Targeted Marketing: What, Why and How

Updated: September 15, 2009

Many business gurus say that you should know who your target market is. Why so?

Why is it important to know them and how does targeted marketing benefit your business?

First and foremost, knowing who your target market is, and having a designed strategy on how to reach them is a low cost, low risk marketing technique that gives high income potential for your business.

Targeted marketing is essentially the process of distinguishing the various groups that make up your consumers, and developing appropriate products, as well as marketing strategies, that will target each desired segment.

Take for example the case of local telecommunications company, Smart. Aside from their banner mobile brand, they also developed Talk N Text. Why establish a separate product? It’s because they are trying to do targeted marketing for the working class and the basic masses, whose needs (and buying mechanisms) may be different from that of the upper-middle income class.

When you do targeted marketing, you’re able to:

  • Reach the “right people” – those who will fully benefit from your products.
  • Communicate your proposition better. By using their “language”, your message gets across faster.
  • Have more cost and time efficient marketing campaigns. Your ads are like guided missiles, surely reaching their target.
  • And consequently, get more sales and income because your marketing efforts become highly relevant to your market’s needs.


How do you define your target market?

There is really no exact segmentation of consumers that one can use. However, the most common demographics for defining a market are:

  • Age: children, teenagers, adults, senior citizens, etc.
  • Gender Identity: male, female, gay, lesbian, etc.
  • Income Level: lower-class, middle-class, upper-class, etc.

Aside from these, industry sectors, ethnicity, marital status and many other parameters can be, and are used, in marketing.

So let’s say you’re planning to sell women handbags in a bazaar, how then do you do targeted marketing?

First, you need to define your market, for this example, we’ll define it to be single, middle-class females, who are mostly working in middle management.

Second, you need to do market research. Know your consumers’ lifestyle, attitude and purchasing powers.

Going back to our bazaar, here now are some targeted marketing strategies you can do:

  • Make your booth look like a female boutique and not a surplus shop. Display several handbags prominently – women will respond positively on the visual stimulus.
  • Orient your sales people on your target market’s lifestyle. They should not only pitch about durability and style, but also how the handbags can match their typical wardrobe, how it can accommodate all their gadgets and make-up, and other similar benefits.
  • As the bazaar store owner, talk to your customers like a peer. This demographic highly values the advice of friends. By being one, you can successfully influence them to buy. Additional points if you can show that you own and use your own wares.

What else can you add? Feel free to share them below as a comment.

To end, remember that every business has a target market.

By knowing who they are and discovering how they think and buy, you allow your business to have that extra boost to stay ahead of the competition and make your brand more accessible and memorable.

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Photo credit: Balakov


  1. I came across and entrepreneur which was already featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and he has three business lines. One of this is a direct micromarketing that delivers flyers and brochures direct to the homeowners of Class A and B subdivisions. That’s target marketing.

    Compare this to just giving the brochures and flyers to high foot traffic areas where people just crumple these brochures if they found no interest on it.

  2. I am subscribed in a Free Magazine here in the Middle east. Supplier and contractor usually send flyers and events included in the free magazine. It is I think one way of reaching a specific would be buyer.

  3. Along with this should be to use the value of social media marketing to leverage your brand to your targeted audiences. Traditional media from TV, flyers, brochures are okay but people now live through online media. For example, the ads being displayed in this website are targeted ads to reach its audience. Other examples could be Facebook ADS shown when you visit and checkout your friends updates.

  4. @ JonatesGonats I totally agree! You can even target specific groups with facebook and google ads! I just did a couple on facebook and it worked really well

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