The most important thing that every business must really understand before they start marketing is who is their target audience, and is it truly ubiquitous or can it be broken down into smaller segments that are self defined, for example:
- families living with children at home,
- single females under the age of 30, or
- outdoor sports enthusiasts who do not work in the industry.
The list is endless, but the more that you can clearly identify different market segments, the better positioned you are to actually engage with that potential audience group. Today more than ever, your potential customer is on the go, busy doing thoughts of things every day, through segmentation you can ensure that your marketing messages resonate and deliver results.
Market segmentation is the exercise that we perform in the first meeting with new clients. Below is an excerpt from an exercise that I performed with a vacation rental company who wanted to expand their business beyond the very busy summer months while maintaining full rentals over the summer.
The market segmentation exercise typically can take several hours to complete, but the outputs provide an invaluable framework for growth. Not only will you clearly identify your market segments, which many businesses have never articulated before, it will then allow you to quickly determine how best to spend your develop your marketing plan and market messages.
In the case of the vacation rentals company, we determined that the first priority would be to focus on the wedding party group and have developed both a microsite specific for weddings linked to the main site, and a whole series of rental packages designed to entice wedding parties to book longer stays. As the summer approaches, so does the wedding season, and we have already seen the bookings increase.