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Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning | Step 2 in Developing Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

An important stage in building you digital marketing strategist for your tech startup is to identify your target audiences. To do that, you have to do three things: segmentation, targeting and positioning. Segmentation means dividing your entire markets of thousands or millions of individuals into a few homogeneous groups that share common characteristics. For example, you can just segment by location (urban and rural) or segment by income (users who make $100,000 a year or more. For example, females living in New York City age 25 to 35. Those are all traditional segmentation approaches.

Luckily, technology can help us do a more advanced segmentation. You can segment your audience is by their stage in the buying decision, which is very common in digital marketing. For example you can launch a search advertising campaign for users who are still considering to buy a new car. These users are more likely to use search and collect information. Other group of users are in later stages in the buying process such as evaluation of alternatives. You can target those by email marketing with car prices comparisons.

You can target users by their interests or affinity category as Facebook calls them. For example, segment users by their interest in sports or like to travel. In addition, you can do geofencing, which is an advertising technique that targets users at a very specific geographical location. That can be as accurate as a single, neighborhood, block or even building such as a clinic, social club or a restaurant. By targeting users while they are at that place, you can generate sales as they are more likely to respond to your campaigns.

You can target users by their job titles. For example, if you're selling it enterprise software, you can target procurement managers in a region or in a country. You can target CEOs of finance startups for example. One of the useful tools for doing that is LinkedIn; where you have a huge database of professionals with their titles and connections.

You total final target segments should be 3-4 in order to appeal to them and focus your marketing spending. You can't be everything for everyone so you have to tradeoff less attractive segments for more attractive ones. But, what hat is the criteria for selecting the most attractive segments? Well, look at their size. How many? Tools such as Facebook or Google ads can actually quantify the segment for you in numbers. Look at their growth rates, income, and their way of doing business. Put together the criteria that are most suitable for your product and select the most attractive segments.

The second step is positioning. Positioning is related to how you want to appeal to those target segments that you already identified. You have to define how you your products should be perceived by them based on specific attributes. For example, safety and family. Or energy and strength. Any kind of positioning that you want your product to be known for. From there, you can develop your core marketing messages and your tone of voice. How you want your content to sound? Serious, funny, attractive, sophisticated? Sticking to those messages and tones helps you to build the memorization of your brand and sell more.

After you complete your segmentation targeting and positioning, you should end up with profiles for each segment. Give each profile a name such as "strong independent urban". What are their income, interests and size? What types of shoppers are they? Are they independent in their search or influenced by others when they evaluate different alternatives? You need to really describe your target segments and know your customer.

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