As discussed earlier, the country's consumers can be divided into so many different consumer groups. Based on which consumer groups they lie in, the consumers will have different needs. Also they will find different things that appeal to them. So before you launch a marketing campaign, you need to identify which set of people does your business cater to?
What we mean by this is, that you need to know who are your customers? What kind of life do they live? Who influences their buying decision? What kinds of media are they exposed to? How much purchasing power do they have? Etc. etc.
Knowing this information, you can target your marketing campaign to appeal especially to this group of customers you have chosen.
Many a times, you may find that the product or service you are offering is consumed by not only one group of people. You may find that your product has many varied uses and hence has many varied possible consumers. Because of this you may want to choose more than one group of people as your target market. DO NOT DO THIS! I repeat DO NOT DO THIS!
Your marketing strategy will fail if you try to be everything to everybody. When you make a marketing strategy you have to choose only one group of people and design your marketing strategy so that it appeals to the group you have selected.
If you have many groups of people to choose from, choose only the group of people that you can best cater too and will offer you the best opportunities to grow. For example, if you are a small firm that makes women’s perfumes, your target market could be teenage girls, house wifes, rich women who can afford to spend highly on perfumes and other such accessories etc. You could choose any one of these customer groups as your target market. Suppose you choose the rich women group then your marketing plan will be designed to appeal to rich women. The price of your perfume will be high. Your ads will be designed to appeal to rich women etc. These ads cannot simultaneously appeal to younger middle class women also.
If you come up with a marketing strategy to appeal to more than one target group of customers, your strategy will not be effective. Your sales will be eaten away by specialist products or specialist marketing strategies.
Just consider the case of shampoo. If some one is looking for a shampoo to deal with their dandruff problem, they are more likely to buy a shampoo which says "Anti-dandruff shampoo" than a shampoo that says, "Hair shine, Hair strength and Anti-Dandruff" shampoo. This point will be explained later again in more detail.
The thing to understand is that the first step to making a marketing strategy is to select the “target market” for whom the marketing campaign is to be designed.
Most of the people who are reading this already have a running business. Now they probably would like to market their business so that they can expand and grow. For you people (who already have a running business), it is very easy to identify who your target market is. What you have to do is run a little research about all your existing customers. If you are a retailing unit, you could find out who are the people who purchase form you.
Once you have a general idea about the people who purchase from you, you need to classify them into different groups. Finally you will have a general idea about the different kinds of customers that buy from you. Finally, you have to choose one of these groups as your target market. You may choose the biggest group or you may choose the group with the greatest buying power etc. and decide on it to be your target group.
Like in the above example, assuming you are a small business who makes shampoos. You may classify your customers as people who buy your shampoo to strengthen their hair and prevent hair from falling or buy your shampoo to reduce their dandruff or people who buy your shampoo because it is made up of natural oils which appeals to them etc.
You should identify how large these different groups are and which group you are comfortable with. Which group of people your shampoo will really be able to satisfy. Once you choose that group you have your target market. Then the next step is to design your marketing mix to appeal to this group of customers. How to do this? We have explained everything on the next few pages.....
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