Target marketing is the breaking down of, and identifying geographical segments or people in an effort to increase sales, attract new potential business, or overall interest in whatever endeavor one might be involved in. Types of target markets could be men over the age of 30 who still play video games, or people between the ages of 18-45 who drink soda daily. The kind of target marketing groups to identify depends on the products and services a business provides. Narrowing down said target marketing groups really hinges on the “testing phase.” In most cases a product or service will be introduced before its official release to the public, and in limited fashion to boot. Once a company maintains a feel for which aspects of a product stand out the most, and which do not, they can better put together target marketing strategies more likely to be placed in front of the right target audience.
The Internet & Target Marketing
Prior to the World Wide Web, advertisers took advantage of mass mailings, newspaper, magazine and TV ads to get their products and services in front of their target audience to maximize their effectiveness. But to build a solid customer base, is to understand your business and how it relates to consumers. And trying to target the entire world may sound like a great idea, one may find that to be a waste of resources when finding your exact target audience would be much more useful.
However, now, the explosion of the internet, along with email and smart phone communications, has taken over as the primary method of developing successful target marketing strategies. That goes for all industries from tech companies to trades to, yes, even politicians have embraced the internet as their main resource in developing their target marketing strategies.
Political Marketing & Target Marketing Strategies
Now, the Barack Hussein Obama-era was the first for presidential candidates to have the opportunity to wage a political marketing strategy online and, specifically, social media. Obama, along with his several opponents were able to get online and segment the population of millions of users by determining factors such as: age, gender, race, religion, geographical location, education, even income level and marital status, and more. The beauty of this political marketing strategy is, many of the ads were free, such as general posts and responses, on-air live speeches, and the utilization of “fan pages.” There is of course the opportunity to pay for ads, and presidential candidates do not skimp. During the 2016 presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump and his opponent Hillary Clinton combined to spend over $80-million on Facebook ads alone.
But it doesn’t matter what political party someone belongs to, each political marketing campaign needs to plan and execute robust and effective target marketing strategies if they want to outdo their political opponent.
Local Political Marketing
It doesn’t begin and end with presidential races, though. The ‘local races,’ involving state senators and representatives, as well as national congressional contests utilize the same political marketing approach as the high office races. Though, their message may not align with their party leaders, their method of targeting potential voters has evolved appropriately. Much of the funds donated to one’s campaign are allocated to social media site like, again, Facebook, as well as Twitter and Instagram.
Political marketing ‘attack ads’ where a one candidate smears another are just as prevalent as ads focused on the issues, maybe even more so. No matter the content, though, once it hits social media, there’s no limit to how many people will potentially see the trash talking, as it can be shared hundreds, even thousands of times before it loses its legs. However, it’s an even playing field, so it comes down to which candidate can digitally convince voters why said candidate is the best one for the job.
Target Marketing Is More Than Online Marketing
It’s not all about online marketing. Beginning with the internet makes plenty of sense, considering a business can target more people utilizing this approach than any other method, however, one would be remise to simply discard other forms of target market strategies including mailers, especially for political candidates. When they’re not berating each other online, a unique way to get a return on their target market research is to send out 10’s of thousands of mailers with policy questions inside to specific areas of the voting map in the hopes a portion of the mailers are returns with the potential voter’s thoughts on issues such as education, economy, and so forth. It’s an antiquated approach to target marketing, but it still works, and it’s still necessary.
TV and radio advertising are, and always will be an essential tool in target marketing strategies, and that goes for all industries. Businesses pay big dollars to get their product on TV, and the better their market research is, the more bang for the buck they will receive. Most can agree that a TV ad shown during any given Super Bowl is going to be put in front of millions of people in the United States and abroad. But when the audience is a mere fraction of the highest sporting event of the year, a business will need to determine what airways to use based on the content of the programming. For instance, a company that remodels kitchens might find it advantageous to advertise on the Food Network. Beer distributors would be wise to get air time during almost any sporting event known to man. On the flip side, a company looking to sell teen products such as clothes, hair gel, technology, probably would not fare well by displaying their products on a network that exclusively shows black and white movies.
Of course, it goes the same for radio ads. If someone is looking to promote hunting weapons and gear for the outdoorsman, a sport radio station might be the ticket versus one that plays classical jazz from morning ‘til evening.
Target marketing can be common sense at times, but relying solely on instincts is never enough. A strong testing phase combined with thorough market research will put a company ahead of the game. As long as the product or service is sound, the sales will come in. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
To learn more about developing a target marketing strategy, contact Ezra Digital!