We’ve already discussed Segmentation as a part of the STP process. The second step is targeting. It is an indispensable part of marketing because identifying and targeting a specific audience dramatically improves the efficacy of a marketing plan. However, marketers go a step further by using a differentiated targeting strategy.
How Is Targeting Useful For Marketing Products and Businesses?
Target marketing, or targeting, refers to finding who among a serviceable available market is more likely to buy the market offerings (products or services) of the business. In simple terms, this means finding the portion of the market available to your business that could potentially buy your product. For example, the target market for a company that sells fishing equipment consists of people who enjoy fishing as a recreational activity or work with fishing.
By focusing marketing efforts on the target market, a product can reach the consumer more effectively. The likelihood of the marketing strategy working will be higher than if the business chooses to advertise with no target market in mind. In other words, the marketing strategies become more cost-effective and easier to implement when targeting is used.
What Is a Differentiated Targeting Strategy? vs. An Undifferentiated Targeting Strategy?
To make targeting even more useful, marketers use a differentiated targeting strategy, which means taking a target market and segmenting it to find the target segments with the most potential and developing different marketing strategies for different target segments. This works much better than broadly marketing in an undifferentiated manner. For example, shampoos that market separately packaged products for men and women often sell more than those which have a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing.
An undifferentiated targeting strategy applies the same marketing efforts for the entire target market. The marketing efforts may not be relevant to every consumer, and thus the strategies are less cost-effective and will ultimately yield lower results. It may also be called mass marketing, whereby the marketing message is made simple to appeal to a broad audience. Differentiated marketing strategies are more effective because they are more appealing to a variety of different people.
Examples of Ways To Differentiate a Target Market
Marketing specialists have found many ways to differentiate target markets into segments that can be separately focused on. The following are some of the main ways that marketers use differentiated marketing strategies for better efficacy.
What Are the Different Generations Called?
The different generations ( Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z) are labels given to people of different ages. Because each generation shares a common experience, marketers make assumptions based on research that shows how they are likely to interact with products and services and their consumer purchasing decisions along with other consumer behavior.
How Do Different Genders Interact With the Marketed Product?
An important way to consider differentiation is to focus on gender. Again, due to the shared experiences between members of gender, they tend to interact with a product (and perceive marketing efforts) similarly. The above example of shampoo is one of the best ways to illustrate this point.
Why Is a Differentiated Targeting Strategy Effective?
The efficacy of a marketing strategy depends on consumer perception. If the marketer is able to reach a consumer without improving their perception of a product or without creating a desire to purchase the product, then the marketing strategy has not done its job.
Differentiated targeting strategies allow marketing specialists to curate their marketing efforts and tailor them to specific segments of their target market. By focusing on different marketing strategies for different target segments, they are able to make their marketing efforts more appropriate, more relevant, and ultimately more effective.