what is it and how to define it?

what is it and how to define it?


The potential buyers of a product or service are represented by the marketing target. A central element of a marketing strategy, targeting customers allows us to better understand how to reach them, get them to buy and retain them. However, there are several types of marketing targets and different best practices to follow to successfully carry out this strategic exercise.

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The different types of marketing targets

The primary target

The primary target represents the main target, that is to say the type of customer to whom the brand wishes to sell its product (or its service).

This target is made up of consumers who meet criteria that will convert them into buyers. Thus, the brand will develop a communication message dedicated to it to appeal to their motivations.

The brand will also be able to define within this primary target a core target. This corresponds to consumers who have the greatest potential to buy the product and for whom an additional marketing effort must be made.

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The secondary target (or satellite)

The secondary target also called “satellite target” groups together what are called opinion leaders.

An opinion leader is an actor who, by virtue of his notoriety or his social status, is likely to influence the opinion or behavior of other individuals. Thus, journalists, influencers on social networks and others who have an audience are considered opinion leaders.

Target of influence, it can become a primary target if the brand lacks the budget to communicate simultaneously with several targets.

The tertiary target

The tertiary target is a target that is made up of individuals who can facilitate communication between the brand and the primary target and help the latter to complete the purchase.

This target is totally dependent on the primary target.

Examples of marketing targets

Example of a marketing target for a sports equipment manufacturer

  • Primary target: local population practicing a sporting activity, in search of the appropriate equipment
  • Secondary target: high-level athletes, influencers and prescribers of the brand
  • Tertiary target: clubs and sports halls likely to recommend the brand’s products

Example of a marketing target for an agricultural seeds manufacturer

  • Primary target: farmers operating large cultivable areas, direct wholesale seed consumers
  • Secondary target: distributors, cooperatives, wholesalers, all potential resellers
  • Tertiary target: journalists from the specialized press, teachers in professional agricultural establishments, technical advisers

Example of a marketing target for an accounting software publisher

  • Primary target: companies of all types, self-employed
  • Secondary target: accounting firms, auditors
  • Tertiary target: business creation advisers, journalists from the specialized press

5 tips to properly define your marketing target

Correct targeting is important for it to be effective and serve the established strategy. Here are 5 tips for achieving a primary, secondary or tertiary marketing target.

1 – Use the persona method

More comprehensive than a marketing target, a persona is the semi-fictitious representation of the ideal client. It allows to study in detail the targeted customers as to their identity, their problems, their expectations. Thus, a persona is based on data revealed by market research, but also onr data relating to actual clients, particularly those whom you consider to be exemplary clients.

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2 – ask yourself the right questions

It is necessary to ask the right questions to fully understand and correctly identify the target, namely:

  • Who are the users of the product or service?
  • What is their profile ?
  • Are they the ones who make the purchase?
  • Are they the ones paying?
  • How much do they spend on this type of product or service?
  • Do they have an alternative to this product or service?
  • Is there a seasonality in their purchasing behavior for this type of product or service?

3 – Clearly define and understand the offer

An offer can correspond to several targets and meet different needs.

Understanding the offer (that is, the product or service) that is being offered is important in order to understand how it is positioned in the market and to whom it is addressed.

It is therefore necessary for the brand to fully understand what it offers to understand how to promote it through marketing and communication.

In this regard, the differentiating element (s) of the product or service in relation to the competition should be highlighted. This or these elements should be highlighted in the communication addressed to the marketing target.

4 – Understand the needs of the potential client

Knowledge of customer needs is an essential concept, because it allows us to better understand the targeted customers, to check whether the product or service meets expectations and to set up an effective marketing strategy. The prospect is obviously to increase the conversion rates over time.

The study of the need can be carried out using several tools:

  • A market study.
  • A consumer survey.
  • A persona study.
  • Questionnaires on social networks.
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5 – do competitive intelligence

Competitive intelligence is a good practice because it helps to understand the strategic decisions of competitors and the results they obtain. With this in mind, it is recommended to analyze the competitors:

  • Social networks, audiences and reactions to posts;
  • Customer reviews published on Google My Business, Amazon or Verified Reviews;
  • Newsletters.

Competitive intelligence is not intended to copy or imitate competitors, but it simply allows you to better understand your market, your target and how to communicate with them. It also provides valuable information to adjust a product or service according to customer expectations observed through the prism of this analysis.

6 – Use the analysis tools that are the KPIs

KPI monitoring (indikey performance indicators) are used to measure the effectiveness of a marketing strategy, at regular intervals or continuously throughout a campaign. There are various KPIs depending on the objectives and the marketing target. Depending on the figures obtained, you can assess your ROI and adjust your campaign accordingly in order to maximize the result. Without using such indicators, you run the risk of losing control of the progress and effects produced by your campaign, and therefore of not controlling the time or money invested.

Here are some examples of KPIs used in a marketing campaign:

  • Consultation rate
  • Click rate
  • Cost per click
  • Cost per lead or per prospect
  • Return on campaign investment
  • Conversion rate

Because they are an essential component of the marketing strategy, it is important to correctly set the marketing targets. Otherwise, poor targeting can lead to waste of time and above all, loss of money.

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