Digital Communication


Digital Communication

What does target marketing mean? Definition and types


Knowing your own marketing targets is essential for companies to develop, improve and market their products and services. We explain what marketing or commercial target means and what types exist.

Definition: what does target marketing mean?

A marketing target is a group of people for whom a company develops a product or service: it is therefore nothing more and nothing less than potential customers). The group is distinguished by common criteria, such as age, gender or purchasing behavior. Specific requirements emerge from these common denominators for how people want to be addressed by the company. This is of huge importance for marketing and perhaps also for a company’s content strategy.

What is a marketing target for?

The role of a commercial target is particularly important in marketing, because it alone makes it possible to identify methods to promote an offer in the best possible way : what language is used? What colors, images, sounds? What channels are used to distribute advertising?

A few simple examples illustrate the importance of commercial targets: for example, young people aged 20 to 30 want to be addressed on familiar terms and are more sensitive to messages deployed on TikTok, Instagram or even via email marketing. People over 50, on the other hand, tend to read newspapers or magazines and prefer formality.

Without a commercial target, marketing activities would likely be designed in too haphazard and “intuitive” ways. The risk of communicating in a vacuum and missing out on (potential) customers is particularly high.

Advantages and disadvantages of marketing targets

A great advantage of marketing targets is that you have very clear ideas about who you want to reach with your products and the marketing activities assigned to them. In the best case, you save moneybecause you are not targeting the entire market, but only a small part of it, and you do not have to buy advertising on all channels, but only on relevant channels. You earn more money at the same timebecause the probability of purchase based on advertising within the commercial target is much higher.

A disadvantage or risk in defining a marketing target is toexclude people from your offer who do not meet the group’s criteria, but who could still be interested in your offer. To minimize this risk, it is important to regularly check whether your commercial target is subject to developments and whether there is another relevant target group for your offer.

How to identify a company’s marketing targets?

To know the relevant marketing target for your business, you must first look at your offer: what need will you satisfy with your product? What problem is solved? You then seek to identify people experiencing this need or problem. The next step is to collect data on these people. This data can be obtained from existing customers, for example through detailed market analysis and (publicly available) statistics.

The methods for defining a marketing target are explained to you in our detailed article on the subject. It doesn’t matter whether you use your market analysis for a marketing campaign or the complete reorientation of your business: the approach is always the same. Such an analysis is also useful for smaller projects, for example if you want to find the marketing target for your blog.

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Types of marketing targets: criteria

When collecting and evaluating data, attention is paid to the various criteria that assign people to (or exclude) a marketing target. The most common criteria are divided into four categories:

  • Demographic criteria : they include age, sex, place of residence and marital status
  • Socio-economic criteria : for example, level of education and income
  • Psychographic criteria : relate to lifestyle, motivation and (basic) values
  • Buying behavior : How often is a particular product or service purchased? How important is the price?

Marketing targets in B2B and B2C

When defining a commercial target, it is also important to specify whether it is B2B or B2C, i.e. whether the people belonging to your marketing target are therefore individuals (B2C) or some professionals (B2B). Individuals may be segmented into different groups than business customers. The criteria mentioned above apply to the former.

In the B2B field, the criteria are above all the sector of activity, the size and position of the company. The criteria presented above can also come into play only afterwards (at least in part) to determine a marketing target. A challenge in B2B marketing is that the marketing target is often “remotely guided” by the company’s internal philosophy and regulations. Marketing and in particular B2B content marketing is therefore particularly demanding.

Social media is also an integral part of B2B and B2C marketing. To find out more, read a detailed article on the topic of social selling. With the Buy Button for Social Media from IONOS you can also increase your sales on social media!

Marketing target or personas?

You will inevitably come across the term “(buyer) personas” if you are looking at a marketing target. It is concrete but fictitious people, created based on the marketing target. Personas have a name, gender and realistic biography, which reflect the criteria of the marketing target. This makes it possible to simplify and make the manipulation of marketing targets more concrete. Buyer personas are a subgroup of personas. Buyer personas represent a specific, narrowly defined group of buyers, while personas generally represent customers.

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