What is Target Marketing?

Target marketing consists of finding a niche market and advertising in places where that group is likely to hang out.  There are many tools that you can use to find your niche.

Demographics are among the tools that business owners and advertising agencies have used for years.  Not only to identify a niche, but also to decide where their advertising dollars are best spent.

In the offline world of advertising, demographics are sometimes used to decide where to put billboards or send coupons via regular mail.  An advertising agency might study the demographic profile of a population according to sex, race, income or age.

When it comes to television advertising, selling ad time to a specific company often requires being able to tell that company “who” is watching the show.  Phone surveys are sometimes conducted to get this information.

Even the amount of time that a person spends commuting to and from work is a demographic.  Items that would be appealing to people with long commutes would include audio books, head phones and fuel efficient automobiles.

Companies that advertise online use target marketing concepts when they choose specific websites based on the website’s content or the age group that finds the content appealing.

For example, pharmaceutical companies do a lot of advertising on WebMD.  Investment companies often advertise on news related sites.  Toy companies and video game manufacturers advertise on game sites.  You get the idea.

Small businesses with limited advertising dollars often partner with other businesses in order to contact their niche via email.  They might use programs like Google AdWords to help them stick with their advertising budget, but still reach the customers they are looking for.

In addition to using demographics, marketers use another concept called psychographics.  Psychographics is a less well-known term.  It has to do with classifying a market according to their interests, activities, attitudes, values or opinions.

Just as an example, the major breweries advertise during football games.  While not all football fans drink beer, many of them do.

Drinking beer and watching football are two activities that seem to go together.  It’s like baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and one of the major car companies.  That advertising campaign targeted a number of different psychographic profiles, including those that are patriotic.

Some online marketers use keyword research to help them find their niche.  They can find out what the competition is in certain markets and choose one where there are very few competitors.

Target marketing may have changed with the popularity of the internet.  But it hasn’t disappeared and it probably never will.