Most people are likely to know what a target group is and how important is it to choose a proper one in marketing activities. For many business owners or specialists from marketing departments, everyone is a target group – their product or service is so universal that it will work perfectly for everyone. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Only a detailed specification of the target group will help us reach our objective.
DEFINING YOUR TARGET GROUP USED TO BE EASIER? IS THAT SO?
Let us go back in time. 20–30 years ago, it seemed that defining your target group was simple. It was enough to decide whether we will be aiming our marketing activities at men, women or children. We could decide whether we want big-city residents or the population of small towns or villages. We had no problem choosing the medium via which we wanted to reach our customer group – we could choose between papers, radio or television. Nobody expected any feedback – the customer was to get to know that we have a product which we believed that they needed. That was it. Nobody studied the reach of the campaign because they naively believed that since they advertised in a local paper, all its readers will see the communication. Companies approached the target group very stereotypically – since we have a luxurious service or product, it can only be offered to big city residents, since we have cleaning agents or cosmetics, they can only be offered to women. If we have alcohol, we should only target men.
In that period, it was clear to everybody. It is not surprising. This is how both companies and consumers thought. Meanwhile, along with the development of the Internet and marketing, that which we believed so strongly turned out to be fiction. The passage of time showed that many customer groups can be reached with marketing communication and the simple division is no longer valid. We discovered something else – not always is the target group we chose the most optimal one. In the past, we could not check or measure how our advertisement or narration was perceived by potential customers. Today, we have developing social media, marketing automation and other tools which make it easier for us to get feedback.
CHOOSING YOUR TARGET GROUP – “SKY IS THE LIMIT”
Many business owners would love their product to be liked by all the customers, regardless of their sex, age, education or likings. It only makes sense when we talk about air which we all need. Although such thinking gives us many opportunities and a lot of room for marketing tricks, it is worth abandoning it and focusing on looking for a specific target group. Even producers of mineral waters target their products – for children, mums, the sporty ones, the demanding ones. A proper choice of our customer group affects our activities. The behavioural criterion applies equally to our target as well as our attempts at reaching it.
The movie “Matrix” put its mark on the history of cinematography and became a pop culture fixture. In one of the scenes, Morpheus asked Neo to choose between a red and a blue pill. He could choose only one. When looking for our target, we do not need to choose between option A or B. We can take both or even more of them. However, every choice we make will force us to act accordingly. The activities need to be consistent. One cannot position oneself as an environmentally-friendly company at the same time producing tones of plastic. In Poland, when our society is strongly divided, both in terms of political as well as world views, it is very easy to step on a landmine.
ONE, TWO, THREE, YOU ARE THE ONE WHO LOOKS FOR YOUR TARGET GROUP!
Who said that it is we who have to find our target group? Perhaps it has already found us itself? We have access to many tools which can show us who looks for us and when. Although in most cases, we use them on an everyday basis, we rarely refer them to our target group. Let us take a closer look at Google Analytics. Thanks to that tool, we know how many people visit us, how much time they spend on our website and what they look for. However, we can also learn a lot more! Let us take a look at demographic data – no only sex but also age, geolocation, behaviour or technology they use. The information that 70 per cent of our website visitors are women from big cities aged 25–34 is a great starting point to define our target group. And it is just one of Google tools. We can also analyze data from the Google Search Console or Google Ads – we do not have to immediately start a campaign but we can get many important data for designing it.
THEY LOVE US, THEY LIKE US… OUR TARGET IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Not long ago, it was said that those who are not present on the Internet, do not exist. It is not true anymore. The current rule says that those who do not have a presence on social media, do not exist at all. There is a group of companies, mostly operating locally, which exist only in social media. They do not even have a website or only have an internet showcase. Go for a walk in your neighbourhood. Take a look at hairdressing salons, convenience clothing or lingerie stores – they are not going to invite you to visit their website – they will ask you to like them on Facebook. The owners or employees of those companies do not limit themselves only to their own fanpage. They are also very active in various groups. It is worth checking statistics and information about your audience – not only the people who follow us but also those who visited our website. We will not derive as much information from that tool as from Google Analytics but we will get a lot of valuable data.
Not everyone has a big enough budget to make their ads stand out in Google, especially when we want to promote ourselves with very popular phrases. However, that which costs a fortune in the world’s biggest search engine might cost much less on Facebook. For as little as a few dozen zlotys, we can reach our selected target group. So who is in that group exactly? Without spending a fortune on advertising, on Facebook we can check which target group is the most optimal for us. You can also create an advertisement for several audience groups – those whom we consider our target. Facebook Business gives us almost unlimited possibilities of creating such groups and at the end of the campaign, we can draw conclusions as to which advertisement generated the expected benefits for us and which recipients were the most active.
DIY – CREATE YOUR TARGET YOURSELF
A dozen years ago mineral water “Dar Grabiny” broke all records of recognizability. It would not be surprising if it was not for the fact that such water does not exist. More specifically, it exists only in the “M jak Miłość” TV series. In a poll, as many as 92.8 per cent of respondents familiar with that brand said that they would buy “Dar Grabiny” if it was available in stores. The “Dar Grabiny” example proves that we do not have to follow the beaten track and try to reach our target groups but we can also create them ourselves. It is also an argument for not limiting ourselves only to the biggest and the most popular target groups. Hands up who would have come up with an idea to aim their marketing communication at fans of a TV show?
DEFINING YOUR TARGET GROUP IS NOT ALL IT TAKES
Those who keep going when others stop become successful. Defining your target group alone is not enough. First, we need to get to know its needs and its behaviours. It is not an easy task but who said that marketing activities are nice and easy? Reaching our target is another challenge. After all, it is not enough to create an offer for them in a couple of minutes, click “save” and “send” and wait for the customers to fight over our products and services. Marketing specialists are trying to reach our hearts, minds and wallets in different ways. We should do the same when trying to reach our target group. We can do it with the trial and error method, however, few people can afford that. We can also count on our fortune, however, if we want a durable and long-term result, let us learn from the best.