A resource-advantage theory typology of strategic segmentation

Andrew T. Thoeni*, Greg W. Marshall, Stacy M. Campbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to define a typology of strategic segmentation accounting for antecedents (potentially conscious or subconscious) that influence marketing managers’ practice of strategic segmentation, thereby formulating a new theoretical basis to bridge the current theory–practice literature gap in strategic segmentation. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the resource-advantage theory, this paper defines a typology of strategic segmentation that depicts how a firm’s access to imperfectly mobile resources relates to the marketing manager’s assumed heterogeneity of the market and to the manager’s approach to the market. Findings: The authors postulate a typology of firms’ strategic segmentation and approach to the market that is heavily influenced, and potentially limited, by the firm’s available resources to effectively segment and address the market. Research limitations/implications: The typology suggests that resource availability affects a manager’s view and approach to the market. Therefore, testing of this typology should be performed to provide an empirical basis for a taxonomical foundation of strategic segmentation. Empirical testing should examine whether: resource availability is directly related to managers’ views of market heterogeneity, resources are negatively correlated with market approach, market-based intelligence (customer needs) are linked to the market approach, and there is relationship between a firm’s position within the typology and its long-term performance. Practical implications: This paper provides an understanding that a manager’s knowledge of resource availability may be strategically counter-productive when creating a strategic segmentation. This limitation may lead to short-run choices for segmentation and market approach. Managers should, therefore, consider their strategic goals both with and without limiting their view based on current resources. Originality/value: This paper provides the first typology of strategic segmentation by considering theoretical foundations of business that could bridge the often-noted theory–practice gap of segmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2192-2215
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Market segmentation
  • Marketing strategy
  • Resource-advantage theory
  • Segmentation analysis
  • Strategic segmentation
  • Typology


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