When it comes to marketing, if you’re trying to talk to everybody, you’re going to have a difficult time reaching anybody. Vague and generic messages are far less likely to resonate with audiences than specific, direct communication – which is why targeting in marketing is so important.
What Is Targeting in Marketing?
Targeting in marketing is a strategy that breaks a large market into smaller segments to concentrate on a specific group of customers within that audience. It defines a segment of customers based on their unique characteristics and focuses solely on serving them.
Instead of trying to reach an entire market, a brand uses target marketing to put its energy into connecting with a specific, defined group within that market.
The four main types of market segmentation are:
- Demographic segmentation: age, gender, education, marital status, race, religion, etc.
- Psychographic segmentation: values, beliefs, interests, personality, lifestyle, etc.
- Behavioral segmentation: purchasing or spending habits, user status, brand interactions, etc.
- Geographic Areas: neighborhood, area code, city, region, country, etc.
Through market segmentation, brands get more specific about their target market. They can focus on a small group of customers who will be most likely to benefit from and enjoy their products.
For example, a brand that sells day planners may decide to focus on a smaller, specific target market. Instead of marketing to the masses, they may focus solely on selling planners to female business owners. Or they could choose to exclusively market to high school teachers. Both examples are smaller, more specific segments of the day planner’s potential market.
Why Is Targeting in Marketing So Important?
Speak directly to a defined audience
Marketing messages resonate more deeply with audiences when readers can relate directly to the information. Brands that have a large, varied market of customers often struggle with creating marketing campaigns that speak directly to their audience. Because their viewers are very different, few slogans or stories can resonate with each person on a personal level. Through target marketing, you can alleviate this problem and focus on crafting messages for one specific audience.
Attract and convert high-quality leads
When you speak directly to the people you want to target, you are more likely to attract the right people. Your marketing will more effectively reach the people most likely to want to do business with you. When you connect with the right people, you are then more likely to get high-quality, qualified leads that will turn into paying customers.
Differentiate your brand from competitors
When you stop trying to speak to every customer in your market and start focusing on a smaller segment of that audience, you also start to stand out from competitors in your industry. When customers can clearly identify with your brand and your unique selling propositions, they will choose you over a competitor that isn’t specifically speaking to or targeting them. You can use your positioning in marketing to make your brand more well-known and unique.
Build deeper customer loyalty
Improve products and services
Knowing your customers more intimately also helps you look at your products and services in a new way. When you have a deep understanding of your target audience, you can put yourself in their shoes and see how you can improve your offerings. You can see what features you can add to better serve your customers.
What You Need Before You Start Target Marketing
Using targeting in marketing serves both customers and brands. It improves product development and operations, and it allows a brand to differentiate itself, stand out, and make a bigger impact. But before you start target marketing, you need something important.
The best target marketing plans start with creating a clear and detailed buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a description of a semi-fictional character that represents your ideal customer. It is a detailed summary of the characteristics, qualities, and habits of a person who is in your target audience.
To create a buyer persona, you need to imagine your ideal customer and describe them:
- Professional roles
- Values and goals
- Sources of influence
- Buying decisions
As you create a buyer persona, don’t guess at the details that describe your ideal target customer. To be successful at targeting in marketing, use real data and facts to form your buyer persona. Perform research to learn about your ideal customers.
- Conduct interviews with your former and current customers.
- Talk to your sales team and find out what trends they see and experience.
- Track data on your point of sale systems and web analytics.
- Engage in social listening on social media to see what conversations customers have about your brand and industry.
How to Use Target Marketing to Improve Your Strategy
Now that you know what you need to create a buyer persona and identify opportunities for targeting in marketing, let’s look at how you can execute strategies based on this information. Here are a few marketing targeting examples and channels your brand can improve.
Improve Your Targeting in Marketing Plans Today
Targeting in marketing serves brands and consumers. It improves marketing strategies and audience experiences, builds brand awareness and loyalty, and even leads to better products and services. Plus, target marketing makes it easier for brands to reach audiences in an authentic, more meaningful, and personal way.
So if you’re struggling to stand out in a sea of similar products and services, try using this tactic to grow your business and connect with more customers.