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Target Market Segmentation: What It Is and Why You Need It
2019.09.24

Target Market Segmentation: What It Is and Why You Need It

by Leann Lundstedt

It’s no secret that smart marketing is a key to the success of any business and the strategies you use can be what sets you apart from the competition. These targeted strategies help drive your campaigns and brand messages.

What is Target Marketing?

Target marketing is a technique that involves breaking the market into segments, and concentrating your efforts on one or a few key segments consisting of the customers who are most likely to buy your products or services. This targeting of specific groups allows companies to promote, price and distribute their products in a more efficient and cost-effective way and it can be a powerful tool when it comes to increasing sales.

Types of Market Segmentation

When a company embarks on a marketing campaign, there are several types of strategies they can use to target different audiences. The most common examples are as follows:

•  Undifferentiated or Mass Marketing: This type of marketing involves sending out the same message to all segments of the market. The hope is that the message will appeal to everyone and works to generate conversions.

•  Differentiated Marketing: Differentiated marketing is used when businesses set out to target at least two market segments or market groups. For example, they may target women of two different age groups or people in two different cities.

•  Concentrated Marketing: This type of marketing is targeted to one specific market segment or audience.  

Your target audience can be defined according to gender, age, marital status, income level, location, education, race, religion and more. Once you have determined which groups are most likely to purchase your product, you can launch a campaign that will target them specifically. You can send out material via email or direct mail with relevant content. Social media also allows you to set up campaigns that target specific audiences.

Implementing Your Own Segmentation Scheme

The demographics you use to identify your target audience can be fine tuned according to the customers that your website is attracting. This process can be accomplished using prospect scoring and progressive lead scoring. To better understand how you can implement your own segmentation scheme using these tools, let’s take a look at the customer journey.

If you are trying to increase conversions, you will want to get as much information as possible about the people that are visiting your site. You might start by having them fill out a basic form that includes their name and email address. As they come back to your site, you can start building a profile on them based on questions you specifically ask them or the products or services they are browsing on your site. This is a process known as progressive profiling.

Using this information, you can determine which leads your sales should focus on and which are a waste of time at this stage in their journey. This is known as lead scoring.  

Tools to Help Improve Your Target Marketing

Once you have worked out a segmentation scheme, you can use specific tools to improve your target marketing. The first of these tools is known as cluster analysis. Cluster analysis is available through software programs like SPSS. It is designed to categorize objects into a pre-defined number of different groups with each object in the group having similar characteristics to one another. These groups are known as clusters.

The clusters you want to target in your marketing can be identified using surveys or market research. The results will determine the way you segment your groups. For example, you can use your research results to find out what a customer looks for in the products and services they purchase. Some customers will be looking for a high level of customer service while others might be looking to get the most value for their money. Once you have figured this out, you can create a marketing campaign that targets each group accordingly.

If the marketer is not happy with the segments that are produced, they can repeat the process using different variables until they get the results they are looking for.

Another tool you can use to improve your target marketing is known as a segmentation tree. A segmentation tree starts by identifying broad target audiences that are likely to be using a company’s products. For instance, a basic food product might be enjoyed by children, teens and adults.

These audiences can be further divided into segments that can be branched out using graphics that resemble a tree…hence the name. You can further segment according to variables like their behavior in reference to your product, for example, how often they use it. You can also segment according to what drives them to buy or use your product, the values that drive their purchasing decisions and more.

Conclusion

Content marketing allows you to focus on customers who are likely to buy your product in an engaging way that works to boost conversions. This way, you are not wasting your time and money marketing to consumers that are unlikely to convert or using ineffective sales tactics. Incorporate content marketing into your campaign strategies to find out how this cost effective way to increase profitability can help your business to grow.

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