Providing information and content to a specific audience is one of the core features of marketing. Content and campaigns are deemed a success when they reach the right people and provide a sufficient return on investment (ROI). However, choosing the right audience is not an easy task. It is a marketer’s job to determine the area of the market and specific audience they wish to target that will provide the most success for their product or service.
A level of differentiation is something that marketers need to consider for their product or service in order to serve specific or multiple audiences. In basic marketing theory, the three levels are Undifferentiated, Differentiated, and Niche.
In an attempt to simplify these different types of target marketing, let’s look at them using ice cream as a product stand-in.
Refers to marketers offering the same product to all audience members and customers. For example, if an ice cream shop is known to make popular, great-tasting strawberry ice cream, marketers will focus their time and efforts on marketing the strawberry ice cream alone to all of Its customers.
Chances are the company in question will not have other flavours of ice cream to market as they have built their reputation and sales on the success of their strawberry ice cream. The audience is also very broad with people of all demographics included in the sample.
Refers to marketers offering different versions of their products to multiple market segments. Continuing with our ice cream shop example, using a differentiated approach, marketers will not stop at marketing just their strawberry ice cream. What they might do is offer 3-4 different flavors of ice cream and market them to separate audiences.
Say market research finds that high school students like strawberry ice cream, while university undergraduate students prefer mint chocolate, and post-graduate students like rocky road. Creating versions of each of these types of ice cream and marketing them to the appropriate audience is how companies engage in differentiated marketing.
The final type of target segment involves marketers offering one unique product to a highly specialized market. In order to engage in niche marketing, the ice cream shop would offer a distinctive flavour of ice cream such as cilantro lime. They would then market that flavor of ice cream to specialized audience that they know likes that particular flavour. The majority of the profit that the shop would receive would come from this specialized market and success is found if the shop is the only one around that serves cilantro lime ice cream and thus are able to effectively service the market.
Understanding differentiation target marketing tactics helps marketers ensure the right people are finding and experiencing their product and services at the right time. Whether or not ice cream is the product of choice, finding the right audience will help to ensure sweet success.
Courtney Rosebush is a marketing and sales professional in Toronto. With a passion for social media marketing, research, and blogging, Courtney seeks to educate visitors on the importance of marketing in both business and everyday life by creating fun and engaging content to share with others. In her spare time, she is having adventures in the form of reading a bestseller, trying a new restaurant, going to the theatre, or spending hours in a coffee shop. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.