The role of race in market segmentation and buyer behaviour in South Africa.
The market segmentation process is continuously evolving in reacting to the socio economic changes of the market. This is also true in South Africa in light of the socio economic changes that followed the 1994 democratic elections. The aim of this study was to determine the role of race in market segmentation and, the relationship it has with the buyer behaviour in South Africa. The study targeted a population of 800 respondents, marketing professionals in South Africa, and received responses from 99 respondents. The list of the marketing professionals was sourced from a database company called Listperfect, as there was no alternative contact database that could be sourced from the industry associations. The conclusions of the study were made on the data received from the 99 respondents as well as the outcomes of the literature survey. The study revealed that the role of the race variable is declining with regard to market segmentation for consumer or buyer behaviour. The respondents also indicated that they perceive the decline to continue into the future (next 10 years). There is also a significant perception that the race variable has to be used in conjunction with other market segmentation variables to yield beneficial results for marketers. Furthermore, the respondents indicated a need for new segmentation variables that will be used in the future to replace the race variable. The main recommendation of the study is for further investigation with a representative sample of the South African marketing fraternity in order to validate the findings from this study. Moreover, there is a need to increase the body of knowledge in this subject matter to aid marketers in updating their segmentation practices.