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Recently, we had a client who wanted to reach everyone but didn’t have a specific target. When it comes to marketing, if you try to talk to everyone, you’ll have a hard time reaching anyone. Vague, generic messages are much less likely to resonate with audiences than direct, specific communication – which is why targeting in any marketing strategy is important.
In marketing, if you try to talk to everyone, you won’t reach anyone. But how and why should you target?

What is targeting in marketing?

Targeting in marketing is a strategy that divides a large market into smaller segments to focus on a specific group of customers within that audience. It defines a customer segment based on its unique characteristics and focuses solely on its service.

Instead of trying to reach an entire market, a brand uses target marketing to put its energy into connecting with a specific, defined group within that market.
Types of target markets are often segmented by characteristics such as:

  • Demographics: age, gender, education, marital status, race, religion, etc.
  • Values: beliefs, interests, personality, lifestyle, etc.
  • Industry: industry or vertical
  • Geographic areas: neighborhood, area code, city, region, country, etc.

Through this market segmentation strategy, brands become more specific about their target market. They can focus on a small group of customers who are most likely to benefit from their products.
For example, a brand that sells diaries may decide to focus on a smaller, specific target market. Instead of marketing to the masses, they may focus solely on selling planners to women business owners for example. Or, they could choose to market exclusively to high school teachers. Both examples are smaller, more specific segments of the potential market.

Why is targeting so important?

Marketing targeting is important because it is part of a holistic marketing strategy. It impacts advertising, as well as the customer experience, branding, and business operations of the company.

When your company focuses on target market segmentation, you can:

  • Speak directly to a defined audience. Marketing messages resonate more deeply with audiences when readers can make a direct connection to the information. Brands with a large and diverse market often struggle to create marketing campaigns that speak directly to their target audience. Because Internet users are so different, few slogans or stories can resonate with each person’s heart. With a targeted marketing strategy, you can mitigate this problem and focus on crafting messages for a specific audience.
  • Attract and convert high-quality leads. When you speak directly to the people you want to target, you’re more likely to attract the right people. Your marketing will more effectively reach the people most likely to want to do business with you. When you connect with the right people, you’re more likely to get qualified, high-quality leads that will turn into paying customers.
  • Differentiate your brand from the competition. When you stop trying to speak to every customer in your market and start focusing on a smaller segment of that audience, you also start to differentiate yourself from your competitors in your industry. When customers can clearly identify with your brand and your unique selling propositions, they will choose you over your competitors who don’t specifically address or target them. You can use your marketing positioning to make your brand more well-known and unique.
  • Increase customer loyalty. The ability to stand out from the competition by reaching out to your customers on a more personal and human level also creates more lasting relationships. When customers identify with your brand and feel like you are advocating for their specific views and needs, they are likely to be more loyal and continue to do business with you over a longer period of time.
  • Improve products and services. Knowing your customers more intimately also helps you see your products and services in a new way. When you have a deep understanding of your target audience, you can put yourself in their shoes and see how you can improve your offerings. You can see what features you can add to better serve your customers.
  • Stay focused. Finally, the benefit of using target marketing is that it also serves to help your brand and your teams. Targeted marketing allows you to be more specific about your marketing strategy, initiatives, and brand direction. It helps you clarify your vision and get everyone in the organization on the same page. You have more direction when it comes to shaping future plans for both marketing and the company as a whole. A focused approach helps you fully optimize your resources, time, and budget.

Using a targeted marketing strategy serves both customers and brands. It improves the development and operation of your products, and your site. This strategy allows a brand to differentiate, stand out, and have a greater impact. But before you start target marketing, you need something important, you will need to create your personas (to know how to create them, you can refer to our article on Personas).

If you want to get some help in defining your marketing targets, we are here for you. Richard Bulan is here to help you grow your business.

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