We all know the dangers of trying to please everyone, in that market. Instead of trying to reach out to everyone in today’s advance industries, we need to select a very specific group of customer that we can deliver to.
What is targeting in marketing? Targeting is the process of assessing which the different groups of customers in a market. This information informed is collected by market research and organised through a segmentation report.
In this article, we will learn how to assess people in your market and discuss a selection of strategies for effective targeting.
1. WHAT IS TARGETING?
Targeting is the process of assessing the market value of segmented groups in order to determine which segments should be prioritised later on.
The groups of people in a market are segments. This includes dividing the total market into smaller segments, based on common attributes and characteristics. We assess these segments on the grounds that they are interested in the product and service, we can deliver this product to them better than the competition and there are enough people in the segment to fuel your business for years to come.
More simply targeting is making the decision, which group of people do we want to sell our products too.
2. WHY IS TARGETING IMPORTANT?
We have all heard that we need to create value and build customer relationships to provide a better customer experience. Due to technical advancements in today’s society, intense competition and innovation has made targeting niche markets more essential than ever before. This is because people have a wider variety of things that they can buy which has resulted in fragmented markets.
A fragmented market or market fragmentation is the emergence of new segments in a market where people have their own distinct needs and requirements. If a business is able to identify those smaller fragments and then target these groups appropriatly will result in customers being more satisfied as a result. As you are able to hoan in on their immediate problems provides more opportunity for immerging markets. The idea being neche marketing will increase reputation, brand loyalty and gives you the upper hand a beating more direct competition.
3. HOW DOES TARGETING WORK?
Once the segments are established it is essential to allocate a customer into the segment that they most closely represent. We then identify the measures which determine our competitiveness in the market. We use these measures to develop a quality score of each segments. By doing this we identify which segment that is most important and other segments we aim to avoid.
Select one or more segment that seems attractive is valued by the organisation. Your business will then leverage, or invest in the specific resources to capture the wants and needs of this target group of people. Develop products, and or position product messaging to meet the needs of the segments.
4. EVALUATING MARKET SEGMENTS
Being able to evaluate your marketing segment is crucial to determine a useful segmented groups for your business. When we come to positioning our products there is a purpose. We want to create, or re-brand a product to align to our target audience more coherently. To more closely fulfill a problem, you should target people based on their wants and needs.
For example, if a working-women segment and a none-working women segment have the same complaints about dry skin then there would be no reason to create a product to fulfill the pain point. However, to be more effective we do not want to focus just on women in general. We will want to target those specific women. For example, business women will have different wants than none-working women. They will also be willing to pay different price for the product.
Overall, even though the product is the same for both customer segments the message will different, the channels will be different and the branding will appeal more specifically to one group of women.
5. TARGETING EXAMPLE
Apple is a well-known brand with high status and favored by a high percentage of people over other brands such as Samsung. The importantly thing to note is that apples phone a far more expensive and less powerful than Samsung.
This is because when apple was being built from its roots it was no coincidence Steve Jobs attended all the marketing meeting and got heavily involved in delivering the marketing strategy. The high-level strategists know exactly who their targets audience is and they know just how to get the right message to their customers.
6. HOW TO EVALUATE YOUR MARKET SEGMENT
For any marketer to successfully justify which market is viable there are 7 levels of criteria that must be assessed.
- What is the size of that market?
- What purchasing power do the individuals in the market have?
- Does this segment growing or at what is it depleting?
- Can we reach these people with our communication capabilities?
- Can we actually fulfill the desired needs of this segment?
- How competitive is this segment?
- Does it fit with the company objectives?
The segmentation attractive model is a good means to evaluating your target audience.
7. Segment attractiveness model – Evaluation tool
Example of how Hooley, Piercy, Nicoulaud, & Rudd, 2016, p 231 evaluate their market.
By how you answer these you will get a sense of how strong you will hold the position in the market against the segments. You will then begin to form the consensus of the most viable segment.
8. Choosing A Targeting Strategy
The targeting strategy outlines how finally tuned should the targeting be. This will outlined how specific the segments are, to understand how large the segments should be.
Do we need to target smaller segments, or larger segment?
This is because the small segments will be more personalised in our positioning and as a result will perform better. However, it can be cost effective advertising to a broader audience if there is not much differentiation.
9. Undifferentiated Target Strategy
An undifferentiated strategy the target has to be specific enough to capture a general interest in a broad enough spectrum. This works well for supermarkets as people that want to go shopping all have a collective need and so trivial differences do not matter so much in this industry.
A good example can be at Christmas. Supermarkets will advertise the turkey they have. This does not matter what your demographics or your behavioural segments are because everyone at Christmas is looking for turkey.
However, this could be complicated for other industries. The industry you operate has to capture a need of the customer that fit across many segments, otherwise this will not be an effective approach and the message will not appeal to every member of that segment group.
10. Differentiated Targeting Strategy
This is where we have identified different segments all with different needs and then only choose to target those segments to resonate most with our business products and services. We then develop many products for those target segments identified based on their different customer needs. Another way of looking at this is connecting a single product to a single segment.
L’Oreal is a good example for this approach. They have a variety of product lines and their luxury branded products that they target through luxury brands such as Armarni and Iancome. In addition, L’Oreal target department stores with less their less expensive brand range.
VolksWagen is able to connect a product to different segments by the way they position their brand. For example, SEAT and Scoda are almost identical vehicles but have separate messages. This can be a very technical approach, and needs to be well thought out as it can lead to cannibalisation. By cannibalisation, we meaning new product eating into your existing market.
11. Concentrated Market
This is the most efficient means of marketing and should be used by small businesses and always used online. This includes developing one or more product to a single segment.
This can also be known as niche marketing and you brand your whole business to meet the needs and demands of that specific niche. As a strategy, niche marketing is seen as being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond. Also called micro-marketing.
12. Customised Marketing
This is when a supplier works close with a handful of a large clients. Whereby, products and services are developed to attain these small groups. This is typically seen in B2B operations such as in the case of designing and building construction project and software development. This makes the segmentation process very specific to individual to business’s needs, or a very specific niche of person.
Vans started doing this by approaching their trainers design to a very inflammatory market by offering a service for customised trainers design. Each product would be customised to that one individual. This means it may not be wanted by other people outside that target group of people.
By knowing who their audience is they know how to make them tick and build a real personal relationship through branding and messaging, and know what addition services to offer to build brand loyalty. Just because a marketer identifies a segment doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a useful target.
We have seen that the first stage in the customer profiling strategy we need to collect all the market research data we can. We then segment this data and create a targeting strategy. If you are a small business or even a global organisation defining and re-establishing your target is the most important factor in any marketing strategy or any campaign reaching out to customers.