Using value theory for segmentation in social marketing

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Gordon, Ross; Butler, Katherine A; Magee, Christopher A; Waitt, Gordon R; Cooper, Paul
social; value; segmentation; marketing; theory; Education; Social and Behavioral Sciences
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This paper presents a survey study with 1,444 low-income older residents in regional NSW, Australia exploring their value perceptions towards using energy efficiently, as an approach to segmentation in social marketing. The study theorises that insight regarding the perceived functional, economic, emotional, social, and ecological value of using energy efficiency by participants can be used to segment, target and position social marketing programme activities to facilitate energy efficient behaviour(s). Latent class analysis was conducted on the participant sample, and identified seven distinct latent classes: frugal eco warriors, value opportunists, greenies, indecisive, apathetic independent spendthrifts, independents, and ambivalent ecologists. Each of these distinct latent classes displayed particular orientations with respect to value of using energy efficiently. This analysis presents new insights for social marketers from an appreciation of how different groups frame value in energy efficiency practices. The relevance and utility of using value theory as a social marketing segmentation approach offers academics and policy makers new insights to focusing on value as means for addressing energy efficiency.