In this chapter, we examine decisions affecting the selection of target markets. This is a critical point in marketing planning since all additional marketing decisions are going to be directed toward satisfying customers in the markets selected. We explore what constitutes a market and look at basic characteristics of consumer and business markets. We will see not all markets are worth pursuing, and marketers are often better served developing a plan identifying specific markets to target. In particular, we look at the process of market segmentation where larger markets are carved into smaller segments offering more potential. Our discussion includes methods used to identify markets holding the best potential. Finally, we discuss the concept of product positioning and see how this is used as part of a target marketing strategy.
- What is a Market?
- Consumer and Business Markets
- The Need for Target Markets
- Targeting Markets through Segmentation
- Positioning Products and Services
- “Household Final Consumption Expenditure – 2018.” The World Bank. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.CON.PRVT.CD.
- “Consumer Expenditures in 2018.” Bureau of Labor Statistics – United States Department of Labor, May, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/consumer-expenditures/2018/home.htm.
- For one explanation on how the amount of total business spending is often underreported see: Mark Skousen. “How Much of the Economy is Consumer Spending? Actually Only 30%!” Mark Skousen.com, November 26, 2015. https://www.markskousen.com/how-much-of-the-economy-is-consumer-spending-actually-only-30.
- For details on the North American Industry Classification System see: “2017 NAICS Manual.” United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics.
- For details on the International Standard Industrial Classification see: “Introduction to ISIC.” United Nations Statistics Division. https://unstats.un.org/unsd/classifications/Econ/ISIC.cshtml.
- While the Ford example is categorized as a good (i.e., car), it is important to understand that mass marketing can also apply to services. For example, leading internet and mobile technologies, including Google, Twitter and Facebook, can be classified as offering mass market products as each of these are freely available to anyone with online or mobile access.
- For an example of a highly segmented product lines including athletic shoes and clothing see: Nike Website. https://www.nike.com.
- For an interesting look at organizations that struggled in attempts to reposition their products or company image see: Massimiliano Taddei. “35 Examples of a Rebranding Fail and What We Can Learn.” Klint Marketing, July 29, 2020. https://klintmarketing.com/35-rebranding-fails.