Marketing Strategy > Target Markets
Achieve Effective Target Market Segmentation
By targeting the most profitable target markets for your solution, you will gain focused marketing approach and a successful market penetration.
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Target markets research and analysis is an important first step to any marketing campaign. When you define a target market, it means you have established a certain level of market segmentation and selected the target market segment that will present the most opportunity for profit.
Skipping the process of target market analysis and target market segmentation will waste significant money and efforts, as your marketing campaigns will not properly address the right client segment. It is pointless to address a target audience with little vested interest in a particular product or service, or a target market audience that is already saturated with a competitor’s offerings.
Target market research allows you to identify and define the target market that would be most attracted to your offering. Once you have settled on a target market and initiated your marketing activities, you can begin to identify potential niche markets within your target market. Isolating niche markets enables you to focus on those subdivisions within a target market audience which are defined by a shared interest or unique quality. One rule is very important to remember: the more narrowly you can define a target audience, the easier it is to target.
How is B2B Target Market Segmentation Different than B2C Target Market Segmentation?
Business-to-business (B2B) target market segmentation is very different from business-to-consumer (B2C) target market segmentation. For one, selecting a supplier in B2B target markets is more complicated than consumer markets. Since people buy on behalf of their company, rather than themselves, there is more pressure to be objective and rational about their decision. Thus, in business-to business markets, the target audience of buyers and specifiers may well know as much about a product/service as the company that supplies it. Also, in a business-to-business context, it is unlikely that just one person will make the buying decision. The process of target market analysis and segmentation is often more complex in B2B situations. A specifier may test and approve the product, a production manager may run it through trials, a board of directors may impose an overriding structure on the source of supply, a buyer may negotiate the price, and so on. In B2B target market segmentation, the aim is to focus on a manageable group of decision-makers to define the target audience.
Defining Your Target Audience — Marketing Segmentation Methods
Target markets are grouped by common measures such as:
- Geographic Target Market Segmentation — for instance, a target audience that does business in a particular language, city, state/province, or country
- Firmographic Target Marketing Segmentation — a company’s number of employees, industry or income bracket can define a target audience
- Psychographic Target Market Segmentation — this kind of target market segmentation is especially useful for repeat clients, who may be drawn to anything from the price range, quality levels or the delivery terms
- Need-Driven Target Market Segmentation - this can be the most difficult target audience to assess, but also one of the most fruitful. Ask, what is the motive behind a purchasing decision? What factors play into a company’s decision-making?
In order to gain a competitive advantage, Target market segmentation is especially important in B2B markets, as there is often little to differentiate one product from another. Target market segmentation is closely linked with the positioning strategy of a company. Considerations in the positioning strategy are subsequently taken into account in the design of inbound marketing campaigns.