A client of mine recently told me who their customers were — “everyone!” This is a common response. And at first glance, it makes sense: who wouldn’t want to sell to everyone? We all do! But strategic marketers know that focus is a key to success, and that a successful brand defines itself at least partially based on target audience. Remember that our brand attributes rely upon knowing to whom we’re talking.
USC Marshall published a consumer behavior study that helps outline why defining your audience is so vital to success. The section called Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning helps us come to conclusions about our audience that will ultimately increase our return on marketing dollar investment. To improve marketing productivity, we want to:
SEGMENT: Group customers to identify which market(s) you want to pursue.
TARGET: Qualify your chosen market(s) to determine a match between your value proposition and customer need.
POSITION: Create comparative claims that make your value proposition attractive to the target market.
Every step of the way, we need to understand the options and ramifications, creating a strategic plan that can be measured and adjusted. It’s this focus that gets us the most for our marketing dollar. Because it’s so important (and often misunderstood), you’ll be hearing from me on this subject for a while. I look forward to your thoughts!