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Introduction to Marketing: Exploring the Science of Marketing

Join us as we pick the brain of Dr. Hatem Bata, a professor at National University with a rich background in integrated marketing, communication, and marketing technology. Our enlightening discussion revolves around the significance of understanding your customer base for successful marketing. We journey through the diverse world of market segmentations, taking in the sights of demographic, geographic, income, lifestyle, and occupation, before moving on to an exploration of targeting and positioning. Tune in and equip yourself with Dr. Bata's extensive knowledge as he guides us through the maze of marketing.

As we move forward, we switch gears and scrutinize the relationship between technology and marketing research. We contemplate the need for designing technology with an emphasis on accessibility and customer respect, while ensuring thorough testing. We also raise some critical questions regarding the implications of AI on consumer privacy and the potential consequences of robotizing customer service. Don't miss out on this engaging conversation that gives you a unique perspective on marketing and technology, straight from an expert in the field.

Show Notes

  • (0:00:58) - Understanding Market Segmentation in Marketing
  • (0:10:07) - Technology and Marketing Research

0:00:01 - Announcer

You are listening to the National University Podcast.

0:00:10 - Kimberly King

Hello, I'm Kimberly King. Welcome to the National University Podcast, where we offer a holistic approach to student support, well-being and success - the whole human education. We put passion into practice by offering accessible, achievable higher education to lifelong learners. Today we are talking about getting to know your customer base through target marketing, whether you're a baby boomer, gen-xer, millennial, according to the Ascent, this Marketing 101 basics customers are always right. Connect to all of your channels, make everything actionable, measure everything and, of course, email marketing, social media all of that included. And today we're going to hear from an expert on getting your marketing right. On today's episode, we're discussing knowing your customer as it relates to marketing. Dr. Hatem Bata is a professor at National University and he's received degrees in communication studies and education, plus a bachelor's of science in communications and computer science from West Virginia University. He went on to earn a master's degree in integrated marketing from American University, another master's of education and counseling from Albany State and his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toledo, and we welcome Dr. Bata to the podcast. How are you?

0:01:34 - Doctor Hatem Bata

I'm fine. Thank you, Mrs. King.

0:01:37 - Kimberly King

Thanks for being here. Why don't you fill our audience in a little bit on your mission and your work before we get to today's show topic?

0:01:46 - Doctor Hatem Bata

I am researching the role of technology in marketing. I taught most of my experience in integrated marketing, communication and marketing technology and marketing research. Most of my research is about the negative side of technology, but also about customer service and social media and how different social media platforms could be used.

0:02:18 - Kimberly King

Interesting. Oh wow, boy, you probably have job security in that, I would imagine, with everything changing so rapidly. Today we're talking about knowing your customer as it relates to marketing, and so, Dr. Bata, what are the types of market segmentations?

0:02:35 - Doctor Hatem Bata

You can segment by different types. You can segment by demographic different age groups. For example, you have the silent generation people who fought World War II, and then you have the baby boomers who were born after World War II. Then you have the generation X who were born in the 60s and the 70s, then you have generation Y, born in the 80s and the 90s, and then you have the millennials. Each of those generations have different consumer habits. Then you can segment people by what area they are in the country, so by geographic. Because they are located, let's say, in the, let's say Florida and Georgia, no one would be buying snow blowers. But in the Midwest there would be a need for. You can also do it by income and economics. So you have the poor, then you have the working poor, then you have the lower middle class, then you have the middle class, upper middle class and then you have the top 1%. You can also segment by lifestyle. You have the rebels, you have the conformists, you have the strivers. You can also segment by occupation. You have also now, with the technology, you can segment by hobbies you have like, for example, bikers or surfers, and so on.

0:04:15 - Kimberly King

Like in high school where you have all the surfer crowd or you have, I don't know, the punk rock crowd or whatever. But you can, I see you as it called targeting what is targeting?

0:04:27 - Doctor Hatem Bata

Targeting after you divide the market into different segments, you want to focus on that target group based on the nature of your product. So let's say, for example, certain products lend themselves to certain target markets, so, for example, surgical glasses. Surgical glasses are glasses that are worn by surgeons in the operating room, so this is a very specialized target market. Let's say, you are doing lenses, so you will focus on that. That's a very niche target, for example. Others can have a wider target. So, for example, professional shirts, for example for interviews, people who are looking for a new job that could be target.

Or you can target a market segment at each group, like, let's say, for example, genes, like the trouser, as usually is now it could be worn in a business casual way, but before it used to be a very rebellious. If you wear jeans, I remember when I was in school you wore jeans you are one of those rebels you get in trouble for just wearing jeans. So it used to be the rebellious crowd are the ones that want to stand out that wear jeans. In America now it being co-opted, so you target, you focus on that segment. That's targeting basically.

0:06:11 - Kimberly King

Okay, and I mean obviously, when you target, you are going after a specific crowd and that's going to help in your advertising and branding all around. I would imagine what is positioning.

0:06:26 - Doctor Hatem Bata

Positioning basically is what you do in the mind of your audience, what impression you are trying to create. So let's say, for example, you have different shirts, shirt basically, their job is to protect you from the elements. There is the donation shirt that you can get from Goodwill it's a shirt. Then you have the shirt that you can get from Dollar General it's a shirt. It's a little bit more expensive shirt. Then you have the shirt that you can get from JCPenney or Macy’s it's a shirt, a more expensive one from Dillard’s- it's still a shirt. And then you have, for example, the shirt that you can get from Fifth Avenue, Louis Vuitton and all of those expensive stores.

So all of those shirts are shirts as function, but they have different positions in the minds of the audience. One is more about prestige and is more expensive, so it's positioned as luxurious and stylish. The other one is positioned as low cost and more, and there is a position in the mind of it and based on that position you're going to price that product, based on what position you are occupying in the market. So position is mental and psychological, of course, but also the product itself, the quality, of course, for the very expensive $100 or $200 shirt should be markedly different than the one that you got from the Salvation Army or the Goodwill.

And there is not one with both by the way Right. What types of shirts?

0:08:25 - Kimberly King

So preference and everybody's different right. So I have a question for you. If you, in the beginning, you talked about all of the different, you know, the boomers, the Gen Xers, the Gen Ys and millennials so with your, if you are a boomer or older and you're not on social media, how do you? I guess my question is, how do you target or position when, say, they don't have cell phones, or they don't have apps that they can get onto easily?

0:08:58 - Doctor Hatem Bata

First of all, boomers the classic boomers usually have might not be active on social media as much, but actually the largest segment of people entering online and using social media are baby boomers. But they are not. They are maybe on Facebook, but they may not be on Snapchat or TikTok or the ones for younger. But also there is a classics like, for example, the TV, the radio, the, the newspaper. But also even boomers are switching to electronic newspaper because even my dad, who is a boomer, his eyesight is failing so he wears glasses. Even he cannot see, so he likes actually the tablet so he can make, he can just do like this and make the phone bigger and read on the tab.

0:10:04 - Kimberly King

Oh, that's good.

0:10:07 - Doctor Hatem Bata

So most boomers might not be using as much social media as the younger generation, but they still use technology because it makes their life easier. Also, they might not they have. They lack patience. Also because they have less time, so they would give the advertising if the advertising is not interesting for them. Most of them have TV. They are not living in the Middle Ages, just because they are boomers. Right, right, yeah, they have different habits than us. They might go to bed early because of health and they might be up at six in the morning because their body biology is changing, but they still use technology because it's convenient. So you have to basically design technology to make their life easier. You have to make phones bigger. You can make the volume of the technology higher so they can if they have hearing difficulty and so on. Accessibility important feature.

0:11:21 - Kimberly King

That's great and being flexible and really meeting people where they're at. I have a quick story that I was getting my passport renewed and this was a few months ago and the young girl working behind the counter was helping probably a lady in her in her late 80s maybe mid to late 80s and she just kept saying to the to her customer, just go to your app on your phone. And the poor woman really didn't have know what an app was, didn't really know how to handle that, and so I literally stepped in and I felt bad for the, the, the dear woman that was just trying to get her passport renewed, but so I guess that would go right into the next. You know how can customers create a better customer experience, but really kind of know who you're dealing with, as you said, with the fonts or helping them through an app, because not every we each, each of our generations, have a different way that we advertise and craft messages, I suppose huh.

0:12:18 - Doctor Hatem Bata

Yeah, you're right. So, yeah, you need to design things that help for accessibility. You might provide demonstration videos how to use the app, because people might be afraid of using it. You might be afraid of using it, so make sure that people don't navigate. It's the site or the app is easy to navigate by having, you know, big icons for people to see or magnify. Also, make sure that the icons, even people, the voice to text becomes very important for people with eyesight problems, people who are slightly chance. So accessibility is very important for older people. And also showing respect, because the last thing you need to do is someone who I fought in World War II and, you know, lived a full life and you are baby talking to him.

0:13:21 - Kimberly King

That's such an important point.

0:13:25 - Doctor Hatem Bata

Go ahead so you need to show respect to your customer. If they are boomers, be patient with them and design technology that they can use and test it. Make sure that it's tested properly by people that are older.

0:13:46 - Kimberly King

I love that. That is great advice and I think just even just overall. You said respect and that is just something I sometimes think that's lacking today, but that's really knowing your customer and just kind of reading the room a little bit.

0:14:02 - Doctor Hatem Bata


0:14:04 - Kimberly King

Well, this is interesting information and I could probably talk to you a long time about this. We just have to take a quick break right now, but more in just a moment. Don't go away. We will be right back Now, back to our interview with Dr. Bata, and we're discussing how technology can help in marketing research and the latest AI tools for marketing. So, Dr. Bata, how can technology help in marketing research?

0:14:30 - Doctor Hatem Bata

Technology is a very powerful tool in marketing research. You have, first of all, big data has become a big fashion because, basically, the internet is very rich with data the idea that you have all of those social media profiles that Facebook collects. You have CRM or customer relationship management software that collects tons of information about customers, so all of that data is collected. And then the idea that you can collect that data and analyze it properly to segment the market and create campaigns that will tailor the product or service to particular customer based on their online behavior.

0:15:20 - Kimberly King

Okay, and that's so important. We're talking about AI too, and this is relatively new, so I mean, this is probably just starting with your research on that. What are the implications of technology on consumer privacy?

0:15:39 - Doctor Hatem Bata

Consumer privacy. I have an interesting story that I read in one of the media. It was about this young woman. She was receiving products that are in baby products and so on, and her dad went to the store that they are sending the ads for so he was angry why Target keeps sending my daughter all of that baby stuff. So he was angry. The manager took them based on the data and her behavior online, as IT tells us, that she is probably highly pregnant. Then the dad didn't know that and she didn't know that, but just based on that so IT could predict behavior and that would creep the customer out. So we don't need to do that. We need to know enough to cater and help the customer without creeping them out.

You have the idea of also over robotizing customer service. If you call customer service, you want to get a human being, but now a lot of times a robot will answer you. That might annoy. Now, especially with ChatGPT, the robots would improve and that would be good, but as the idea that you have all of those are recorded without customer consent, you have all of that data as collected through social media, through people's behavior online, leaves an online fingerprint. Also, this online fingerprint could be hacked. Lots of corporate databases. If they were not designed with proper security, they could be hackable, and that's the responsibility of not the customer, but whoever collecting data on customers behalf.

0:17:53 - Kimberly King

You know it is creepy, as you said. I know you know when a robot or an AI, whatever is calling and you hear, you just ask it a question and it repeats what they were asking you in the first place. They just kind of keep repeating it. So I can imagine somebody that's elderly or a boomer, like we were talking about, or something, when they don't really understand this new technology. And I would think that is AI making marketers lose their jobs because of this technology.

0:18:26 - Doctor Hatem Bata

Certain jobs. Yes, like marketing, research and technology. There are certain jobs, as you know data entry for market research and so on are going to be gone, but certain jobs would be created, such as big data analysts, sales people. Certain sales jobs would be gone, but also new sales jobs and creative part of marketing will be always there. Of course, maybe cold calling customers may not be as prominent, but still customer service might be easier. Customer service can handle much more customers than before, so there will be improvements, but also certain jobs that are not as creative would be lost.

0:19:31 - Kimberly King

So what about blockchain technology?

0:19:35 - Doctor Hatem Bata

Blockchain technology has a lot of applications in supply chain management and basically is the idea and also in financial transactions and the idea of using blockchain technology to secure financial transactions online and making sure that people's electronic wallets are secure so that people can use that technology to secure their savings and money and so on, and investments.

0:20:14 - Kimberly King

So you kind of started talking about this a little bit. But how could AI help marketers?

0:20:21 - Doctor Hatem Bata

AI could help marketers by collecting customer information and organizing them in a way that is meaningful to them. So a CRM system with good bots could basically collect all of that data and classify customers based on their behavior.

A bot can do a lot of search engine optimization. A bot could help recognize certain niches that are not catered in. So also a good bot could be used for customer service, for routine to answer routine emails that are sent. The whole FAQ frequently asked questions that the company might be emailed to and instead of having someone answering all those questions, a good bot can answer those questions on the behalf of the company.

0:21:27 - Kimberly King

Well, that's good to know that we're not all losing jobs and then there will be new ones created and that there could be a glimmer of hope at the end of this right. So this is great information. Thank you for your time today, Dr. Bata. If you want more information, you can visit National University's website, and that is, and we look forward to your next visit.

0:21:52 - Doctor Hatem Bata

Thank you.

0:21:56 - Kimberly King

You've been listening to the National University podcast. For updates on future or past guests, visit us at You can also follow us on social media. Thanks for listening.

Show Quotables

"Positioning basically is what you do in the mind of your audience, what impression you are trying to create." - Hatem Bata Click to Tweet
"Most boomers might not be using as much social media as the younger generation, but they still use technology because it makes their life easier." - Hatem Bata Click to Tweet