Target Market Segment Strategy

by Marla Currie; Updated September 26, 2017
group of happy young people

A target market strategy is the recommended program of action a marketer develops to reach and affect a desired behavioral or attitudinal change in the group defined as the target consumer market. Depending on character of the target consumer group as well as prevailing situations in the industry, category and other external forces, the marketer will define the methods he believes to be best suited to achieve his sales goal.

Target Market Defined

A target market can be viewed as a subset of the general population. Depending on the number of factors the marketer uses to define the target audience, the character of the target audience group emerges. Descriptors like gender, age, income, education, family size, geography and occupation are demographic descriptions the marketer may select to define his target user group. Other factors like attitude, perceptions and outlook are classified as psychographic descriptors which the marketer may or may not be aware can influence the receptivity of his product or the product category.

External Factors

The marketer must understand prevailing external factors in play at any time that influences the outcome of sales or marketing activities in the sector. The actions of competitors, macro and micro economic factors, sale cycles, among others influence a product category’s growth and, by extension, a product’s growth within that category.

A marketer must know the factors important to his product’s success, then work around them or work with them, to achieve his sales goal.

Basis of Strategy

With these two major parts of the situation studied and considered, the marketer must begin the difficult task of crafting strategy for the target market group. He will begin to develop strategy by manipulating, to the benefit of his product, the four pillars of the marketing discipline–product, price, distribution and promotion. Of these, promotion through advertising, public relations, sales promotion, Web marketing and direct selling is usually where the strategic change is most often recommended from year to year.

Crafting Strategy

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is a law of physics and it is the maxim in the back of the marketer's mind as he considers what is needed to achieve his sales goal: New or old advertising must say something to buyers at whatever level is being sought for penetration--local, regional, national or world. Sometimes shifting focus to the local level can improve visibility and word of mouth. Determine what can be done in your store or in the community to improve your image. The marketer identifies each challenge, then determines his best solution for fixing it.

Target Market Segmentation

Over the past 20 years, as ethnic groups have grown in size, influence and income, the marketing community has broadened target market to mean multicultural marketing designed specifically to reach African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans. These segmented campaigns may be developed in-language, such as Spanish- or Korean-language ads, but are always an attempt to push a cultural button among these groups so that the message resonates within the group, creates awareness for the product, and, of course, positive behavioral or attitudinal movement toward the product or service.

About the Author

Marla Currie has written professionally since 1995. She is editor and publisher of The Urban Shopper, an online magazine whose consumerist content is targeted to Black and Latino females. In addition to short fiction, Currie is author of "The Humours of Black Life," a nonfiction work. She has a master's degree in advertising.

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