Targeting is the most intentionally or unintentionally used strategy by individuals and businesses in all professions. Targeting in marketing has much more to it than only aiming at the relevant market segment for better sales. Let us understand the concept of targeting in marketing parlance.

The Purpose: After market segmentation is done based on various parameters like demographic, psychographic or behavioural, the next step in developing an effective marketing plan for a company is to decide, which segment of the market to Target. There are many questions at this stage, which a business has to answer before moving forward:

  • Size of the segment
  • Growth of the segment
  • competition
  • Sales potential
  • Attainable market share
  • Brand loyalty
  • Micro and Macro factors affecting the market etc

The above mentioned questions can be answered with effective market research and analytics studies. Also before targeting a particular segment the business has to do its own SWOT(Strengths Weakness opportunities and Threats) analysis as well.

The Approach: certain pointers through which, business can better plan their marketing mix (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) and efforts to minimise chances of failure and increasing the probability of success are by understanding whether:

  •  The segment being targeted  is in line with the companies objective, goals, mission
  • Does the product has a USP(unique selling proposition) to offer in that segment
  • Distribution channels
  • Sales and support resources
  • Impact on brand image and many more

Targeting Strategies: The business has to choose from any one of the following targeting strategies to concentrate and develop their overall marketing strategy around it:

Single Segment: Single segment strategy or concentrated strategy is offering one marketing mix to one segment, it is usually used by start-up companies.

Selective Specialisation: It is a multi segment strategy which is also known as differentiated strategy wherein, different marketing mix is offered to different segments.

product specialisation: In this strategy the business specialises in a product and caters to different market segments. for example Titan Watches have segmented the market based on Age and Income groups and has targeted the products with different marketing mix to all age groups and income classes.

Market specialisation: A firm specialises in a particular market segment and offers a variety of products. for example Johnson and Johnson baby products has got a huge product line for baby care  segment.

Mass Marketing: This strategy is used by companies to target the entire market by offering a single marketing mix to all segments or by offering different marketing mix to different segments. For example Nokia mobile handsets.

View Point: This dimension of marketing has to be given undivided attention as it involves a lot of immaculate planning and precise decision-making. Because, if we cannot aim for the right target, where is the question of hearing the impact.



Market Segmentation – Art or Science

Another core concept or dimension of marketing is the Market Segmentation. I will be sharing the basis of applying segmentation, is segmentation always required, What are the main criteria of segmentation and its benefits.

1.0 Market Segmentation: So what is segmentation? It literally means to break up the market into easily manageable groups based on certain parameters. Before jumping into the topic we should ask, is segmentation always required for every product and market. The answer is “no”. But, if we do not segment our market, it has its own disadvantages as we will not be reaching all the sections of the market i,e the high, medium, and low-income groups. Thereby missing-out on capturing the market.

2.0 Basis of Segmentation: As we acknowledge the fact that no two individuals are same, which means they can be different gender wise or may belong to a different class of society or geography. They may be from a different age group or from different lifestyles or they may be from a different income group. Therefore, the need for segmentation arrises on all these basis. The companies can target their marketing plans in and around the above mentioned parameters by catering to individual needs and wants thereby increasing their market spread and overall sales. This will also help in brand penetration.

2.1 Catagories: The basis on which marketing segmentation can be carried out can be classified into the following parameters:

2.2 Income Group: This is one parameter wherein the Automobile market can be used as one of the examples, the companies try to target customers from all income groups with luxury cars, to mid range cars, to low-cost cars.

2.3 Age group: This is another factor for segmentation, health industry and food supplement products can be used as an example here. Baby products manufacturing companies usually have a huge product line in this segment. 

2.3 Gender: The clothing and cosmetics industry is an ideal example as these companies segment their products based on gender.

2.4 Geography: Region based segmentation is done by companies due to varying social or climatic situations. The use of tomato flavoured snacks is south India is more than Easter or Western part. Winter clothing brands are very popular in Northern than other parts of the country.

2.5 Niche Marketing: If we want to break a segment into smaller segments and cater to the market requirements this is termed as niche marketing.

The above mentioned points are some commonly used basis of segmentation. Another basis of segmentation is online behavioural segmentation which some people call it as a branch of Science, my take on this is all the metrics of segmentation are a mix of both art as well as science. Mostly, the opinion is split but, I leave it to you to decide whether it is an Art or Science.