Cultural Segmentation - See Your Customers Differently

Posted on August 6, 2014

Market segmentation is a fundamental step in any initiative.  Without accurate segmentation, very little audience messaging can be successful.  Census data and mapping like Social Atlas go some way towards building a population data framework.  The Origins tool goes further, to accurately group data in the cultural contexts that determine communication value to culturally diverse customer segments.

Market & Cultural Segmentation

Any organisation, be it government, business or community based, needs to understand its customers to communicate effectively.  Market segmentation, correctly applied, is about understanding customer needs in order to boost the efficiency of communication, be that marketing, customer service or information distribution.

Demographics like age group, location, salary bracket and so on are often good indicators.  Grouping customers along these lines generally helps identify customers who share similar value sets.  But in Australia, where around 25% of the population was born overseas and an even larger proportion identifies with distinctive cultural origins, understanding the audience background could not be more important.

Cultural segmentation is about understanding customer conduct in the context of social traditions, attitudes and behaviours embedded in the community to which they belong.  So how and where is this sort of population data available?

Social Atlas

In 2006 the Australian Bureau of Statistics launched its Social Atlas project.  This initiative interprets collected Census data and presents statistics in a coloured map format.  While Census data has some inherent weaknesses, the visual context provides a useful high level snapshot. Australian states, cities and regional centres are mapped from a range of social and demographic viewpoints.

While not an in-depth analysis of cultural diversity in the locations and settings displayed, Social Atlas does distinguish cultural concentration and, therefore also highlights the importance of further investigation to correct market segmentation.


Origins software is the most effective tool for comprehensive interpretation and analysis of cultural diversity.  The application uses advanced name algorithms to make more accurate classifications of cultural origin.  Program features include:

  • The most accurate basis for cultural origin assumptions,
  • A comprehensive breadth of cultural & linguistic groupings,
  • Detail data refinement possibility, right down to street level,
  • The unique ability to compare data sets against population.

Because Origins is able to predict an individual’s most likely cultural background, it also groups customers who may have been born in Australia but identify with a given community.  This valuable interpretation recognises the strong links that often extend beyond the migrant generation within culturally diverse communities.

The insight provided by market and cultural segmentation should influence the chosen communication approach because customer value sets directly influence messaging impact.  And some of the strongest stimuli to customer response lie in the traditions, attitudes and behaviours dictated by cultural origin.

Learn more about Origins

For information about Origins software or to book a presentation, phone 0418 359 711 or contact us.

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