Targeted Marketing vs Mass Marketing

Targeting is a vital part of overall marketing strategy. If you haven’t read up on my segmentation section yet, I recommend you do. Segmentation delivers the information you need to be able to target successfully. One of the first things we should do when thinking about or marketing targeting is making the decision about if we will or won’t actually be targeting a segment of the market and indeed how. What is some of our communications material (eg, creative) going to look like to target who we have determined is a relevant and valuable market segment, and what platform are we going to use to reach them. Think of this as how a doctor might look at treating a patient. What is the ailment, what drugs can cure it, and how are they delivered to the patient?

Don’t try and target everyone. Find a valuable segment of the market, and target them well. Make the decision to not target certain segments so you can be more focussed in your targeting to the segments you do target. It is the age old 80:20 rule. 80% of the business comes from 20% of the customers. So target the 20% well.

You might think you are missing out on business. However, what you often find is there are a lot of “want to be like yous” out there.

An example

If you are a small business or start-up, think this example over:

Imagine you are an eco friendly coffee cup manufacturer with a new reusable thermo cup made from 100% recycled materials: You’d target eco conscious adults with your promotions. But then, as your product gets out there, people who are after the connivence of a reusable cup, money savers who don’t want to keep buying cups, and fashion conscious who want to be seen with the new, latest and greatest thing in their hands will likely follow when they see other people benefitting from the product. These segments of the market might not have responded to your marketing promotions if you’d targeted them, but the eco conscious segment will, and then you get the benefit of other segments following them into the store to buy your product.

But what about “mass-marketing”?

A great marketing read is How Brands Grow by Professor Byron Sharp. Mass marketing is the friend of fast food brands, and fast moving consumer goods, those like chocolate bars, bottles of juice, frozen foods, hair shampoo. As Bruce McColl, former Chief Marketing Officer of Mars Foods puts it, in the FMCG Mass Marketing world:

Our task is to reach as many people as we can…get them to notice and remember us…nudge them…hopefully get them to buy [our Fast Moving Consumer Good] once more this year.

Before you decide if you need to look at targeting marketing, or mass marketing look at your product. Is it niche, or something everyone needs?

Who is your customer?

Realistically, who is the customer you are marketing too? I am often very cautions when mapping out who my customer is. Often marketers give this fictitious customer a name, and an all too ideal persona that is perfect for the product and the creative we have already sketched out based on something else we’ve seen. But the only problem is this customer doesn’t exist in real life. Head back to segmentation, and then think about your targeting.

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