Market mapping

Market mapping
See also

Market mapping is a helpful way to identify areas where competition, product and service decisions are taken. Market maps indicate the distribution and value-added chain between end-users and suppliers of products or services, included within the scope of segmentation project. When creating market maps, account should be taken of the different purchasing mechanisms that exist in a given market, including the role played by 'influencing factors'. It is worth beginning the market map by outlining the different stages that occur at different levels of distribution and the value-added chain between end-users and all suppliers of products or services competing with each of them in a specific market. At the same time, the specific routes through which the products are marketed should be indicated, as not all of them will have to cover all of these stages[1].

Another suitable way to solve the complex problem of market segmentation is to start by making a market map as a precursor to a more detailed analysis of who is buying what. In most cases, if an organisation's products or services pass through the same channels to similar end-users, one complex market map can be drawn up. However, if some products or services pass through completely different channels or reach completely different markets, more than one market map is needed. It is very important that the market map keeps track of products and services along with competitors' products and services all the way to end users, even if this is not directly related to selling to them[2].

6Ps approach in segmentation[edit]

Market mapping requires different dimensions of segmentation to be taken into account. One of the approaches is to consider 6Ps[3]:

  • products,
  • purpose,
  • periods,
  • places,
  • people,
  • price.

Each of these aspects can be analysed in turn to define which of them are the main conditions of consumer choice and preference.

The use of market mapping[edit]

"Weiss (1994) uses market mapping to highlight various consumer markets in the United States, usually in terms of markets that purchase an item well above or below the U.S. average. He then summarizes the markets"[4].

To make sure that the market map presents a complete picture of the market, it is necessary to take into account, including the following factors[5]:

  • contractors or agencies that carry out work on behalf of the final customer and therefore appear to consume the product on their behalf,
  • third parties who purchase on behalf of the end user, such as parents on behalf of their children or the company's purchasing departments on behalf of employees,
  • purchasing procedures, such as those that can be observed in relations between companies in the markets,
  • influencing factors and sources of advice, such as consultants, expert reports and websites set up to provide feedback from users.


  1. M. McDonald 2007, S. 127
  2. M. McDonald, W. Keegan 2002, S. 83-84
  3. D. Taylor 2003, S. 59
  4. A. Weinstein, D.J. Cahill 2014
  5. M. McDonald, I. Dunbar 2004, S. 334


Author: Dominika Kania