Kiran Khalap
Jul 02, 2012

Kiran Khalap's Blog: Are you a segment of one?

Kiran Khalap, co-founder, Chlorophyll brand and communications consultancy, elaborates on segmenting and effectively reaching out to the consumer, in his unique 'Geminian' way

Kiran Khalap's Blog: Are you a segment of one?


Yesterday, June 30, was Ashadhi Ekadashi, and an article in the Marathi newspaper suggested that a new class of ‘bhakts’ of Lord Vitthal had made the pilgrimage difficult to manage.

A new segment of urban youngsters fascinated by an ancient pilgrimage had added substantially to the barefoot walkers.

This sparked a free-flowing conversation between two fairly close friends.

One of the advantages of being a Geminian like me is you are never short of a partner for conversation ;-)

This is how we (Kiran Khalap One and Kiran Khalap Two) recorded it.

KK One: “You think some people are born bhakts?”

KK Two: “Yes, that classification was recorded by William Sheldon according to somatotypes...Endomorph [viscerotonic], Mesomorph [somatotonic] and Ectomorph [cerebrotonic]

KK One: “What does that mean?”

KK Two: “Actually, this segmentation more or less corresponds to the ayurvedic segmentation, of vata, pitta and kapha...or the three paths jnana marga, bhakti marga and karma marga.”

KK One: “Just showing off irrelevant knowledge of various classifications doesn’t impress me...that way sunsigns, moonsigns, MBTI, Enneagrams can also be included...question is can marketers use these?”

KK Two: “I think so, especially in today’s connected world, where the Google’s and Facebooks are gathering data.”

KK One: “But even if a segment exists, how does a marketer reach that segment? They don’t necessarily congregate in one place?”

KK Two: “Self-selection, I guess. You know, one of the gurus in my village has positioned himself as the guru of a particular sub-caste. What do you think happens? By sheer social pressure, all people of that sub-caste follow him.”

KK One: “You believe tomorrow’s marketers will be able to focus on a segment of one?”

KK Two: “Yes. Like my sabjiwalla does...he knows I like a particular type of sabji available only in monsoon. Like my neighbourhood retailer does...keeping aside one particular fruit juice for me.

That’s what the e-commerce sites are doing: throwing up options based on my particular choice of books on humour or’s only a matter of never following cliches.”

KK One: “Like?”

KK Two: “ Like engaging customers means communicating with them.”

KK One:  “It’s not?”

KK Two: “You engage with the unsolicited SMSs you get?”

KK One: “So it’s not the ability to segment or the ability to reach...”

KK Two: “No. It’s the ability to treat the customer as you wanted to an individual”

KK One: “You think you know who will be the customer for this blog?”

KK Two: “Not as well as my sabjiwallah...but I guess she will be mainly a cerebrotonic ;-)

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