Segmenting Visitors of Cultural Events by Motivation: A Sequential Non-Linear Clustering Analysis of Italian Christmas Market Visitors
18 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 28, 2011
Considering the importance of market segmentation as a marketing tool to determine promotional policies, this paper aims, through an empirical application, to determine the optimal way to choose both the best cluster algorithm and the best cluster partition.
For this purpose, an empirical study was conducted interviewing tourists who visited three different Christmas Markets in Northern Italy. The methodology is based on two clustering techniques in sequence: a Self-Organizing Map (SOM) followed by a clustering algorithm based on the Silhouette index.
This analysis identified three cluster segments and demonstrated the suitability to the Silhouette index as it reduces biases due to subjective preferences of the researchers.
In the discussion of the results, marketing and managerial implications are also highlighted.
Keywords: Cultural Event, Motivation, Self-Organizing Map, Silhouette index, Segmentation, Authenticity
JEL Classification: C45, L83, Z10
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