“Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.”
– Beth Comstock, Vice Chair General Electric
The way to success for any business goes through effective marketing and it is a never-ending job. Which means the need for effective and influential marketers will always be high across the industries. Acquiring the essential skill sets to be an effective marketer is necessary for this highly competitive world to make a flourishing career. The first essential step towards learning marketing is to know the most effective tool for marketing i.e; targeting in marketing.
Now, what’s targeting in marketing? How and why is that important? How to go about it? What strategies are used to spot the target market? Answers to all your questions regarding targeting in marketing are here in this article:
What is targeting in marketing?
There are three important tools of marketing strategizing. Targeting in marketing is one of them. Other two being segmentation and positioning. The first step is segmentation, in which marketers divide a wide population on the basis of certain shared categories. For example, children, teens, working youth, etc. The next step is targeting in marketing. At this stage, a marketer recognises its core target segment. The segment which is most likely to buy the product, and focuses on it. Brand positioning comes after targeting in which a targeted group of audience is exposed to the idea or value a brand aims to promote. So that, the target group connects with the brand based on the value it offers.
To put it simply, a target market is a group of customers towards whom all marketing efforts are directed. There are multiple benefits of targeting in marketing, but most importantly, it saves time, money and energy. It ensures the maximum return on investment (ROI) to market a product effectively. Targeting in marketing requires some planning and thorough research at your end.
How some of the top-ranked businesses use targeting in marketing:
You should know that not only small businesses and startups have focused target markets, but some of the most successful businesses have well-defined target markets. Although the range of their target market is much wider than small businesses, corporate biggies too, in order to boost their marketing efforts, use targeting in marketing. For example, Apple Inc.’s target market is premium users. Tata Nano’s target market is urban-middle class commuters.
Target market analysis:
Target market analysis is the first step towards targeting in marketing and involves the following actions:
Segment your market
Based on the demographic and psychographic analysis, divide the consumer base into groups. To mark such segments here are some types of target markets that are used as templates for targeting in marketing –
- Gender – Gender is used as a primary category, while defining a target group as the needs and wants, preferences differ greatly based on the gender.
- Age – Age is another category through which businesses define their target markets. No two age groups can connect with the same message.
- Socioeconomic status – The income and social status determine the purchasing styles of customers. Hence, working class, middle class, upper middle class, privileged class are the types in which target market is typically defined.
- Lifestyle preferences – In spite of being in the same age group or the same income bracket, two persons might have different attitudes and likings. Some might be brand loyal while some might be price sensitive. Different communication styles are to be crafted in order to pursue them.
Conduct the research and collect relevant facts
After dividing the market into segments, one must conduct further research to know what group would be most interested in buying the product. For this, you must conduct thorough research by collecting data, conducting surveys, understanding common purchasing cycles, psychoanalysis of consumers. It’ll help you to understand which segment connects to what emotions, stories or motifs better.
Determine who will be your primary focus
Based on the research conducted, a marketer at this stage must determine which segment or subset of segments will be the group that will be most interested in the product that they are trying to sell.
Create a suitable targeting strategy
After a target market is established, a strategy must be devised to reach your target market.
Market target strategies to reach your target market
With years of experience in the field, expert marketers have configured four basic strategies to connect with target markets:
Mass marketing, also known as undifferentiated marketing adopts a marketing strategy that can appeal to all segments together.
Differentiated marketing strategy tries to create different messages that can connect to different segments. For example, the same vehicle can be pitched to two segments of customers based on different reasons. One group might like the luxury brand symbol that is attached to the vehicle, another group which has knowledge of automobiles can like the differentiated features of a vehicle.
If a firm adopts a niche marketing strategy, it focuses on selling its products to only one segment.
Direct marketing is newly emerging concept with the onset of digital marketing. Direct marketing involves establishing a direct and constant communication channel with customers, which help companies gather data on a real-time basis, and help them to be on their toes at all times. It involves data mining, real-time interaction through social media platforms and such other methods which require a profound knowledge of digital marketing. Direct marketing is where the future of targeted marketing lies.
Targeting in digital marketing
While using targeting in marketing to select a perfect online audience, first you must determine your business model. Does your business cater to businesses or direct consumers, in short, is it B2B or B2C? Then you can apply target market analysis to pick out your target market. Best ways of doing it involve conducting surveys, keeping an eye on your rivals, communicating with a potential customer base through social media platforms, analysing consumer behaviour through data mining techniques, etc.
Retargeting in digital marketing – the best way to grab the attention of your target market:
As you must have noticed, targeting in marketing is changing its character with changing times. In this age of digital marketing, targeting is becoming more and more direct, personal and focused. Not only tech-based startups but small businesses too are using digital techniques for targeting in marketing.
How to learn targeting in marketing to produce best results for the business
In the dynamic world of today, marketing has been constantly replacing its old, obsolete methodologies and adopting new ones. You have only two alternatives, either perform or perish.
A theoretical degree or mere academic knowledge of marketing will no longer help you to understand the changing face of marketing tools like targeting in marketing.
Pragmatic knowledge of how marketing works today is the most admired feature that corporates look for while making hiring decisions. To keep up with their expectations, you can check out executive program in strategic digital marketing.
These programs not only offer you insight about segmentation, targeting or positioning in marketing but also let you learn through real-time case studies, offer networking opportunities and allow you to collaborate with the best marketing minds of the world and give you hands-on experience in strategising and managing digital campaigns through simulations and projects.