What is marketing targeting strategy – and how does it affect targeting settings for Google, Facebook, and other ads?
Great question. Marketing targeting is a strategic decision that covers who you reach out to, when you reach out to them, and – sometimes – how much you’re prepared to pay. Doing this well means understanding your customers’ behaviour, interests, and demographics.
There are different types of marketing targeting strategies. The main types are differentiated, segmented, concentrated, and micromarketing. On this page, we’ll cover these – as well as 4 types of marketing segmentation, how to find a target market, and more.
Let’s start with the basics…
What is a marketing targeting strategy?
Marketing targeting strategy identifies specific groups of customers for advertising purposes. It defines your target audience by factors like…:
- Demographics – age, gender, and location
- Psychographics – interests, attitudes, and values
- Behaviour – browsing and purchase history
The better you can define your audience, the more likely they are to buy your products or services. This means spending less money and effort on people who are less likely to buy from you and making more money in the long run.
Now let’s talk about specific marketing targeting strategies.
Types of marketing targeting strategies
1. Undifferentiated (mass) marketing
Undifferentiated marketing doesn’t really involve any targeting at all, since it treats every person the same: as a potential customer.
This is commonly seen in Top-of-Funnel Marketing: blog posts, online search ads, and social media posts. There’s no way to know if the right person will see your posts and respond, so you target everyone.
This means that while you may get people responding and purchasing, you’re spending more money and effort to reach them. There’s also more competition because your posts are going head-to-head with everyone else’s.
2. Differentiated marketing
Differentiated marketing means marketing the same product to a few different audiences. This is done by tailoring your offer to each audience, then marketing to the same audience’s unique needs and wants.
An example of this is seen in brands that target multiple demographics by age group, gender, or location. For example, a makeup brand might target young women in their 20s… While a parallel product line might target all genders, regardless of age.
The trick is to find the balance between differentiating your marketing without spending too much time and resources and limiting your growth potential.
3. Concentrated (niche) marketing
With concentrated marketing, you focus on one hyper-specific niche instead of targeting multiple segments of the population. This can help corner your market – if it’s specific enough – but can also make long-term growth difficult.
Let’s look at an example: say you’re creating a product and marketing campaign targeted at stay-at-home dads. You craft your message, offer, and freebies around this specific audience. For example, you might offer free ideas dads can use to keep kids busy.
A targeted approach like this makes you a lot more attractive to potential customers. Stay-at-home dads are more likely to engage with you than a brand targeting stay-at-home parents of both genders.
Another example of concentrated marketing is partnering with influencers and creators who are popular within narrow niches, such as micro influencers.
Micromarketing takes concentrated marketing a step further by targeting individuals. The idea is to use data tracking and AI. to create ads meant to convert specific individuals at specific times.
Although rare for now, micromarketing is catching on in popularity. It faces challenges due to privacy concerns and scalability. Still, some elements of micromarketing – like seeing ultra-targeted ads about topics you’ve been browsing around – are becoming common.
Why are marketing targeting strategies important?
Using a marketing targeting strategy can make a big difference in your business. 81% of executives found that segmentation was crucial for growing profits. Organisations with market segmentation strategies enjoyed a 10% higher profit.
One reason is that targeting the right people prevents redundant ad displays, saving you money. Another reason is that you get more money when you go for your dream customers with precision.
If you’re serious about growing your business, you should invest in a building a marketing targeting strategy that works for your brand, your customers and your goals.
Types of market segmentation
Finding your target market is all about choosing how to segment your audience based on various features and characteristics. You can decide to focus on one aspect or several, depending on your goals.
1. Demographic segmentation
This method segments a market based on demographic information like age, race, gender, occupation, income, education, etc.
It’s the most commonly used and easiest way to target your marketing. This is the main filter type you’ll see in Google and Facebook ad campaigns.
2. Firmographic segmentation
While demographic segmentation focuses on B2C marketing, firmographic segmentation is about B2B marketing, because it focuses on organisational demographics like company size, employees, locations, etc.
This is considered a solid strategy if you are marketing to other businesses instead of individual consumers.
3. Behavioural segmentation
This splits markets into segments based on consumer behaviour patterns and decision making. For example, Instagram bases their advertising algorithm on your behaviour.
This can result in that eerie feeling you might sometimes get when you see an Instagram ad on your feed and you think your phone is ‘listening’ to you.
4. Psychographic segmentation
Similarly to behavioural segmentation, the psychographic approach divides the market by personality traits, values, opinions, and interests. These individual aspects can be more difficult to identify and track as opposed to more concrete behaviours like purchase history.
How to create a target market strategy
Are you ready to set up the ideal marketing strategy for your business? Follow these key steps to get started.
1. Define your current customer base
Look at all the information you have available about your current customers. This will show you which types of people already gravitate toward your business and respond to your current marketing efforts.
Pay attention to the above categories, including demographics and behaviour, as well as anything you might be able to identify about their personality traits and interests.
2. Decide on the best differentiation and segmentation strategy for your company
Based on the information you have, look at the various ways you can segment your audience and prioritise the segments you want to focus on.
Decide how you will differentiate your products and services to market to your target segment(s). How can you make your products or services more appealing to your target market’s unique needs?
3. Try running 1-2 new marketing campaigns
Using the targeting and segmentation strategy you’ve chosen, launch a couple of new marketing campaigns to see how your current and potential customers react.
After you’ve run your test marketing campaigns, take a look at the results and adjust your strategy as needed. Keep in mind that you might need to adjust your strategy over time as your business grows.
4. Track and analyse data
Keep close watch on your marketing performance. Use A/B testing, and analyse data to find which marketing strategies perform best on which target market segments.
Marketing and advertising can sometimes involve a lot of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Even if you run a campaign that doesn’t perform as well as you’d like, that’s okay. you can still glean plenty of valuable information from that data and use it to your advantage.
Tips for applying targeting strategies
1. With Google Ads
Google’s in-market audience feature can help you target customers most likely to purchase your product. It does this by seeing which users are comparison shopping, and putting your offer in front of them.
Using the remarketing feature in Google Ads can help you target your ads too. It tracks website visitors, then lets you retarget them as individuals who’ve already expressed some interest in your offer.
2. Use Meta’s targeting features
Meta allows marketers to target users based on their interests. This can let you market to people who are interested in topics adjacent to your brand and offer.
You can also retarget past website visitors with Meta Pixel. This shows your marketing messages to people who’ve already engaged with your ads and website, usually at a lower cost (and with more payoff).
3. Prioritise SEO
Focusing on increasing organic traffic on your website and social media is one of the best ways to naturally target your audience. Doing this well means using effective SEO strategies that show you to people who search for your keywords.
Out of all the strategies mentioned, this one takes some dedication and effort to pull off, but you can achieve a lot of organic growth for free this way.
Are you ready to implement a marketing strategy and make more sales?
Now that you understand the different types of marketing targeting strategies and how to apply them, it’s time to experiment intelligently and see what works best for your business. Don’t forget to keep track of any data collected so you can adjust your strategy as needed.
Want us to take a look at your marketing, including targeting strategy? Book a free strategy call, worth $1,200, today. We’d love to learn more about your business and we’d be glad to talk marketing and targeting with you!