socioeconomic groupthe potential BUYERS of a product grouped together in terms of certain common personal and economic characteristics. Such groups are likely to differ in the level and pattern of their spending and thus can be used as the basis for identifying strategic MARKET SEGMENTS which can then be exploited by targeting ‘customized’ products to meet the particular customer requirements of those segments.
A commonly used general method of classifying potential customers is the ‘A to E’ social-class grading system:
GRADE A – ‘upper middle class’: higher managerial, administrative or professional occupations;
GRADE B – ‘middle class’: middle to senior managers and administrators;
GRADE Cl – ‘lower middle class’: junior managers, supervisory and clerical grades;
GRADE C2 – ‘skilled working class’: qualified tradespersons;
GRADE D – ‘working class’: semiskilled and unskilled workers such as labourers;
GRADE E – pensioners.
For most consumer product marketing, a much finer, more detailed customer profile is required based on such data as sex (male, female), age (1-4,5-10,11-18,19-34,35-49, etc.), income level (£50,000+, under £5,000), housing status (owner-occupier, council-house tenant), etc.
Using such information it is possible, for example, to establish the approximate number of professional, high-income earning women, in the age bracket 35-49, who might provide a potential market for a new premium price exotic perfume.
See MARKET SEGMENTATION.