Soft computing applications in customer segmentation: State-of-art review and critique

Hiziroglu A.

EXPERT SYSTEMS WITH APPLICATIONS, vol.40, no.16, pp.6491-6507, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 16
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.eswa.2013.05.052
  • Page Numbers: pp.6491-6507


Segmentation has been taken immense attention and has extensively been used in strategic marketing. Vast majority of the research in this area focuses on the usage or development of different techniques. By means of the internet and database technologies, huge amount of data about markets and customers has now become available to be exploited and this enables researchers and practitioners to make use of sophisticated data analysis techniques apart from the traditional multivariate statistical tools. These sophisticated techniques are a family of either data mining or machine learning research. Recent research shows a tendency towards the usage of them into different business and marketing problems, particularly in segmentation. Soft computing, as a family of data mining techniques, has been recently started to be exploited in the area of segmentation and it stands out as a potential area that may be able to shape the future of segmentation research. In this article, the current applications of soft computing techniques in segmentation problem are reviewed based on certain critical factors including the ones related to the segmentation effectiveness that every segmentation study should take into account. The critical analysis of 42 empirical studies reveals that the usage of soft computing in segmentation problem is still in its early stages and the ability of these studies to generate knowledge may not be sufficient. Given these findings, it can be suggested that there is more to dig for in order to obtain more managerially interpretable and acceptable results in further studies. Also, recommendations are made for other potentials of soft computing in segmentation research. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.