demographics, motivation to visit Cleveland Metroparks, activity involvement, and attachment to Cleveland Metroparks’ setting and facilities. These fi ndings illustrate that constraints can be used to identify meaningful market segments who, for a variety of reasons, have difficulty accessing leisure services. Our approach illustrates that the recreating public’s experience of constraints is not uniform–different barriers confront different segments. Removing or minimizing the park use constraints germane to each segment may allow the service providers to reach out to under-served market segments or constituents. These findings further demonstrate that the experience of leisure constraints inhibits recreationists’ ability to develop deeper associations with park activities and settings.?
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