Target Marketing involves evaluating each market segment’s attractiveness and selecting one or more of the market segments to enter.
After segmenting the market and evaluating the segments, the firm must decide which and how many segments to serve. For that a company can adopt one of the three market strategies to serve the selected segment:
Mass/ Undifferentiated Marketing
It is a market coverage strategy in which a firm decides to ignore market segment differences and go after the whole market with one offer. The offer will focus on what is common in the needs of consumers rather than on what is different. The company designs a product and a marketing programme that appeal to the largest number of buyers. It relies on quality, mass distribution and mass advertising to give the product a superior image in people’s minds. E.g. Polo, the mint with the hole, which avoids alienating segments or something which appeals the personality like esso’s tiger. It provides cost economies because the narrow product line keeps down production, inventory and transportation costs. Its undifferentiated advertising promos keeps down advertising costs. The absence of segment marketing research and planning lowers the costs of market research and product management.
Most modern marketers doubt this strategy, as it’s very difficult to develop a brand or product, which will satisfy all customers. The small firms give heavy competition to these firms by using approach of differentiated marketing. E.g. Polo mints have faced attacks from competitors who have produced extra strong mint who want a strong taste and Clorets as breath fresheners.
A strategy in which a firm decides to target several market segments and designs separate offers for each. E.g. GM tries to produce a car for every ‘purse, purpose and personality’. It creates higher sales and a stronger position as compared to the mass marketing.
A strategy in which a firm goes after a large share of one or few sub- markets instead of going after a small share of a large market. It is appealing when the company sources are limited. E.g. Oshkosh trucks are the world’s largest producer of airport rescue trucks and front- loading concrete mixers. It enjoys many operating economies because of specialisation in production, distribution and promotion. A firm can earn a high rate of return on its investment from well- chosen segments.
This strategy involves higher than normal risks. A particular market segment can turn sour. E.g. large competitors can enter the segment. High margins, glamour and lack of competition in the sports car market have attracted Mazda, Toyota and Honda as powerful competitors in that market.
The factors to be considered before choosing a market cover strategy are: the best strategy depends on company resources. Concentrated marketing makes sense for a firm with limited resources. The best strategy also depends on the degree of product variability. Undifferentiated marketing is suitable for uniform products such as grapefruit or steel. Products that can vary in design, such as cameras and cars, require differentiation or concentration. Consider the product’s stage in a life cycle. When a firm introduces a new product, it is practical only to launch one version, and undifferentiated or concentrated marketing makes the most sense. In the mature stage of the product life cycle, differentiated marketing makes more sense. Another factor is market variability. Undifferentiated marketing is appropriate when buyers have the same tastes, buy the same amounts and react in the same way to marketing efforts. Finally, competitors marketing strategies are important. When competitors use segmentation, undifferentiated marketing can be suicidal. Conversely, when competitors use undifferentiated marketing, a firm can gain by using differentiated or concentrated marketing.