Missing the Mark? How to Effectively Target Multiple Markets

It’s marketing 101, define your target market, create a value proposition that appeals to them, satiate a deep need, and consumers will come.

Interestingly enough, marketers are often so broad with their targets that they are not effectively tapping into some very important consumer groups.  A recent study commissioned by Creston Unlimited demonstrated that, of all cohorts, young single women in lower income brackets and women who are single parents demonstrate the most brand loyalty and gain the most enrichment from brands.

The reason?  While age, sex, marital status, and children all play strong roles, these women felt a sense of status and belonging by buying into branded products.

Higher earning men and women felt brands had less of an impact on their lives.

So what’s the lesson here?  When it comes to targeting via demographics and psychographics, we’ve got it all wrong!  Many brands are failing to stimulate the minds and wallets of our most affluent consumers, and all too often (though they feel attachment to these brands) we are failing to represent or appropriately communicate with brand loyalists.   Are our target markets too broad?  Or not broad enough?  In our attempts to target everyone, are we targeting no one?

Is it possible for one brand to target aspirational consumers without alienating more affluent ones at the same time?  We think yes!  Look at American new Luxury brand, Coach, for example.  Their bifurcated strategy has created a paradigm in the luxury market.  Their brand offers entry price points for “reach” consumers starting at $28, but then concept stores have one-off bags priced at thousands of dollars.  It’s the same brand, but there are several lines that cater to different wants and needs.  Higher income areas are privy to special edition products, while other stores cater to the average consumer looking for a moderately priced handbag that affords a piece of luxury and status.

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The key here is not only to have several product lines, but to also have several vehicles for communication that target specific consumers for buying into the brand, whether it be loyalty, or individuality.

Targeted communication is becoming easier and easier as many consumers move to the web.  Many ecommerce sites, such as bloomingdales.com, have created algorithms that track your purchases, define, within a range, how you like to shop, and send targeted communication to consumers.  So, although your neighbor might shop at bloomies too, she is getting a very different email to you.  It is simple to become a brand that can cater for everyone, even if it stands for very specific values.

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Gone are the days of target markets being defined as “women ages 18-65.”  Marketers need to get very specific and ensure that every piece of their strategy is in alignment with these cohorts.  Consumers need to feel like brands are speaking to them on a very personal level and understand their particular reasons for buying into the brand.  This isn’t an issue of too broad a target, it’s an issue of one-size-fits-all communication.

Moral of the story?  Get personal, and consumers will come!

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