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Slice & Dice – Is the targeting of specific community groups anything more than a new version of market segmentation?

At one our recent Seminars on Engaging the Hard-to-Reach, one participant was heard to complain that if you added up the numbers identified in each of the separate groups thought to fall into this category, you exceed the population of the UK by about 250%!

In other words, by the time you’ve made special provision for so many different categories, there’s no-one left for whom the standard provision applies. It’s a case of the whole being smaller than the sum of its parts!

Once upon a time, we could create a consultation using an agreed format, and offer a special facility for one or two specially-identified requirements from targeted stakeholders who faced particular difficulties. In the same way, there was a time when the motor car was a bog-standard product with one or two available accessories to meet the particular foibles of particular customers. Then the brave new world of consumer marketing came along, and its magic trick was to segment the market in umpteen different ways. In today’s world of database marketing, it’s what is called slicing and dicing the market.


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About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

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