What are the benefits of target marketing

Marketing: definition, basics and marketing measures

Marketing definition

Marketing describes a concept of market-oriented corporate management that is geared towards satisfying the needs of (potential) customers. In addition to operational measures that are intended to influence the purchase decision, this also includes all other areas of the company.

Marketing is also understood to be the division that is responsible for marketing products and services.

What is marketing

Many equate marketing with advertising - and are completely wrong. Even the dry marketing definition above suggests that there is more to it than just placing the company logo on pens and flyers.

In order to make it less abstract and more tangible, let's try a clear definition of marketing.

Marketing (German: sales economy) means the alignment of a company with the needs of the market. Accordingly, all corporate measures and decisions should aim to meet customer expectations. The task of marketing is to recognize the needs of the market, as well as changes, for example the increasing or decreasing demand for a product. The aim is to ensure increasing sales figures.

In short: Marketing ensures that more is sold by identifying potential customers and the market, promoting the product and improving the image.

The marketing mix: the four P's

The different marketing instruments that are used to achieve the marketing goals are known as the marketing mix. The most important instruments are also referred to as the four Ps.

The four P’s come from English and stand for “Product”, “Price”, “Place” and “Promotion”. In German, the four terms product, price, distribution and communication policy are used in the context of the marketing mix.

1. P: Product

With the Product policy devote yourself to all information that is directly related to your product or service. You will already know what you have to offer, but you may not even be aware of how you stand out from the competition. Within the product policy, you define your USP, for example, and see which customer needs you want to meet or which you would like to fulfill in the future.

2. P: Price

The name Pricing policy actually says it all. Here you deal with everything that is relevant for setting your product and service prices. This means that you illuminate all aspects that play a role in the pricing of your offer in order to ultimately find the most suitable value for you and the target group:

  • Own profitability limit
  • Willingness to pay of the target group / customers
  • Competitor prices (customary in the market)

Here, too, the USP plays an important role, after all, the price also conveys a certain message. For example, if you want to stand out from the competition with exceptional quality, dumping prices are the wrong choice. On the one hand, this should not be possible in this case, because high quality is reflected in higher costs; on the other hand, low prices are an indicator of inferior products from the consumer's point of view.

3rd P: Place

In the Distribution policy it is about what is important for the sale of a product or service. How and where can you best reach your customers? In what way do you generally sell? Over the counter, only online or at trade fairs, etc.? Do the channels you choose match those chosen by the target audience? The point here is to be there where the customer is or where they shop. As a provider of a cloud service such as Dropbox, a branch is of little use to me because the target group only purchases this type of service online.

4. P: PhD

As part of theCommunication policy determines how you want to draw attention to yourself and your offer. This is the first time that specific marketing measures play a role. In addition to choosing the right marketing channels and content, the company's general communication style is also taken into account. Do you focus more on humorous and friendly communication? Or should your own seriousness be shown as strongly as possible at every customer contact point?

In addition to the four classic P’s of marketing, there is now the Staff-, Process- and Equipment policythree other marketing tools that were considered primarily for the service industry. A detailed analysis of both the four P's just described and the extended form of the seven P's of the Marketing Mix can be found in our article "The Marketing Mix - Definition & Elaboration".

Laying the foundations for successful marketing

According to the theory, it now becomes concrete: But before you implement individual marketing measures that are intended to make your product better known and increase sales, you must first create some basics. Target group analysis, USP, the definition of marketing goals and your corporate identity play a decisive role in your marketing strategy. We would like to address these aspects in the following.

Effective and efficient marketing through target group analysis

"The larger the target group, the more potential customers and the higher the profits." Sit down, six! Because if you set your target group too large, you cannot do efficient marketing and throw your money out the window through non-targeted marketing measures. The more precisely your own target group is defined and reflected in your marketing concept, the better all marketing campaigns work.

In the target group analysis, you first of all differentiate between whether you sell B2B (i.e. to other companies) or B2C (to end consumers). We will briefly introduce both models; you will find detailed guidelines for defining your target group in our article “Define target group - this is how it works”.

When defining target groups in business-to-business (B2B), you analyze the following four aspects:

The organizational characteristics first take a bird's eye view of potential customers:

  • Headquarters and branch

  • Corporate phase

  • Number of employees

  • Market share

Then take a look at theeconomic characteristics on the following criteria:

  • Sales

  • Profit

  • growth

  • Purchasing power

The following is all about thatBuying behavior of companies:

  • Purchase frequency

  • Price sensitivity

  • Time of purchase

  • Point of Sale (i.e. the point of sale)

Bothpersonal characteristicsthe focus is on the person who makes the purchase decision. Interestingly, this fourth aspect of target group analysis in B2B is also the approach with which the target group in B2C can be defined. That makes sense, after all, one looks at the individual decision-maker or the target person and no longer at the entire company. In this fourth part of the B2B target group analysis or the entire B2C target group definition, the following aspects are then examined:

  • Demographic characteristics:Where does your target person live and how old is they?

  • Socio-economic characteristics: What level of education and what income does the target person have?

  • Psychographic characteristics:What is the target person's personality? What opinions does she have and what wishes does she have?

  • Buying behavior: Similar to the above - what price sensitivity does the target person have, how much money does they normally put on the table for your type of offer?

By carefully analyzing your target group, you have an accurate picture of your potential customers. You know where to look for them, what their economic situation is like, what prices they are willing to pay and what performance they expect in return and can use this as the basis to develop your marketing concept.

In this podcast episode you will hear a great practical example of how to get desired customers with the right target group analysis:

Marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

It is not only important in the initial target group analysis that you focus on your (potential) customers, you should also always take into account the focus on the individual customer when implementing specific marketing measures. So that this also works with high customer numbers, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software helps to maintain customer relationships. In a CRM system, customer data is recorded and maintained and thus provides the basis for being able to operate CRM marketing tailored to target groups. How CRM and marketing interact and how marketing is optimized through well-maintained customer relationship management can be found on our page “Optimizing Marketing with CRM”.

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Determine your unique selling proposition (USP)

Before you really market your offer with your company, actually even before you even start putting a product or service on the street, you need to define your own unique selling point, the so-called Unique Selling Proposition (USP). With the Unique Selling Proposition you highlight exactly that one detail that makes you unique and with which you differentiate yourself from the competition. After all, you must be able to answer one question above all to potential customers: Why should I buy from you and not from someone else?

When defining your own unique selling proposition, the following questions will help:

  • Is your offer particularly cheap? (Cost leadership)

  • Does your offer have a particularly good price / performance ratio?

  • Is your offer characterized by a particularly high quality?

  • What special functions / properties does your offer have?

You can find detailed information on the definition of the USP in our article Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in Marketing: Examples and Tips.

Determine and pursue your own marketing goals

As soon as marketing instruments, USP and target group have been defined, many entrepreneurs want to implement specific marketing measures as quickly as possible. At this point, however, a little patience is required, because before you print your logo on pens like crazy, you should be clear about your own goals. This is important, on the one hand, because the specific measures within the framework of a coherent marketing concept become more targeted and efficient and, on the other hand, because success can then also be measured in retrospect.

A fundamental distinction is made between qualitative and quantitative marketing goals, which we would like to briefly discuss. For a more detailed definition of your own marketing goals, you can take a look at the article “Define Marketing Goals - Qualitative, Quantitative, SMART”.

Qualitative marketing goals initially consider purely non-economic goals and are therefore often referred to as perceptual goals. Here you deal with questions such as: "Do we want to strengthen the relationship with our existing customers and improve our service?" Or: "How can we build a positive corporate image?" With the qualitative perception goals, you determine whether and in what form you want to convey the corporate image to outsiders.

Quantitative marketing goals deal with numerical indicators. The economic marketing goals relate, for example, to your own sales goals, market shares or conversion rates. Within the reach targets, you can define the areas in which you want to address more potential customers (e.g. more Facebook fans or traffic on the website). Quantitative marketing goals always reflect a kind of “action-effect relationship” of your own marketing concepts.

Corporate Identity: Finding your own identity - and communicating it

The identity of a company or the corporate identity (CI) reflects how the company is perceived internally, i.e. by employees or the founders. In the best case, this (internal) image corresponds to the corporate image, i.e. the image that outsiders (e.g. customers) have of the company. It is bad when corporate image and corporate identity have only a few overlaps.

Let us assume that a company that advertises itself as a sustainable fashion manufacturer violates human rights in production worldwide. Even if the corporate image could maintain the illusion of sustainability and fairness for a while, the discrepancy between image and identity inevitably leads to collapse. A company should therefore always focus on its own identity first. Are you more of a hip startup with short decision-making paths and flip-flops in meetings or the serious business consultancy where you never see an employee without a suit? No matter which corporate identity you define at the beginning or however it develops over time, it is important to present it to the outside world and use appropriate marketing instruments. Under the umbrella of the corporate identity there are then four supporting pillars, which in total represent the construct of the CI and should be coordinated with one another.

  • Corporate Behavior: Corporate behavior reflects how a company achieves its own goals. In a monetary sense, this can be the price behavior or the further development of your own product portfolio. From a non-monetary point of view, these are, for example, the flow of information or leadership within the company.

  • Corporate Design: Corporate design means the uniform appearance of a company. It is an important tool in terms of its own recognition value and aims at a uniform presentation of the company both internally and externally. This includes your own logo or uniformly used colors and designs in presentations and on your own website. At this point we would like to recommend our article series on the subject of logo design.

  • Corporate Communication: In addition to a uniform appearance, the company's communication style also plays an important role. Corporate communication is about choosing a consistent and authentic style of communication. And not only to the outside world to your own target group, but also to employees, stakeholders and partners.

  • Corporate culture: The fourth and last pillar of corporate identity is corporate culture. It arises in every company over time and relates, for example, to the way in which decisions are made and how, for example, employees perceive hierarchies or the working atmosphere as such.

Marketing measures for the company's success

Now it's finally getting concrete! After the theory at the beginning and the basics for your marketing, we will introduce you to various marketing channels and measures that will support you in increasing your sales. We differentiate between online marketing and offline marketing and finally make an excursion to the topic of public relations (PR).

Online Marketing

With increasing digitization, online marketing is playing an increasingly important role. Online or e-marketing describes all marketing measures that are carried out in the digital world of the Internet. It includes communication via social media channels as well as the sending of newsletters or paid advertisements on Google. Compared to offline marketing, it is usually cheaper and, above all, easier to measure.

Your own website

The core of your online marketing is and will remain your own company website, no matter how many social media channels you use or how many e-mails you send as part of your newsletter marketing. Your own website is the center of your online presence, after all, this is where the purchase is usually made, the newsletter is subscribed to or the contact form is filled out. In our three-part series on the subject of “Homepage” we give some tips that will help you to create your own website:

Search Engine Marketing or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

However, having your own website is of little use if nobody knows it. Search engine marketing is a discipline that is intended to direct your target group to your own website via Google and other search engines using the relevant search terms. Search engine marketing or search engine marketing (SEM for short) covers two major areas: search engine optimization and search engine advertising.

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aims to ensure that your website or your content is listed as high up as possible in the results of a search engine. The organic or natural search refers to the search results for which you as a company do not pay. There are countless aspects that have a positive or negative effect on the ranking of your own website in the search engines.Arguably the five most important aspects that companies can consider in order to move up on Google are the following:

  1. Diligent keyword research

  2. Lots of high quality content

  3. Easy to understand page structure

  4. High quality external links

  5. Strong internal link building

Those keywords will hardly mean anything to anyone who has not dealt with the topic of search engine optimization so far. The use of SEO is highly recommended, especially for small companies. Many customers can be won in this way, especially in the long term. In addition, SEO primarily "only" costs time, but not money.

In our interview with an SEO expert, he goes into detail on the five factors mentioned. You can find many more tips for small business search engine optimization in our post: Search Engine Optimization for SMEs - 13 SEO Tips.

Search engine advertising

With Search Engine Advertising (SEA) one tries to get the best places in the search results through paid advertisements. Search engine advertising refers to paid advertisements on Google and Co. that are displayed in the form of links or images.

Whether an advertisement is actually displayed by Google depends not only on the search engine optimization of the website and your own willingness to pay, but above all on the selected keywords. For this reason, the terms SEA and keyword advertising are often used synonymously.

How exactly Google assigns the places in the search results via a kind of auction and key figures such as bounce rate or length of stay and how you can do search engine advertising yourself using Google AdWords, you can find out in our article “Everything about Search Engine Advertising (SEA) and Google AdWords”.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing describes the strategies and measures taken by companies in social media. With the increasing number of users on Facebook and Co., more and more companies are also using social media for their marketing. Social media channels represent additional platforms for companies to communicate and interact with their target group. In addition to (potential) customers, social media marketing is also used for employee recruitment.

There are now many different social media channels that companies use. However, whether it makes sense to use it depends heavily on the company itself. Not every company should use all social media platforms. A manufacturer of industrial adhesives, for example, will be less successful than a hip fashion startup on Pinterest, a platform for the publication of images on certain topics (often fashion or food). Nevertheless, the number of B2B companies in social media continues to rise because decision-makers from other companies are also registered on Facebook and Co. or have created a company page there. Platforms like Facebook are often used as a means of customer loyalty and to support support.

Facebook

Facebook is the largest platform and, so to speak, the mother of all social media channels. The platform now has over 28 million active users in Germany and is growing steadily. Because so many people use Facebook, it naturally also offers enormous potential for companies, especially in the context of the following goals:

  1. Reach & awareness

  2. Targeted advertising

  3. Company website traffic

  4. Customer support

  5. Customer loyalty

XING

The XING career platform can also be classified under the umbrella of social media. In Germany, XING currently has 8.8 million users, 49% of whom are allegedly managers, department heads or managing directors. B2C companies use XING primarily for recruiting. B2B companies too, but XING also offers them great potential for acquiring new customers.

In our “XING expert interview, you will find out how you can generate leads and win customers on XING. In our article “XING Marketing for SMEs” you will find guidelines that will help you set up your own XING marketing and deal with the following aspects:

  • Do you need a paid profile?

  • Keyword optimization on XING

  • Build networks

  • Tips for making contact

  • Place advertising on XING

  • Use the synergy effects of XING and CRM

YouTube

YouTube is the world's largest platform for videos and, according to the latest information, has almost 18 million users in Germany alone. In addition to young people, according to Statista, 70% of 30 to 44 year olds also use YouTube. Even among 45- to 59-year-olds, almost half of those surveyed stated that they regularly visit the platform. In the B2B as well as in the B2C area, YouTube is now a permanently used channel for more and more companies, especially for placing advertising videos. In the article on YouTube marketing, we show the possibilities that YouTube also offers small and medium-sized companies to address their target group. In addition to the lighting of content design options (explanatory videos, storytelling, image videos, etc.), we also answer the following questions:

  • For which companies is YouTube marketing even an option?

  • Which video content can be used?

  • How do you create a corporate channel?

  • How do you use synergy effects and do YouTube SEO?

  • How does YouTube analytics work?

  • Is YouTube advertising worth it? And if so, how can it be switched?

Newsletter marketing

In Germany alone, hundreds of thousands of companies use email as a marketing channel. Newsletter marketing is so popular because it is relatively cheap and flexible, and the effects are easy to measure. Since hundreds of billions of emails are sent every day (!) In Germany and the recipients' mailboxes are flooded, companies have to deal intensively with their own newsletter in order to benefit from email marketing.

The target group segmentation, i.e. the specific addressing of different target groups, is particularly important. If you send out the same newsletter to all of your customers, very few of them will feel addressed. Newsletter marketing works much better if you send different newsletters with specific content to small, pointed target groups.

In order to be able to implement this, you need CRM software that helps you to categorize your customers and thus creates the basis for addressing the various customers in a targeted manner. It is also advisable to use professional newsletter software.

All of these points, including legal aspects to be considered in newsletter marketing, are dealt with in our comprehensive guide to newsletter marketing.

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Permission Marketing

Permission marketing is closely linked to newsletter marketing. Permission marketing is the sending of information or advertising with the express permission of the recipient or customer. With the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force on May 25, 2018, permission marketing has also become even more important. How permission marketing works exactly, which legal provisions need to be observed and what (double) opt-in and opt-out are all about can be found in our article “Yes, I want: Permission Marketing, Opt-In and Read Opt-Out ”.

Content marketing

Content marketing describes a strategy in which self-created content is intended to address the target group. This content can be of an informative or entertaining nature and is aimed at gaining new customers and at the same time retaining existing customers. The content is thematically selected in such a way that it is relevant to the own target group. The prime example here are corporate blogs, on which companies write articles that are interesting and helpful for their target group. Content marketing is based on the so-called “pull principle”. This means that, for example, readers of a corporate blog can find their way there independently because they have searched for the relevant keywords on Google. Content marketing offers the company in question many advantages: it is inexpensive, has a positive effect on search engine optimization, directs the target group to its own website (keyword: traffic) and increases brand awareness.

You can find more examples, best practices and the correct procedure in our detailed article on “Content Marketing”.

Affiliate means something like “affiliated company” or “partner” in German. In affiliate marketing, the “affiliate” (or “publisher”) sells advertising space to a company on its website. The basic principle of affiliate marketing is that the affiliate forwards the visitors to his site via special links to the corresponding company. This company is then called the “Advertiser” (or “Merchandiser”). As soon as a visitor referred by the affiliate makes a purchase, the company pays that affiliate a pre-determined commission.

A suitable example of affiliate marketing are travel blogs on which the operators report on their experiences and in between include affiliate links, e.g. to booking.com. If one of the blog readers books an accommodation via this link, Booking pays the blog operator a corresponding commission.

Further examples, billing models such as “Pay-per-Click” or “Lifetime Commission”, as well as the approach with which companies can set up their own affiliate marketing can be found in “Affiliate Marketing: Definition, Examples and Strategies for SMEs”.

Make the success of online marketing measurable

As already described, a big advantage of online marketing compared to offline marketing is that the individual measures are easier to measure. Probably the most important key figure in online marketing isConversion rate or the conversion rate. It reflects the ratio of conversions (e.g. a purchase) to the total of (website) visitors. The conversion rate is given as a percentage and calculated as follows:

Conversion rate = conversions / visits

If 5 out of 200 website visitors make a purchase, the conversion rate is 2.5%. Because the conversion rate always has a direct influence on important company goals such as sales, many companies carry out conversion rate optimizations. You can find out what such an optimization process can look like and what it brings in our article “The Conversion Rate | Definition and Optimization ”.

The offline marketing

As the name suggests, all marketing actions that are not carried out online are known as offline marketing. As already mentioned, the big disadvantage is that the effect of offline marketing is much more difficult to measure than online marketing. For example, it is difficult to determine how many people have seen your poster advertising or how many of the distributed flyers end up in the trash unread. In addition, there are usually higher prices for offline marketing measures.

The most widespread offline marketing measures include:

  • Flyers & posters
  • Postal shipments
  • Business cards, stickers, giveaways (e.g. pens or magnets with your own logo)
  • Advertisements in newspapers and magazines
  • Bonus cards (e.g. in a café where you can get your tenth coffee for free)
  • Vouchers, coupons, discounts, etc.

The fact that online marketing has gained the upper hand in recent years and that one is confronted with advertising on all digital channels is currently leading to a revival of offline marketing. With a postcard mailing, for example, you can attract the attention of your target group much better than with an e-mail. On the one hand, this is due to the haptic experience, but above all to the fact that things are now much clearer in the mailbox than in the e-mail inbox.

Online and offline: In general, marketing is particularly effective when the marketing concept is consistently geared towards your own target group.

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