Apr 20, 2017
In our last blog post, we began the journey of the marketing plan with discussing how to segment your audience. Now that we have identified the different groups in your audience, targeting a specific segment will define the future of your marketing action plan.
Businesses sometimes don’t like the idea of only targeting one or a couple segments because they fear it will limit their reach and end up harming their marketing tactics. However, targeting a certain segment often can set up your marketing for success, accuracy, and efficiency.
As wonderful as it may seem to imagine everyone loving your service and product, that most likely will not be a reality. There are specific segments with specific needs which your product or service may target effectively, while other segments may have little need for what you want to sell. If you try to sell to everyone, you end up wasting generalized messages on the generalized population, many who may completely ignore you. Even with multiple segments who would benefit from your product, their needs or motivations may not align. You want to be able to target your marketing in a way that is personalized and compatible with the segments that will actually listen and convert.
Once you have identified your segments, there are specific questions to address in order to whittle down to the segment that you want to target. First, you should be asking if you have unique strengths that would appeal to a particular segment. Right off the bat, if there is a segment that would react more positively to the product or service your provide, you want to take advantage of that and capitalize on that appeal. It is particularly effective if your brand can offer something unique compared to your competitors. For example, if your brand uses some of your profits to support environmental conservation, and your targeted segment is highly interested in social good and being environmentally-friendly, your brand will stand out from your competitors to that segment. Let your unique strengths shine.
One question to consider at this stage of choosing a target segment is, “Which segments are already being served with high satisfaction by competitors?” While competition will be found in every market, if a competitor already “owns” a segment, particularly if that segment has high satisfaction with and loyalty to that competitor, trying to enter your brand into that segment may not deliver high ROI. Users of another brand might be less likely to switch to a new brand.
Other considerations include the size of the segments and the predicted future growth. If the segment is fairly small, it would also potentially not have high ROI, and it may be worth checking if it should be its own segment. You want to select a segment that is small enough that your targeting can be personal and precise, but not so small that your business has little chance of profit. This applies for future growth as well. If the segment you are considering has small projections for growth, your growth will be limited and perhaps less effective than if you target a growing market. Beware though: if you attempt to target a central, high-growth market, you’ll likely run into more competitors targeting the same segment.
Targeting is about finding customers who are more likely to act on your marketing, whether that be through clicks or conversions. You’ll be able to measure how separate segments respond to your marketing and adjust accordingly. By carefully selecting which segment to target, your marketing will have direction, purpose, and success.