A market target strategy helps you focus your resources and grow quicker.
The market target strategy decision is a choice of the people or company in a product market that a company will target with its positioning strategy.
Selecting a target market strategy is one of marketing management’s most demanding challenges.
Should a company attempt to serve all people who are willing and able to buy a particular product or service? Or should you have selectively focused on one or more segments?
You must study, through market research, the product market segment, it’s buyers, and the structure of competition in order to make the right market targeting decision.
Target marketing calls for three major steps. The first is market segmentation, the act of dividing a market into distinct groups of buyers who might require separate products and or marketing mixes.
The company identifies different ways to segment the market and develops profiles of the resulting market segments.Should a company attempt to serve all people who are willing and able to buy a particular product or service? Click To Tweet
The second step is market targeting, the act of developing measures of segment attractiveness and selecting one or more market segments to enter. The third step is product positioning, the act of establishing a viable competitive positioning of the company and its offer in each target market.
Companies are increasingly embracing target marketing. Target marketing helps sellers identify marketing opportunities better. The sellers can develop the right offer for each target market.
They can adjust the prices, distribution channels, and advertising to reach the target market efficiently. Instead of scattering their marketing efforts (like a “shotgun” approach), they can focus it on the buyers whom they have the greatest chance of satisfying (like a “rifle” approach).
Companies typically appeal to only a portion of the people or organizations in a product market, regardless of the market target strategy used. Marketing management may identify one or more specific segments to serve.
Alternatively, although no specific segment strategy is formulated, the marketing program selected by the company positions is so that the company appeals to a particular subgroup within the market. The former situation is obviously preferred.
Finding it by chance does not give management the chance to evaluate the revenue, cost, and profit implications of different segments. At the other extreme, the task of selecting the very best target market is often impossible. It’s because of the product market complexity, research and analysis cost, and the difficulty of estimating the market segment response to a marketing effort.
When a segmentation strategy is employed. It should be by design and the underlying analysis should lead to the selection of a promising target opportunity.
It is possible to carry segmentation to an extreme which results in segments too small to be economically feasible. The most extreme form of segmentation occurs when each buyer is a segment.
In industrial markets, targeting of individual organizations may be appropriate because of their high buying potential. Management must evaluate the value and cost of different degrees of segmentation in choosing an optimal targeting strategy.In industrial markets, targeting of individual organizations may be appropriate because of their high buying potential. Click To Tweet
Most companies adopt some form of market segmentation. During the last decade, buyers and markets have become increasingly differentiated as to their needs and wants. It is assumed that the product market can be segmented on some basis.
Emerging markets may require rather broad macro segmentation, into a few segments, or as more mature markets can be divided into several microsegments.
It may be necessary for the emerging product market to advance to the growth stage before meaningful segmentation can occur. Market definition and analysis are essential to finding segments.
The targeting decision determines whether to go after most of the segments, only a few, or a single segment. A major company may decide to serve more than a single segment.
Management may select a few segments or instead seek intensive coverage of the product market by targeting all or most of the segments. The objective is to aim a specific marketing effort at each segment that management chooses to serve.
For example, Anheuser-Busch, the leading U.S. brewer with its multiple offering
Some targeted groups are large, and they’re undoubtedly people who buy more than one of the Anheuser-Busch brands.
Acknowledging some overlap and population groups, the firm’s market target strategy is a segmentation approach, since different brands, prices, distribution, and promotional programs are involved.
In large product markets, companies sometimes select market target strategies that offer buyers a variety of products.
On the surface, this appears to be a segmentation strategy, with each product offering a different appeal. Yet these ‘variety strategies’ are designed to give buyers brand alternatives.
When a buyer desires a brand change, a switch can be made to another brand or product version offered by the same firm.
It may be difficult to distinguish whether a firm is using a segment some element of both strategies may be present. For example, the company may offer variety to buyers in a particular market segment.
Offering customers different flavors or varieties of food products are illustrations of ‘variety strategy.’ Mars, the company that sells candy bars, offers a wide variety of candy bars and illustrates the strategy. The variety strategy is popular in the
Marketing a single segment.
This targeting strategy enables a company to focus its efforts on one group of buyers with similar needs. This is also called niche marketing. Single-segment targeting is appropriate for small firms with limited resources. The company can dedicate its total effort towards buyers in that target segment.
Single-segment targeting may help a firm gain a competitive advantage more easily than if the firm tries to simultaneously target two or more segments. The disadvantage of a single target is the dependency on one customer group.
Often market attractiveness and competition may vary across market segments. Single-segment targeting should focus on a segment with promise and an opportunity for the company to sustain a competitive advantage. The objective should be to dominate the segment.
This targeting strategy extends beyond a single segment to include a few markets. Multiple targets expand beyond market opportunities and eliminate dependency on a single market target. Selective targeting is an attractive strategy when some of the positioning elements can be used for more than a single target segment.
For example, Mont Blanc pens, in writing instruments, uses a similar line of products to target upscale buyers and business purchase the pen for employee recognition perks.
This is also called mass marketing. The objective of the extensive targeting is to gain a dominant market position by appealing to all or most of the buyers in a product market. The variable needs and preferences of buyers in many product markets require the multiple targeting of market segments.
Unless specific marketing mix appeals are developed for each segment, buyers’ needs will not be met and the company’s sales are likely to suffer. For example, it would choose extensive targeting to include GM in automobiles, United Airlines in air travel, and Molson Brewery in beer.
How to Use Target Marketing to Improve Your Strategy
Now let’s look at how you can execute strategies based on this information. Here are a few marketing targeting examples you and your brand can improve.
Wrapping Up Market Target Strategy
Selecting the product markets to be served by a company Is a critical business strategy decision.
Deciding how to compete in each product market of interest to the company is the focus of a marketing strategy. Key strategic marketing decisions include and how to position the firm’s products and services for each target market.
In analyzing the company and marketing strategies of successful companies, one feature stands out. Each has a market target and positioning strategy that is a major factor in gaining a strong market position for the company.
This is the case even though the strategies used by companies are often different. Examples of effective targeting and positioning strategies can be found in all kinds of sizes of businesses, including those marketing Industrial and consumer products.
When was the last time you reviewed your market target strategy?