Effective marketing entails knowing the right people for whom to broadcast your message. Given the broad audience that advertisers have at their disposal, it is very easy for marketing messages to come up short. Target marketing has become a sought after strategy because it allows businesses to broadcast to a specific audience. In a world where buyers are assailed with noise from numerous advertisers, you must find ways to stand out.

Commercial entities have a multitude of advertising strategies they can use to promote their brands to consumers. However, it is through target marketing that entrepreneurs can detect new opportunities among consumers and capitalize on them. This guide takes a look at what target marketing means and how to get it right.

What Is Target Marketing?

Companies pick their target markets by segmenting audiences based on different criteria. Using research, marketers identify a certain portion of consumers and learn their needs by waiting for their response. They then structure advertising messages that align with single ideas, behaviors, and purchasing habits of that particular audience. Target marketing gives enterprises a point to focus on when developing campaigns, this is a direct way of reaching specific variables or a specific group with a primary need. Because you only have to deal with a specific section of your audience, advertising becomes time and cost effective. For example, instead of placing a newspaper ad about your travel packages for everyone to see, you can mail brochures directly to a number of customers.

Marketers today have a variety of platforms where they can gather data on consumers to help with their segmentation. From social media to mobile apps, a company can learn a lot about its customers. Whether you are targeting individual consumers or other businesses, data is invaluable when conducting target marketing. You can portion your audience using aspects such as age, income level, and gender.

Great Examples of Target Marketing


Starbucks- Mainly a place for coffee, so they market their drinks.

McDonalds- A fast food restaurant focuses on getting food to you fast and efficiently, the food that you want, quickly.

Chipotle- A more sophisticated fast food restaurant that gives you a quick and sophisticated dining experience.

Dunkin’ Donuts- The focus keyword is in the title… Donuts!


Red Bull, Pepsi, and Coco Cola were created to quench a thirst.


Ikea- Furniture

Victoria Secret or VS – Under garments

Nordstrom- Clothing, more sophisticated

Under Amour- Sports wear

Adidas- Shoes and other footwear items

Forever 21- Clothing, less sophisticated

Amazon- The one stop shop, essentially Walmarts online version

Walmart- A catch all for grocery, clothing, and outdoor.

Urban Outfitters- Clothing, less sophisticated

Lululemon- Clothing, less sophisticated

Banana Republic- Clothing, more sophisticated

J. Crew- Clothing, more sophisticated

Nike- Shoes


iPad and iPhone- table/phone for those that prefer Apples fine products, iPhones are smaller iPads.

Netflix- Tv and Movie streaming service

Galaxy S5- Phone for those that prefer Android products

Kindle- Books, digital reading

XBox 360- Video games


6 Target Marketing Tips for Success

Which Problems are You Solving

Each product or service put on the market is meant to solve a certain problem. Before thinking of marketing, be clear about which solution your brand offers. Why should a consumer pick your brand off a shelf in a supermarket when ten others on the same isle serve a similar purpose? The answer to this is what will create the foundation of your target marketing. If you can’t understand the problem your product is solving, selling it to an audience becomes very difficult.

Identify the Audience and Create Customer Personas

identifying a target audience

The initial steps for any target marketing campaign are to clarify your audience accordingly. Who should receive your message? Segment your audience depending on the product. Take a travel agency, for instance. If you have discounts for hotel accommodations, who should your audience be? You can’t advertise to everyone; that is a very wide audience. Perhaps the discounts have put your hotel accommodation package into the budget category. Using research data, you can find consumers who search for affordable accommodation. You can also narrow down that classification to those who need places to stay in a certain location (where the hotel is).

Developing customer persona means getting all the relevant information about the audience you are targeting. It’s not enough to know you are dealing with vacation goers. Knowing your target market is female, aged between 30 and 40, with children, gives you more to work with.

Leverage Social Media Influence

Social networks are data goldmines that can boost your target marketing considerably. People provide all sorts of details about themselves on social networks, willingly or otherwise. You can use these platforms differently for your targeted marketing.

Social influence is one criterion that can help promote your brand and increase your sales. Some individuals have a lot of influence on social media, which businesses can use to their advantage. Having these social influencers spread the word about your product or service will get your message to all the right people. Using online tools, you can find social influencers in your circle then forge relationships that will grant you access to a larger audience.

Target Specific Social Networks

Different social networks attract specific crowds. When you log into Pinterest, for example, you will realize most of the users are creatives with all kinds of hobbies. If you use social media for your social target marketing, decide which one suits your business needs. Twitter and LinkedIn are useful when marketing to other businesses while Facebook is effective when focusing on regular consumers. Each social network has something to offer to different users, therefore, make sure you know what it is so you can exploit it.

Target the Buying Cycle

After identifying the audience you wish to market to, develop messages that apply to each stage of the purchasing journey. Customers have various needs when they are at different steps of their buying process. During the first phase (awareness), a buyer is looking for information about a product, so your marketing must focus on providing that.

Any advertising should contain content that aids the customer identify his/her needs. By the time the buyer gets to the purchasing stage, your targeted marketing should have evolved to align with his/her needs. Perhaps you can recommend another purchase that pairs well with the just concluded one, or you can ask a customer to fill a survey form.

Don’t Focus too Much on Price

Putting a lot of weight on price can lead you astray when developing a target marketing campaign. The modern day consumer would rather pay a bit more for a superior quality product or service. It is for this reason that some car owners prefer to have specialist mechanics handle their servicing and maintenance as opposed to general car shops. A homeowner may choose a specialist bathroom renovation contractor over a general builder. Focus on selling your brand’s best qualities but don’t cloud messages with too many details.

Summing Up

Consumers are too busy to keep up with all the marketing messages they encounter just about everywhere. They can’t afford to respond to every advertiser who comes up with a nice pitch. Target marketing allows you to speak to your customers directly, which gives you an advantage over the competition. Customize content and adverts to respond to the needs of a particular audience. Invest in the appropriate tools and research to learn more about your targeted audience. Learn what appeals to their emotions and how to drive them towards purchases.