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What Is Targeting in Marketing?

Targeting in marketing involves breaking the target audience into segments and then designing marketing activities that will reach the segments most likely to be responsive to your efforts. Target marketing can greatly increase the success you have in reaching potential customers. 

Targeting in marketing generally refers to a three-step process marketers use to find the right segment to target. STP in marketing is the name of this process, and the acronym stands for segmentation, targeting, and promotion. Marketers divide their target audience into segments based on demographic information like age, geographical location, hobbies, interests, or previous purchasing history. 

Once marketers have created different segments, they then assess which segment aligns best with their products, values, and offerings. Marketers who can choose the right audience segments to target will have a much easier job reaching potential customers and convincing them to purchase the product or service.  

The third step, promotion, involves creating tailored messaging and communications specifically for the chosen target audience. Marketing plans can be designed to engage the target segment using the media channels they typically get the most engagement from, which will help a marketing team maximize their budget. Digital channels and social media are currently the most effective form of promotion, with 53% of the global population active on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others.

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Using marketing analytics for targeting in marketing

Marketing analytics are important for targeting in marketing in several ways. Marketers need analytics to understand the behavior of the potential target markets they choose to segment. Marketing analytics will allow marketing teams to create those segments and assess how well they align with the team’s pre-determined marketing personas. Marketing personas or buyer personas represent the company’s ideal customer, including age and income ranges, gender, location, and interests. Marketing analytics will allow marketers to understand which segments best represent those buyer personas and lead to the best choice for targeting. 

Marketers also use marketing analytics to determine the best platforms and channels to target the segments they’ve selected. Many social media and paid advertisement channels offer built-in targeting, so you can choose the age range, gender, geographical location, and other elements to specifically reach those in your target audience. 

In addition to choosing segments to target, marketing departments will also need to create tailored messaging that will best resonate with that audience. Many marketing tools allow marketers to test their messaging to discern which results in more conversions from that target audience.