When you are ready to tweak your marketing efforts to appeal to a specific group of potential customers and interests, it’s time to look into market segmentation. But if you read our previous piece on how to segment your market, you may be asking, “What do I do with it now?” Here we present a step-by-step approach to marketing to a segmented audience. By pinpointing a select group of your target audience and customizing your marketing message to reach that population, you will achieve a deeper, more authentic connection with that audience. Here’s a straightforward approach you can take.
1. Choose the correct number of segments.
Hopefully, you read our last post on how to segment your audience. It will walk you step by step through taking your target market and looking at more defined segments. Finding market segments is essential to successful marketing campaigns. But it is possible to get carried away and create too many pieces. It’s vital to avoid breaking your audience into so many segments that each only represents a small percentage of your potential customers. Remember that a few broad categories are enough, and there will always be opportunities to further segment if and when necessary.
2. Identify your target segment.
Marketing to your segmented audience is just like any other large project – you can only accomplish one step at a time. Therefore, try not to get distracted or overwhelmed by reaching all of your segments. Choose one or two elements with the highest number of individuals to start your targeted marketing efforts. That doesn’t mean you will ignore the other segments. But wisdom dictates that you devote more of your time to the parts that have the most potential impact on your business. There will be time for the rest of your audience in time.
3. Identify the specific needs of your target segment.
You have done a lot to identify this segment among your target audience. Now is the time to look at who they are and what they value. To get some mental momentum, ask yourself: What does this segment value? What specific needs does this segment have, and how does my brand meet those needs uniquely? Maybe this particular segment wants to save money. Or perhaps they want a quality product. Or they could be seeking convenience. Once you know what they desire, you will be able to present your product or service in a way that answers those needs or values.
4. Determine how your brand speaks to those needs.
Identifying the needs of your customers is excellent, but it’s not enough to stop there. It’s essential to determine how your brand speaks explicitly to those needs. How does your company differ from your competitors? What sets you apart to come to the rescue of your customers uniquely? Identifying this differentiation is essential if you want your customers to see you as a unique and valuable answer to their needs.
5. Identify what you want to tell them.
Knowing your customer’s values and needs is essential, but it’s also necessary to think about what they need to know about your brand. So, what message do you want to send, and what is the best way to send it? Asking yourself, “What does this segment of my market need to know about my brand?” may help you make some new connections between their needs and what you have to offer that you haven’t thought of before.
6. Modify your message
Now that you have identified what your customers need to hear and what you want to tell them, it’s time to figure out how to relay that information. What type of message or what vehicle for the message will best connect with this particular segment of your audience? Consider both the specific wording and how you will communicate that message. Is it a specific social media channel? Does this particular segment prefer print communication? Would a more contemporary slang reach this audience? Would a more scholarly approach to your word choice help? Once you know whom you want to reach and the message you want to send, getting that message across will become clear.
7. Define what success means for your campaign.
Goals for success are essential for knowing if what you are doing is working. When setting goals for your results, make sure they are SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and within a certain time frame. Consider objectives such as getting X number of visitors, converting a certain percentage of potential sales, or getting new followers or shares on social media. Only by setting these goals will you know when your marketing campaign has been successful.
8. Continue evaluating.
Successful marketing to a targeted audience is not a one-time and finished project. It is a process that takes trial and error and one that will take time to achieve. Always be looking at your effectiveness for both its strengths and its weaknesses. Analyze your results and continue to tweak as needed until you get the results you are seeking.
9. Stay flexible.
Finally, continue to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy and adjust it as needed until you reach the results you want. This process will take time, but you will find it worth the work. If you are satisfied with the results, move to another market segment and begin from the top.
When your marketing efforts are not meeting the ROI you want, marketing to a targeted group of your audience is an amazing way to build some momentum with your actions. When you market to a specific audience, customers feel like you know them, which builds goodwill between your company and them. And that is the place where all excellent customer relations begin.