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Solving a Top Marketing Mistake

MarketingMistakeAggressively pursuing a target audience is not a marketing mistake; pursuing too many is.

As product and options continue to grow in virtually every industry, you can’t be everything to everyone. It’s vital to precisely identify which specific target market segments will yield the greatest return on investment.

It’s better to own three segments than be an-also ran in 10. Then you can think about expanding your marketing efforts.

Here are some things Integrated Marketing Services and our wholly-owned research company, American Opinion Research, have learned about finding the audiences with the most potential.

  • Market research is the most used and most effective approach to identifying your best target audiences. Research will pinpoint the unique groups which represent the greatest sales potential. Focus on those, and you’ll be investing your marketing dollars where they will produce the best results.
  • Determine what really motivates these targeted customers to make purchase decisions. Sure, productivity, cost, prior experience, referrals, product features, etc. are all major considerations. But motivations are often emotional as well as practical; security and insecurity, confidence, pride, etc. In fact, a wide variety of research has shown that emotional benefits often outweigh products or services when making a purchase decision. Again, research can identify these hot buttons.

Use this information (with your agency, if you have one) to develop precise targeted marketing messages that will motivate customers in each segment, but all under the umbrella of your overall brand positioning.

  • Strategic marketing starts with choosing segments with the most immediate sales potential, then developing and conveying marketing messages that resonate with buyers. But you can’t stop here.
  • Continue to prove and support your leadership in the segments you’ve chosen. Developing white papers, partnering with key opinion leaders on articles and projects, sharing industry research, media outreach, etc. all help build credibility paid advertising cannot.

In other words, aim the arrow at the bullseye.

Lois Kaufman, Ph.D.
President, Integrated Marketing Services