Targeted marketing, a process every company needs to go through. Why? Imagine that you own a steak restaurant. Now, as a steak restaurant owner, you probably think: “I don’t need targeting, everyone needs to eat. And the more people that know about my restaurant, the better.” Right? Well, not exactly.
Indeed, we all need to eat and the more people that know about you, the greater the number of potential guests. But should you spend your time and resources on people who will probably never visit your restaurant? Think about vegetarians, vegans or people who simply don’t like steaks, or don’t enjoy going to restaurants. What about people who live in New York, or Beijing? The answer is, you shouldn’t.
Basically, relevant targeting plays a big role in running a business. The more relevant you are to your consumers, the greater the chance that they choose your business. So instead of trying to impress the world, start by impressing your potential customers.
Market targeting before targeted marketing
Before you can do targeted marketing, you first need to know who your market is. So let’s start by exploring something called Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, or the STP model.
Whether if you are just now starting a business, or you have a new product line, this is a very useful marketing model. Each step of this model helps you understand both your consumers and the market better and better. However, since today we are talking about targeted marketing we are going to focus only on consumers. This means Segmentation and Targeting, and all you need to know about them. So let’s dive into it.
As the name implies, during this stage, a company segments the market into different groups, based on multiple factors. British Marketing professor and renowned author David Jobber (2012) describes these categories as profile, psychographics, and behavior.
- Profile factors include the most generic information about your consumers like age, gender, income, education and their location.
- Psychographic factors dig into more personal information about consumers, like their lifestyle or their personality.
- Behavioral factors relate mainly to the actual act of a consumer purchasing a product or service. To be more precise, what reasons customers have for the purchase and the benefits they look for in your product or service.
During this phase, the company finds a group within the market that would best align with the products or services they provide. This group is defined as the target market, and it includes all potential customers to whom the company could sell its products, services and brand.
How to find your target market
In order for you to find your target market, you need to first go through a few key steps:
- Define your unique selling points (USPs). Ask yourself, what problem does your product/service solve, that your competitors’ does not?
- Picture your ideal consumer. Now that you know how your product/service is going to change the world, try and imagine the ideal customer.
- Create personas. Write down everything that describes the ideal customer and is relevant for the selection process. You can have one or more personas.
- Pick the most likely persona to buy what you offer, and there you go. This is your target market.
Now, it’s time to find your target audience. Yup! Just like “Inception”, it is a group within a group. While your target market represents all you potential customers in a market, the target audience represents different specific groups within that.
Split your target audience
You can define your target audience based on a plethora of factors like gender, age, location, and every possible combination between them. The important thing to understand is that your target audience dictates your communication strategy. This includes the information, tone and the channels used to reach your target market.
Benefits of Targeted Marketing
So what are the actual benefits of having a target market? It doesn’t only increase your company’s profit but it does much more! Here we have stated a few examples.
Save time and resources
If you identify your target market correctly, you allow yourself to focus only on those who are most likely to purchase your product/service. Meaning that you spend the least amount of money possible for the highest chance of turning a prospect into a customer.
When you know who your customers are, you also know who receives your messages and which channels they prefer to receive them through. In other words, you are able to tailor those messages precisely to fit your target market and speak directly to your defined audience.
Customized messages will most likely increase your customer base quite quickly. The right message sent to the right people at the right time,help them realize that they need your product. From that point, it is much easier for a company to turn that lead into a customer.
Keeping a product/service up-to-date
Knowing your target market allows you to keep improving products/services concurrently with customers’ needs. And that is a truly great benefit, as your customers will always be happy with your product
Happy customers are loyal customers, and loyal customers are a significant win for a company. Not only due to the consistent purchases but also because of word of mouth marketing. And there is no better marketing for a company than a loyal customer spreading positive words about your company to the world.
Targeted marketing in a digital world
As we live in a digital age, the importance of mastering digital marketing is vital. Companies need to realize that. Because consumers that belong to generations like young Millenials, born before 2000, and today’s Gen Z are also part of a digital generation.
These generations will soon become the majority of all consumers out there, which leaves us with a quite clear view of the future. Companies that won’t have an online presence, will eventually go out of business. So where to start? Social media, of course.
Targeting on Social Media
Social media platforms help companies find accurate consumers for their business. They enable them to target their posts and paid ads. However, Facebook and LinkedIn, are by far the favorite ones both among consumers and companies.
Facebook is usually more suitable for companies operating in a B2C market and LinkedIn for a B2B market. That doesn’t mean tha B2C companies can’t also find use in being active on LinkedIn. But, each of the two social media platforms are champions in their own league.
Targeting on Facebook
At the end of December 2018, there were around 2.32 billion active Facebook users, more than one-third of the world population. Let’s face it. That is crazy.
However, remember the steak restaurant example? With such an enormous reach potential, the need for precise targeting is even greater. Sure your company can try to reach all 2.32 billion people out there. But not only it is impossible, it is also unnecessary.
Being relevant will bring you much more value, than being everywhere, and there are two ways you can approach this. Organic reach and paid.
Starting a few years ago, Facebook introduced targeting organic posts. Using this feature, you can apply what you learn from your market targeting and ensure you reach the right target audience.
This feature extends only to your followers, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have different target audiences within them. Now, when you want to communicate a specific message with only a part of your target group you can use the news feed targeting tool. The post will be still visible to everyone that visits your page or uses Facebook search to find that specific post. But it will only appear in the feed of relevant people. And relevance increases engagement. And the best part about it? It is all for free!
However, if you want to gain gaining new followers fast, seek no more. That is one of the things that paid ads can do for you. Paid ads gives you the potential of reaching all the right people at the right time through a single platform.
Moreover, Facebook ads and social media marketing in general are also extremely cheaper, comparing with traditional marketing. And it’s easy too.
The first step is defining your goal for the campaign, and Facebook gives you 7 options:
- Boost an Instagram post
- Encourage engagement
- Get more website purchases
- Promote your page
- Promote your business locally
- Get more website visitors
- Get more leads
For example, let’s say you want to gain new followers on your Facebook page. So you would select the option “Promote your page”.
Next step is to select the type of ad you want to run. Here you have to choose the format of the ad, the target audience, the budget and duration and the payment. After filling in all the information you are all set and ready to launch your very own facebook ad!
If you are unsure what type of ad you need, you don’t have to worry. The important thing is to know you goal. For the rest, there is the Facebook’s ad manager. This analytics and management tool allows you to test and see what works best by tracking each ad’s performance. You can edit or create new ads, and improve regularly.
Targeting on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 562 million users worldwide. So, while Facebook serves more as a peer-2-peer communication channel, LinkedIn is more a employee-employer channel. Nevertheless, just like Facebook, Linkedin supports both organic targeting as well as paid advertisements. But LinkedIn has a more business oriented perspective.
Compared to Facebook, Linkedin allow career targeting, meaning that not only it allows you to select generic criteria, such as language and location. But, it also allows you to target your audience based on their industry, company size and many others.
For example, you can use job function and university to send a specific post targeting executives who have graduated from Copenhagen Business School, in Copenhagen. This tool is perfect, if you want to attract another company, as it allows you to deliver the message directly to the decision-making unit (DMU).
In case you feel like your company could use a paid advertisement too. We are here for you with a summary of a paid advertisement on LinkedIn.
As on Facebook, first, your company needs to set the objective it wants to achieve and, again, you have 7 options to choose from:
- Brand awareness
- Website visits
- Video views
- Lead Generations
- Website conversions
- Job applicants
You can see the objectives are a bit different from Facebook, more “businessy”. However, we have decided to investigate the option “Website visits”. That is for companies who wish to gain more traffic on their websites through LinkedIn.
Once again, after you chose a purpose for your campaign, the next step is designing your ads. Remember! Your ad does not have to be perfect from the strat. You can always go back and adjust.
LinkedIn also provides an excellent analytical tool, the Linkedin Ad Campaign Manager. This solutions allows you to create multiple accounts, each hosting its own campaigns. The account differentiation is a huge plus, however. As your company has multiple marketing/sales people, each person has their own account.
Many companies might oversee targeted marketing, but being relevant plays a big role in your business’ success. Increased engagement, higher customer satisfaction and business growth are just a few of the advantages of good marketing practices. Moreover, with our world becoming more and more digital, the main focus is on online targeted marketing. So whether you run a start-up or a multinational corporate, remember to target your digital market!
If you don’t know where to start, but you have an idea you want to transform into a rock-solid digital solution, contact us! Together we can change the world.