In this article, we will discuss market targeting. What is it and why need to know it. We have already discussed market segmentation and learnt that companies are unable to reach all customers in the market. The company cannot fulfil all customers needs that is too large. Therefore, to solve this problem marketers segment the market into small segments. After this, one should target those segments which can be better served is market targeting.
There are some businesses who believe that everyone will be their customer. It is not true. Targeting is focused on evaluating available segment’s attractiveness and select one or more segments to serve. You only want those people who have a need for the products and services you are offering.
Many of your customers belong to multiple target markets at a time, for example, I am a man, a father and a husband. Each category has some products and services that I need to fulfil my wants, needs and responsibilities in each respective position. Here you noticed that everything about me puts me in a target market for some marketers.
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Market Targeting Definition
A market is segmented using age, gender, income, education, lifecycle, social status, social class and many more. After identifying segmentation few segments are selected to reach target customers. This process of evaluating and selecting market segments is known as market targeting.
Market Targeting Process
There are two steps of market targeting process, the first step is to evaluate market segmentation and select those segments that suit the business. In the second step, marketers select appropriate market targeting strategies.
Step1. Evaluation Market Segments
The market targeting process involves assessing those segments marketers already identified in the market segmentation. But when we talk about evaluating market segments, it is based on certain criteria. Business owners and marketers must answer these questions while assessing the market segments.
- What are the sizes of the segments I am looking for?
- What are the demographics of identified segments?
- What is the competition level of each segment?
- What is the growth potential in the segments?
- What segments can help to achieve company goals?
- How to best utilize company resources pursuing the segments?
These are not the only questions. The questions may vary according to industry, business nature and the depth of research you conducted.
Step 2. Market Targeting Strategies
In todays’ business environment every business needs market targeting strategies. Targeting the right market is very important. Here we will discuss four types of market targeting strategies with examples.
Undifferentiated Market Targeting
Undifferentiated market targeting strategy ignores market segmentation and goes after the whole market. This strategy considers buyers as homogeneous group. Undifferentiated marketing is also known as mass marketing. In this strategy, companies do not produce different products for different market segments.
This type of marketing strategy relies on mass distribution and mass advertising. Companies aim to create superior image of the product in the minds of consumers. Company use this strategy to appeal a wider audience based on common customer needs and wants other than differentiated and concentrated strategies.
It has a narrow product line which leads to low advertising cost. Lack of segment marketing reduces the costs of marketing research.
Henry Ford adopted undifferentiated marketing strategy for T Ford Model. This model was available in only black color in 1930s. Another example of undifferentiated strategy is Hershey company, few years back they have only one chocolate candy bar for all.
Differentiated Market Targeting
In Differentiated market targeting strategy, a company opt to target multiple market segments and design different and effective marketing mix for each market segment. A Differentiated market targeting approach is likely to create more sales than does undifferentiated marketing. But due to distinct marketing mix, the promotion cost also increases. The increasing sales must be weighed with increasing costs.
Number of different companies adopted differentiated marketing strategies. For example, the segmentation of Unilever generates more sales by achieving higher market share through various detergent brands which they could not with just one brand.
Another example is McDonalds, they have developed unique menus for local consumers in many countries of the world. In India McDonald create a unique menu for local consumers i.e. the McCurry Pan which a vegetarian dish. The Indian version of Big Mac is called the Maharaja Mac “the Social Burger” make with grilled chicken, tomatoes and onions. Both products are according to the Indian religious sensitivities as beef is not consumed.
Concentrated Market Targeting
In concentrated / niche market targeting strategy, resources are focused and target specific market segments. Concentrated marketing strategies are effective for those small companies having limited resources. Due to focused strategy they can perform better compare to large businesses.
Due to better knowledge of specific segment’s needs, company can achieve a higher market position. If company choose the right segment at the right time, it can achieve lucrative rate of return on investment.
Pizza Hut successfully developed database of 9 million pizza lovers customers. By using this database, Pizza Hut developed target market campaigns to reach its consumers.
Micromarketing Market Targeting
Micromarketing strategy involves developing products, services and marketing programs best match with individuals and locations. Small business owners can use micromarketing strategy to target customers at personal level. micromarketing includes local marketing and individuals marketing.
A good market targeting examples is Citibank, it offers different services on branch level based on neighborhood demographics. Walmart and Sears Store customizes its inventory and promotion to meet the requirements of specific clients.
Individual marketing examples include hotel industry, clothing, furniture and bicycle industry. This strategy is based on the preferences on individual’s customers.
Whether a company, business owner or marketer, you should evaluate and target the market very carefully and effectively. Market targeting strategies are designed to promote a brand or resonate a message to target audience. Evaluate market segments and select target market according to your overall business objectives and plans.