By Prisha Gupta

Your company has created a fantastic product or service. It has features that will blow the minds of your audience away, and you know that your product is in demand!

Now what lies ahead is building a marketing strategy for your brand, which will mean identifying who your consumer is. Your target market is the intended audience or consumer who will buy your product. It is essential to know what your consumer wants out of a product, and if they have enough information to make the purchase.

Market research will help you define the target audience for your product and help you tailor your marketing strategy to what appeals to the target market. Defining your target market plays an essential part in the success and failure of your product.

For example, did you know that when Mercedez Benz entered the Chinese market, they thought they should shorten their name to something that will fit in with the Chinese dialect? That’s how they settled on the name ‘Bensi,’ which was close enough to their real name and easy to remember.

This is where target audience research comes in. ‘Bensi’ means ‘rush to die’ in Chinese. Though Mercedes was quick to rebrand their name, their mistake could have been avoided if they had simply done the right market research.

You can define your target market after bringing into consideration the following factors:

  • The use of your brand
  • Consumers who have bought your brand or service
  • Potential consumers who will benefit from the use of brand or service

Why Market Segmentation?

Market segmentation will help you divide the target market into approachable groups so that you can understand your target audience better.

Demographic Segmentation

Appealing to the target audience means appealing to the consumer’s mindset. There are many factors involved in this — starting from gender, age, city, and ethnicity, which fall into one collective category, ‘demographic.’

The demographics of the target audience are at the base of defining what forms the target audience.

Demographic segmentation has seen almost all the industries, including beauty and automobiles. ‘Wet n Wild’ – A beauty brand which is relatively new in the drugstore category, has gained a lot of popularity over time because of its brilliant marketing campaigns that are tailored to their target audience. The relatively low prices of the makeup products in Wet n Wild, coupled with their social media marketing campaign where they have looped in social media influencers, has made them widely popular.

Socioeconomic Segmentation

When you take into consideration attributes related to household income, level of education, and occupation which are directly related to the economic status of your target audience, these characteristics will help you understand your target audiences’ lifestyle better.

The socioeconomic status of the audience will help define their buying habits, their preferences in terms of pricing, and their consciousness about brands.

For example, sportswear brand Adidas and celebrity Kanye West have collaborated on a pair of sneakers, Air Yeezy. The sneakers came at a relatively high price, and have limited availability. Yeezy had become a lifestyle statement for the target audience of affluent, mobile millennials instead of just another pair of sneakers.

Psychographic Segmentation

What are your target audience’s hopes and dreams?

Getting into the psyche of your consumer forms an essential basis of your marketing strategy, ergo, it is essential to your target audience profile.

If you can successfully analyze your consumer’s behavior and divide your consumers into subgroups based on shared psychological characteristics, you can understand your consumer’s motivations better. The consumer’s unique psychological profile, which takes into account the person’s personality, quirks, and temperament, greatly influences the behavior of consumers.  

For example, a marketer is trying to sell locally sourced green tea, which also helps in staying fit. She needs to know who her target audience is. Though demographics, socioeconomics, and geography will play a huge deciding factor in defining her target audience, psychographic segmentation can help define the profile better.

The marketer will need to understand if the target audience is interested in staying fit or in the anti-oxidant properties of green tea that have anti-ageing benefits. She can then highlight the features for the advertising campaign accordingly.

Brand Affinity/Product Usage

Brand affinity is about consumers who exhibit an emotional connection to the brand. It helps marketers realize if customers are willing to stick with a brand, given the freedom of choice. Consumers who exhibit brand affinity or actual product usage are segmented based on their behavior. This makes brand affinity and product usage one of the strongest categories to use when developing market segments.

Geographical Segmentation

Dividing consumers geographically can have many benefits, including understanding your consumer’s political beliefs and religious affiliations and what is available to them for transport or shopping.

An interesting example of geographical segmentation is McDonald’s regional specialties.

McDonald’s is widely popular for its Big Mac burger, made from beef. For Indians they have a customized version of the Big Mac — the Chicken Maharaja Mac, which is made from chicken patties. McDonald’s in Japan has special burgers like Black Squid Ink burger and Teriyaki burger.  

Market segmentation helps you understand your customer in the best possible manner. The right market research agency will help you simplify market segmentation and enables you to design your marketing campaign so you can provide your customers with a personalized consumer experience.