Market Targeting Options

Introduction

Before engaging in marketing campaigns and promotions businesses need to decide who they would like to aim their products at. This involves analysing and splitting (segmenting) the market into different sectors. The most effective way to segment the market will depend on the product and the business producing the product. After segmentation firms can adopt one of three strategies to target customers.

Option 1 Undifferentiated Marketing

Undifferentiated Marketing is marketing that does not target a particular segment of the market. Instead the firm adopts one marketing strategy and hopes that it will appeal to as many people as possible. Sometimes referred to as mass marketing, Undifferentiated Marketing usually involves targeting the whole market with one product. Coca Cola's original marketing strategy was based on this format when they offered one product, which they believed had universal appeal. However now that Coca Cola has introduced other products, it has changed its marketing strategy to Differentiated Marketing. An Undifferentiated Marketing strategy can be cheaper than the other strategies because their is only one product to produce, distribute and market. It can also be cheaper because the firm is not targeting multiple market segments. The disadvantage is the challenge involved in producing a product (and marketing campaign) which is universally appealing enough to make it profitable.


The Undifferentiated Marketing Diagram below shows that Undifferentiated Marketing, targets the entire market and not particular segments of the market.

Undifferentiated Marketing Diagram

Option 2 Differentiated Marketing Strategy

If a firm decides to target several segments of the market, it is engaging in a differentiated marketing strategy. Under a Differentiated Marketing Strategy, a firm will develop products and services with separate marketing mix strategies for each of the segments chosen by the firm. An airline company offering first (segment 1), business (segment 2) and economy class tickets (segment 3) , with separate marketing programmes to attract customers for each of the ticket types is an example of differentiated marketing strategy.

The Differentiated Marketing Diagram below shows that a Differentiated Marketing Strategy, targets marketing at different segments of the market

Differentiated Marketing Diagram

Option 3 Concentrated Marketing

Concentrated Marketing occurs when a business concentrates its marketing effort on one segment of the market. The firm will develop a product that caters for the needs of that particular group. For example Rolls Royce cars and the Harrods Group target the premium segment of the market. Concentrated Marketing can have lower costs than the other two options. It can be a good option for small or new businesses. The disadvantage is that it reduces the number of customers that the firm is targeting. It also means that the firm needs to be sure that they have selected the correct segment of the market.

The Concentrated Marketing Diagram below shows that Concentrated Marketing targets just one segment of the market

Concentrated Marketing Diagram

Summary

There are three targeting strategies that can be used by firms when aiming their products and services at market segments. Undifferentiated marketing implements one marketing strategy aimed at the whole market place, differentiated marketing tailors marketing efforts for each market segment chosen by the firm, whilst concentrated marketing tailors marketing strategy for one particular segment of the market. Each of the three targeting strategies has its advantages and disadvantages; these should be weighed up when deciding which one to adopt.

 

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