The attitudinal segmentation

Article translated by dott.ssa Pilli Laura, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication (“Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica”), extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Intercultural Negotiation. Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers” (original title: “Negoziazione interculturale. Comunicare oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

  • Group D: moderately negative subjects. Negativity can come either from recognising only negative points, or from recognising more negative (or more intense) points than positive ones. Any positive points, in the context of overall attitudes towards the product or proposal, become a minority.
  • Group E: strongly negative subjects; negative beliefs may be numerous and add up, or they may be few in number but of such high intensity that they overshadow any other possible evaluation.

Fig. 21 – Distribution of attitudes along the positive/negative continuum

These different stages correspond to different psychological realities that the seller will find in the buyer. The difficulty of selling will increase as one moves from group A to group E, although skilled sellers will not be discouraged much in dealing with E subjects.

Attitudinal segmentation (identification of diversified subgroups according to existing attitudes), aims to:

– framing the structure of pre-existing attitudes,

– identify priority targets,

– defining attack strategies for different targets.

Let’s look at an example of concept-acceptance latitude, applied on a fictitious subject, who possesses a strong negative attitude towards immigration, and a strong positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, as well as other more nuanced attitudes on a number of other evaluative items.

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