Market segmentation is one of the initial marketing strategies that ensure a smooth and actionable flow of marketing decisions in your business. This article guides you through the basics of market segmentation as well as provides tips and strategies for its successful implementation.
Market segmentation is the process of categorizing potential and actual customer base, into various categories such as age, sex, location, preferences, income, etc. This ensures better targeting, increased ROI, conservation of marketing budget, and aids in broadening the product range and variations.
For example, a shampoo may be sold in sachets, tubes, or bottles, targeting different income groups. Similarly, most bigger fast food chains sell various local flavors for different countries they operate in to cater to the flavor palette of the region. Selling a product with different scents, such as deodorant, is appealing to segmented market based on their preferences.
Market segmentation helps organize a businesses’ activities from production to promotions. Targeting should be the first step before starting any kind of marketing process. We have talked about this point in depth in our detailed article about targeted marketing as well as in our guide to creating and running marketing campaigns.
Market Segmentation clarifies your market’s needs. Targeting is where and how your budget should be applied based on the market segmentation. Segmentation is also greatly helpful for individual marketing campaigns, as it can guide you on how to apply various campaigning strategies on different demographics of customers.
Segmentation can be made on the basis of one or more of the following:
This includes variables such as age, gender, level of education, level of income, family status, etc. This is the most popular type of segmentation as it helps businesses of all sizes and types to organize their audience into smaller and easier segments.
Geographic segmentation, when done on a wider level, becomes cultural segmentation. Geographic segmentation can consist of anything from suburban to international level. For example, larger fast food companies serve local flavors of their products in each country they operate.
Behavioral Segmentation relies on learning a buyer’s existing purchasing patterns to divide them based on factors such as retailer preferences, usage occasion, purchase frequency, etc.
Psychographic Segments consists of divisions based on social or personal characteristics such as lifestyle choices, interests and opinions, personality, values, etc.
It is important to know what your market is before deciding what part of it you need to market to and how. Conducting proper marketing and industry research with adequate research tools and strategies is the first step towards effective segmentation.
For local businesses, smaller criteria such as demographic and psychographic data could be valuable.
Next step is to gather data about your potential customer base. This can be done online or offline with marketing strategies and online tools like MyBestSegments, USA GOV statistics, or traditional questionnaires, surveys, and focus groups.
It is best to express the number in a relative term like in percentages or a pie chart. You should focus on marketing to the segment which is most likely to purchase the products/services as initial testing.
Segments, especially those based on behavioral and psychographic tendencies, are more likely to be dynamic in nature. It is advised that you keep updating and revising your marketing segments when necessary.
Data should be presented in relative and quantitative terms. Data from various segments should also be comparable to each other, in case the need for grouping arises. For example, if people from a different geographical location move to another place and their consumption habits are changed, the data between the two should be comparable such that now they can combined into one segment.
It is advised to appeal to the beliefs and lifestyles of each individual segment. The customer should ideally derive a sense of belonging towards your brand, which is achieved mainly by appealing to their belief, lifestyle, and cultural choices.
You should keep the number of segments to a number as low as possible so that the process of segmentation becomes easier and actionable. For example, suppose you have two segments with people who are interested in sports and people who are active at gyms. You can combine them under one category as people interested in physical activities.
Marketing Segmentation, when done correctly, could be the key to a long chain of successful and profitable marketing decisions and increased ROI. Not only does it help target your customer base, but helps in every aspect of decision making for your business. Therefore it often becomes important that all personal and professional efforts are put into its planning and execution.
Symphysis believes in marketing from the ground up. With our team of dedicated experts we can help in locating your ideal market, segmentation, campaigning, search engine optimization, and creating your own successful brand. For more information call or text @+1 (425) 390-4738 for a free initial consultation
Identifying and carefully implementing your targeted marketing strategy is one of the most important success factors for any business. This article takes a brief look at the concept of Targeted Marketing, describes the targeted marketing process, and provides tips on finding your ideal market.
What is Targeted Marketing?
Targeted Marketing refers to aiming marketing efforts at a specific audience by using marketing mix,(1) resources, and budget. It is advertising and promoting your product or service to a particular and predefined set of customers, who are the most likely to purchase the product. In other words, targeted marketing aims at limiting the number of people you advertise your product to so that the promotion reaches the demographic which is most likely to purchase the product with minimal cost.
Targeted Marketing is especially useful for small businesses. Various strategies and variables are involved in targeting, such as age and gender, geographical location, season and weather, consumer’s preferences, etc. Targeting also largely depends on the product itself. For example, a product of women’s winter clothing will be advertised in winter or in the pre-winter season in a place where potential female viewers are likely to see it.
Check out the AMA definition of Targeted Marketing Here.
The Targeted Marketing Process: STP (Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning).
Segmentation is the process of dividing the potential market as a whole on identified bases so that the business can select the most profitable segment to advertise to. For example, in our previous example of women’s winter clothing, let’s say we divide the market in two segments on the basis of income. Now, if we are manufacturing expensive clothes, we will be targeting our advertisements to women with greater income levels, and vice-versa.
It is important to identify the ‘basis’ beforehand, which must be something most relevant to the organization’s long-term goals such that profit maximization is possible. For example, for an organization looking to expand its area of operations, it would be beneficial to go for a geographically-based segmentation. That is figuring out where the highest number of potential customers reside and then expanding the business accordingly toward that area.
Targeting is the process of actually making the decision as to which identified segments the product should be marketed to. A business must take in consideration various factors like distance, budget, ROI(2), etc. and decide which segment maximizes the profits and other gains, such as goodwill creation at minimal cost.
A promotional and advertisement campaign is only successful if it resonates with the audience. Positioning emphasizes exactly on that, involving decisions and steps to follow that describe how the campaign is presented to the target audience. In other words, positioning is the actual placement of the marketing campaign in front of the segmented, targeted audience.
Online Targeted Marketing
Online targeted marketing is becoming increasingly popular due to its convenience and larger demographic coverage, which compliments the parallel increase in shipment-based selling like home delivery and online sales.
Online targeted marketing is carried out through various popular websites that present a referral link from where your product can be purchased. It justifies the ‘targeted’ aspect as the advertisement is directed towards the website users who actively show interest either in ways that suggest that they are prone to purchase or are at least interested in such products or services in a general way. For example, a user who visits a page titled ‘Cool Tattoos’ on Facebook may receive an advertisement for a nearby Tattoo place, based on whether they have opted to show location (in which way another segmentation strategy, ‘geographic segmentation’ is availed, and strengthened the possibility of the advertisement showing up). However websites do not publicly reveal their exact targeting algorithms, since that way it would be easily exploitable.
Another type of online targeted marketing is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your own website to generate an organic customer base. By posting relevant content on your website you can improve your search ranking. Which is the position your website’s content is displayed when someone makes a search content relating to content on your website. You can read more about Search Engine Optimization here.
And finally, the most successful and free approach to generating organic customers is social media presence and activity. Operating pages under your brand name and posting relevant and relatable content of value for the potential customer is another way of building goodwill for your firm. Simply generating advertisements isn’t marketing. It consists of various other variables like Product, Price, Place, and Promotion(1). Advertisement is merely one of the marketing strategies under promotion. This is especially important for startups looking to acquire a share in an already competitive market. You can read more about Startup marketing here.
How to find your ideal market (conclusion)
Targeted Marketing involves a lot of planning and strategizing. It is impossible to launch a successful marketing campaign without necessary, in-depth market research beforehand. Looking at consumer trends and strategies adopted by rival firms, and then forming a segmentation strategy is helpful. After such trend analysis, you should select the segment which is most lucrative and has potential of shifting brands to yours, which offers them some superior, psychological or real value.
We can help!
Symphysis believes in marketing from the ground up. With our team of dedicated experts we can help in locating your ideal market, segmentation, search engine optimization, and create your own successful brand. For more information call or text @+1 (425) 390-4738 for a free initial consultation.