Although many businesses implement marketing and advertising campaigns comprised of both traditional and digital marketing strategies, only a few of them have experienced real success as a result of their efforts. This is because many of the successful ones possess the ability to identify their proper market segment and have the ability to implement a laser-focused market segment strategy targeted towards the right audience.
Unlike your general target market, your market segment is made up of an audience comprised of one or more segmented groups. So basically, your “target market” is more general, (like targeting an audience who is interested in clothes); whereas market segmentation involves a more specific approach. It is used to reach segments within an overall market that are divided into groups. An example would be targeting an audience who is only interested in women’s dresses, women’s suits, men’s suits or neckties. Whoever your ideal customers are for the products that you sell, they make up your market segment.
To put it another way, market segmentation consist of dividing a general market (made up of a large group of potential customers) into smaller segments based on their various interest, characteristics, beliefs, traits needs and wants. Additionally, the segments or groups of similar consumers will likely respond to the same marketing strategies, including similar marketing messages advertised through similar media outlets.
Demographic and Geographic Segmented Markets
Considering the example above, the next question would be who are your ideal customers and who would be interested in the items indicated above. This group, although considered your market segment, also make up your demographics. Consider the following:
Products Mix Demographics
Women’s Dresses and Suits Women between the ages of 25 – 35
Women with jobs
Women who earn $50,000 or more a year
Women with disposal incomes
Men’s Suits and Neck Ties Men between the age of 25 to 35
Men with jobs
Men who earned $75,000 or more a year
Men with disposable income
When a marketer classifies these groups it makes it easier for them to implement an accurate market segmentation strategy based on the group or segment that needs to be targeted.
Let’s make this point even more focused. Considering the different products that are being sold in the example above, the group must be targeted in an even more focused manner in order to convert potential customers into a sale. Your segmented market must also include your geographic marketing segment as well. What that means basically is that if you sell clothes comprised of men’s suits, neckties, women’s dresses and women’s business suits, the next question would be where geographically should your marketing efforts be targeted? So not only does your market segmentation strategies need to focus on your demographic market segment, but also on your geographic market segment as well.
Since many people offer products and services online, their geographic reach could not only expand to their local area but throughout the United States and abroad as well.
Proper marketing messages and marketing strategies must be developed to reach the right audience both geographically and demographically.
Market Segmenting at Its Best
There are three basic criteria that can be utilized to best identify the thinking behind the different market segmentation concept.
Homogeneity has to do with the common needs and wants among a specific group, whereby the particular group is unique from other groups.
Segmented markets can be done psychographically by social class, economic status, the way a certain segment or group lives their lives or by their personality.
Behavioral segmentation is associated with groups being segmented based on its behavior, benefits or its responses. This allows companies to differentiate its messages and its product offerings based on the commonality of a specific market segment.
How Market Segments are Used
Segmented markets are used effectively when companies accurately identify market segments and then create products, marketing messages, and advertising campaigns that best appeal to those segments and capture the targeted audience.
Many companies actively develop marketing campaigns that are targeted towards multiple segmented markets at one time. They push one brand that appeals to one market segment and other brands that appeals to other segments, all while building customer loyalty among each of the various marketing groups.
Having the right marketing team on board can assist business owners to launch effective marketing campaigns that reach the right market segment. This is a key component in experiencing successful marketing campaigns.