Country segmentation has been proposed to assist in marketing strategy decisions for international marketing managers. Such schemes typically consist of grouping or clustering a set of specified countries on the basis of a wide array of macroeconomic variables. The authors focus on the merits of such country classification schemes in gaining an understanding about multinational diffusion patterns. More specifically, they analyze the extent to which countries belonging to the same (different) grouping reveal similar (dissimilar) diffusion patterns. To that end, they compare the results of traditional segmentation approaches with diffusion-based country segments derived for three different consumer durable goods. For the latter, they rely on a recently developed latent-structure methodology, here modified to accommodate the Bass diffusion model, which simultaneously determines the segments and segment-level estimates of the diffusion parameters. They find that the market segments derived from these two approaches differ dramatically and that macro-level variables do not fully explain differences in diffusion patterns across countries. In addition, country segments formed on the basis of diffusion patterns often differ by product. Finally, they discuss some managerial implications and directions for future research.
Journal of Marketingvol.
57, (October 01, 1993):