Social media marketers spend time researching where their prospective customers spend most of their time online for proper targeting. Discovering where your target market or customers hang out arms you with the right strategy to go for them.
Are you a social media marketer and you are looking for ways to find and engage your target audience to achieve maximum results?
Then look no more because, in this post, I’ll provide you with the best strategies from various research that your brand would need to find and engage your target audience to increase productivity.
But before I delve deep…
Let’s take a look at the branches of the target market. Starting with what target market is all about.
Target market Definition
Marketing is a matching process, one that pairs the capabilities of a company and the wants of the customers. The creation and delivery of unique value to prospective customers and acquire a sustained competitive advantage is of prime importance in marketing a particular group of consumers at which a product or service is aimed.
A target market is a group of customers (individuals, households or organizations), for which an organization designs, implements and maintains a marketing mix suitable for the needs and preferences of that group
Marketing mix is a tool used for effective marketing for decades. Marketing mix is originating from the single P (price) of microeconomic theory offered the “marketing mix”, often referred to as the “4Ps”, as a means of translating marketing planning into practice.
Marketing mix is not a scientific theory, but merely a conceptual framework that identifies the principal decision-making managers make in configuring their offerings to suit consumers’ needs.
The Need for a new marketing Mix
Since its introduction, marketing mix has been modified due to changes in consumer and organizational attitudes over the last few decades have frequently prompted marketing thinkers to explore new theoretical approaches and expanding the scope of the marketing mix concept.
Number of researchers explored more ‘P’s instead of traditional 4Ps only. Some advertisers have proposed 4Cs. instead of 4 Ps . The 4 C’s model of marketing is more consumers oriented because of its focus on consumers, but it is mainly used for Niche Marketing.
In the age of internet time, the “4 C’s” is also facing some dilemma and a new marketing tool of “4 V’s” is being contemplated for application. The” 4V`s” are Validity, Value, Venue, and Vogue.
Constantinides came out with 4S model (web-marketing model, WMM). It describes web marketing strategy with four elements begin with”S” including scope, site, synergy, and system.
However, the creation of new ‘4P’, `4C`, `4S` and 4`S`s could not offer the most appropriate marketing mix tool to the practitioners which will be mutually beneficial to customers and marketers.
Every stakeholder involved in the marketing process looks for `Value`. The customer enters in the marketing process for better `value` for his money through `Value to Customer`. The marketers would like to concentrate on the `valued customer`.
The prime objective of any business is to seek value from the business `value to the marketer`. The marketer and customer would like to keep society`s interest intact through `Value to society`.
So there is a need to study the entire marketing process through the approach of 4 Values Model to add an entirely new dimension to strategic marketing.
Inadequacy of existing models
The “4 Ps” (Price, Promotion, Place, and Product) proposed by Jerome McCarthy in the 1950s are the cornerstone of modern “marketing mix” for some time.
Candidly, the 4 Ps are a bit out of date as the 4 Ps look at marketing from the provider’s point of view rather than from the customer perspective.
In the new millennium, the customer is in charge and demands to be served their way, when they want it, and where they want. Dr. Bob Lauterborn, a professor at the University of North Carolina, gets it. He thinks that we need to toss out the 4 Ps. He contends that there are actually 4 Cs. In the current dynamic cage, the “4 C’s” is also facing some dilemma and to overcome this dilemma a concept of “4 V’s” was contemplated.
“4 V’s” also has faced criticism due to its limitations such as static approach and lacks dynamism.”4V`s” do not consider the element of Value to the customer, Value to the marketer and Value to society.
All these limitations necessitate entirely a new approach and perspective to study current marketing process from the perspective of Value.
The 4 Values Model
This is purely a conceptual model of Marketing mix namely 4 Values Marketing which needs to be tested in the market. Four Values Marketing:
- Valued customers– It is very important and imperative to know `who is your customer` and one can reach to the answer to question whom to serve by identifying the customer through strategic segmentation. Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs) serves passengers, who pay from their own pockets.
For instance, Tata Motors is offering its car NANO to those customers who are looking for 4 wheeler comfort at 2 wheeler cost. Valued customers concept is borrowed from 3Vs theory proposed by Nirmalya Kumar.
- Value to the customers–`What is being offered to customer’ it includes value proposition offered to the customer but the marketer has to go beyond value proposition.
Instead of offering merely a product or service to the customer the marketer needs to offer a solution to customer`s problem in totality.
Examples of a brand that offer a solution to customer’s problem in totality
Products like Nano and iPhone offer a solution to the customer at an appropriate price.
Brand #1: Apple offers a complete package along with its most of the applications freely and updates newly developed application freely most of the time.
Even though Apple products are costlier than the competitor’s similar product but Apple customers get value for their money due to brand value and social status.
Brand #2: Nano owners get a solution to their discomfort of two-wheeler drives at a higher cost than that of two-wheeler but much lower than other four wheelers.
Brand #3: LCCs do not offer meals, pre-assigned seating, business class, frequent flyer miles, but offers air travel service. The customer friendly delivery system without any additional cost or at nominal cost adds value to the customers.
SOLUTION Value to SOCIETY Value to CUSTOMER Valued CUSTOMER Value to MARKETER.
- Value to society –`What is being offered to society`. Marketing offers benefits to society by informing and educating consumers.
It may be done with persuasive intent, but it generally begins with customers need and satisfaction of the need, it results in need-based product creation and product marketing.
Marketing also includes more practical information to assist in making a purchase, such as addresses, phone numbers, product release dates, store hours and Web addresses which results in optimizing customer resources and time.
The brand image and brand equity help customers to rely on trusted brands and the consistency that comes from brand loyalty.
The value to society allows consumers to make informed decisions without as many risks. Marketing of qualitative and standard and safe products enhances society’s well-being as a whole.
Marketers need to concentrate on “social good”, even though he is in “commercial marketing”. An environmentally safe product which protects the environment is the biggest gain to society in modern marketing.
- Value to the marketer –“What it brings to marketer”. The marketer markets the products and services to fetch profit, but they also create brand value and brand equity, corporate image for a marketer.
The tangible and intangible benefits fetched by product or services are of prime importance to the marketer for a survivor and competitive advantages.
In the era of social media, these tangible and intangible assets play an important role in making an organization successful or otherwise.
Target market segmentation
It would normally identify a primary target and a secondary target. Primary target markets are those market segments to which marketing efforts are primarily directed and where more of the business’s resources are allocated, while secondary markets are often smaller segments or less vital to a product’s success.
5 ways to segment a target market
There are 5 commonly used ways to segment a target market:
- By Target market Needs
- By target audience behavior
Identifying a target audience
In terms of evaluating markets, three core considerations are essential:
- Segment size and growth
- Segment structural attractiveness
- Compatibility with company objectives and resources.
Target market Profile
During the market segmentation process, the marketing analyst will have developed detailed profiles for each segment formed. This profile typically describes the similarities between consumers within each segment and the differences between consumers across each of the segments.
The primary use of the segment profile is to assess the extent to which a firm’s offerings meet the needs of different segments.
A profile will include all such information as is relevant for the product or service and may include:
- Purchasing habits
- Disposition to spend
- Brand preferences
- Loyalty behavior
- Usage frequency and any other information deemed relevant to the subject at hand.
Benefits of segment Profile
The segment profile assists in the decision-making process and has a number of specific benefits.
- Assists to determine those segments that are most attractive to the business
- Provides quantitative data about segments for a more objective assessment of segment attractiveness
- Assists in tailoring the product or service offering to the needs of various segments
- Provides basic information to assist with targeting
- Allocating the firm’s resources effectively
After profiling all the market segments formed during the segmentation process, detailed market analysis is carried out to identify one or more segments that are worthy of further investigation.
Additional research may be undertaken at this juncture to ascertain which segments require detailed analysis with the potential to become target segments.
Target market Example
The following are common types of target market:
Types of target market
- Specific Audience – a list of a specific audience. For example, a business to business sales team may identify a list of 2100 businesses as their pool of possible customers for a software product.
- Local Marketing – identifying audiences in a particular community. For example, a coffee shop that opens a new location in a small town to target local residents.
- Demographic – a demographic target such as a brand of shoes for women aged 18-25.
- Audience Needs – customers with a specific set of needs such as a line of unusually warm socks for people who spend time outdoors in winter.
- Customer Preferences – customer preferences such as a line of underarm deodorant for customers who don’t want chemicals in their personal care products.
- Lifestyle – customers with a particular way of life. For example, an unlimited travel insurance policy that covers trips to most countries for a year that targets active travelers.
- Culture – a culture, subculture or super-culture. For example, a brand of tea that targets fans of British culture with patriotic and classic British designs.
- Willingness to Pay – targeting customers by their price sensitivities such as a premium milk product packaged in a glass bottle for customers who tend to buy the most luxurious food item they can find in each product category.
- Interests – products or promotions designed to appeal to a set of interests. For example, a bank that offers a selection of 18 credit card designs with artwork featuring popular animals that target animal lovers.
- Values – values such as a cosmetics brand that targets people who want to minimize their impact on the environment.
- Behavior – consumer behavior such as a luxury brand that targets status seeking individuals.
Target market strategies
Marketers have outlined five basic strategies to the segmentation and the identification of target markets:
- Undifferentiated marketing (mass marketing)
- Differentiated marketing
- Concentrated marketing (niche marketing)
- Micromarketing (hyper-segmentation)
- Direct Marketing
Let’s discuss the five target market strategies one after the other. Note most of the words and sentence in this part of this post is referenced to Asllani & Halstead, 2015.
Undifferentiated marketing/Mass marketing is a method which is used to target as many people as possible to advertise one message that marketers want the target market to know.
When television first came out, undifferentiated marketing was used in almost all commercial campaigns to spread one message across to a mass of people.
The types of commercials that played on the television back then would often be similar to one another that would often try to make the viewer’s laugh, These same commercials would play on air for multiple weeks/months to target as many viewers as possible. Which is one of the positive aspects of undifferentiated marketing?
However, there are also negative aspects to mass marketing as not everyone thinks the same so it would be extremely difficult to get the same message across to a huge number of people.
Differentiated marketing is a practice in which different messages are advertised to appeal to certain groups of people within the target market.
Differentiated marketing, however, is a method which requires a lot of money to pull off.
Due to messages being changed each time to advertise different messages it is extremely expensive to do as it would cost every time to promote a different message.
Differentiated marketing also requires a lot of time and energy as it takes time to come up with ideas and presentation to market the many different messages, it also requires a lot of resources to use this method.
But investing all the time, money and resources into differentiated marketing can be worth it if done correctly, as the different messages can successfully reach the targeted group of people and successfully motivate the targeted group of people to follow the messages that are being advertised.
Niche marketing is a term used in business that focuses on selling its products and services solely on a specific target market.
Despite being attractive to small businesses, niche marketing is highly considered to be a difficult marketing strategy as businesses may need thorough and in-depth research to reach its specific target market in order to succeed.
Niche marketing is also primarily known as concentrated marketing, which means that firms are using all their resources and skills on one particular niche.
Niche marketing has become one of the most successful marketing strategies for many firms as it identifies key resources and gives the marketer a specific category to focus on and present information.
This allows companies to have a competitive advantage over other larger firms targeting the same group; as a result, it generates higher profit margins.
Smaller firms usually implement this method, so that they are able to concentrate on one particular aspect and give full priority to that segment, which helps them compete with larger firms.
Direct marketing is a method which firms are able to market directly to their customers’ needs and wants, it focuses on consumer spending habits and their potential interests. Firms use direct marketing a communication channel to interact and reach out to their existing consumers.
Direct marketing is done by collecting consumer data through various means.
An example is an internet and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Those were a few online methods of which organizations gather their data to know what their consumers like and want allowing organizations to cater to what their target markets want and their interest.
This method of marketing is becoming increasingly popular as the data allows organizations to come up with more effective promotional strategies and come up with better customize promotional offers that are more accurate to what the customers like, it will also allow organizations to uses their resources more effectively and efficiently and improve customer management relationships.
An important tool that organizations use in direct marketing is the RFMmodel (recency-frequency-monetary value).
Despite all the benefits this method can bring, it can be extremely costly which means an organization with low budget constraints would have trouble using this method of marketing.
Target market Analysis
Target market or customer analysis is a major part of any effective marketing strategy. You connect with your target customers when you have carried out an analysis to know who you’re targeting customers are and what they want to know, see or hear.
More on target market analysis is covered in this blog post.
How to find and engage your target market
Research your target audience
Recent research shows that active internet users spend up to 25% of their internet time on social media platforms. This shows that your audience spends a reasonable amount of their time on social media. You can make use of tools such as Google analytics, twitter analytics, and Facebook Insights to help you monitor and give you a concrete data of how well your post is doing and which platform gives you the highest engagement.
They can also provide you with details of your target audience so you know the time of the day when they are most active so as to increase engagement.
Provide good content
Chances are people would only visit your blog/site if you have what they’re looking for or you can provide a service or solutions to their immediate needs. Most marketers run their blogs to make money but you need to put the interest of your customers first to achieve this feat. When promoting content on your blog, ensure it benefits the audience more than it benefits you.
One more way of ensuring you engage your audience with your content is to place a time frame on certain product or services you offer that would be irresistible to your audience that way they take note of your items and there’s a high possibility of them sharing it with their friends who in turn becomes your audience and increases engagements.
Email marketing is the oldest yet of the best, effective and easiest ways to keep your audience engaged. You can send them an email at a scheduled time to receive feedback from them about your brand. This would make them feel they’re actually communicating with a human and hence it fosters and builds the relationship between the customer and the brand. You can also send them an email containing polls, discounts emails, etc. just to keep them engaged with your brand.
Don’t neglect mobile devices
Majority of internet users makes use of different forms of mobile devices such as smartphones, tabs, iPad, etc. to surf the internet. According to an analysis made by Comscore, it was discovered that mobile devices contribute to 8% of internet traffic and 5% of this amount are spent on social media.
The number may seem low but it is very significant as mobile devices are shaping the way we surf the net. The target audience can view your blog, shop on an e-commerce store, compare & contrast goods and prices, retweet or share a post all at once using the mobile device.
Marketers should optimize their website in a way that it is mobile friendly so that your target audience doesn’t have to strain their eyes or forcefully zoom your page to read your content.
Consistency, commitment, and analysis
The key to success is consistency. Now that you’ve known who your audience is, what they want and how they function, you need to be consistent in providing and rendering your service to them. There’s a popular adage “out of sight, out of the heart”.
This also applies to your customers, as if they don’t get to see your work or product, it begins to wear off from their minds. Be committed to your work, set a schedule to monitor your progress and make analysis on a monthly basis to ensure you are in line with the goal you aim to achieve.