Knowing your customer 

Knowing your customer is vital in order for your centre to grow. Market Segmentation is a process that builds a profile of potential customers, allowing you to better understand who your different customer types are, and where they are located.

Sport England commissioned the market research company Experian to investigate why adults participate in sport, and what the barriers are to participating in sport.

The segmentation process groups the adult population (18 years plus) into nineteen distinct sporting ‘segments’ and provides an insight into their sporting behaviours and preferences for each of these segments, as well as the motivations and barriers to playing sport, satisfaction with the sporting experiences, and the best ways to communicate with and market to these people.

Some of the communication methods that Sport England put forward are unrealistic for the average club or centre, such as TV advertising. However others could be extremely appropriate such as developing opportunities through social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) as well as using younger members/customers as opinion leaders who will tell their friends about the sport.

To help your club / centre we have broken down the Sport England Research into the following bite-size chunks:

1.    Learn about Market Segmentation:

2.    Identify who your dominant customers are, by visiting the Sport England website.

Here you can find about more about segments, explore a particular sport, or investigate further characteristics within your area, right down to a particular postcode.

3.    Understand more about your potential customer, using the fact sheets. Look at how you can adapt your courses to suit the customers' needs and wants.

4.    Give the customer what they want. As well as the traditional RYA course run over two/five days you can adapt your courses/package them differently to appeal to key segments.

Potential new courses:

5.     Communicate with and retain customers/club members using some of the suggested routes.

For general advice and guidance on marketing your club follow this link. The market segmentation resource complements this.

We will be constantly updating and adding information to this area of the site, especially with news in relation to reaching customers / members.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated, please email

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Article Published: February 10, 2011 11:44

Article Updated: April 09, 2014 10:42


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