HOW MARKETS ARE SEGMENTED
A target market is a specific group of people that you have determined to be part of your customer base. These projections are based on demographic studies and market research done with various sample groups. There are several factors used in determining a target market.
As you can probably imagine, target markets for some items and products are relatively easy to identify. Makeup companies market nearly exclusively to women, companies that sell construction tools or automobile parts market nearly exclusively to men, cigarette companies used to market specifically to teenagers so that they could become lifetime customers, and so on. Here are a few examples of companies and products, and their corresponding target markets.
Toy and board game companies such as Hasbro or Mattel have a very specific target market. Interestingly, toy companies have to maintain a balance between marketing to parents and marketing to children. Their products have to be advertised in a specific way so that children are interested in the toys, but also so that parents are willing to buy them. The target market, in terms of adults, includes people of a certain advanced age, since younger people are less likely to have children. Families with children tend to live in suburban areas rather than in large cities or metropolitan centers, so the target market probably also includes those people who live in suburban parts of the country or the world.
Apple offers a huge variety of products, all of which have specific target markets, but a particular series of advertisements several years ago were aimed at a very specific target market. This advertising campaign involved personifying Mac computers and other personal computers, commonly known as PC’s. Macs were represented by a young, smart, sharp-looking man, while PC’s were represented by an older, portly, and relatively technology-naïve man. In this campaign, Apple was advertising for a target market of young tech-savvy people, perhaps people who were eager to embrace the future of technology, which Apple convinced them they could not do if they owned a PC.
Table 4.1 Common Ways of Segmenting Buyers By Behavior :
Behavioral segmentation divides a population based on their behavior, the way the population respond to, use or know of a product. Consumer behavior is a subject studied in depth over time in marketing management. This is mainly because there are several factors which a consumer takes into consideration before taking a decision. Thus consumer decision making is affected by his behavior and that is exactly how the behavioral segments are targeted.
Lets take a simple example of behavioral segmentation. I am writing this article in the month of December which is Christmas time. Christmas is on the 25th of December. Would you start targeting your segment on the 23rd or 24thof December? You will probably start targeting that segment from 1st December itself. After Christmas we have new year. Thus both of the occasions are such that companies would have to finalize which behavior they want to target. They cannot target both as it leaves only 6 days for the marketing of new year. Example – Hotels and restaurants will target new year as they will have more customers over the new year which is a moment of outdoor celebration whereas Christmas is more of a family celebration. Several other mass marketing companies strategically target “Christmas and new year”.