Target marketing is a precise form of communication, aiming messages at small, clearly-defined market segments or even individual prospects. Mass marketing delivers generic messages to large, relatively undefined markets, relying on economies of scale to justify expenditure. Figures from the Direct Marketing Association indicate a long-term trend away from general to direct targeting. In 2009, direct marketing captured 53 percent of total advertising expenditure, according to Jim Hackett, president of communications consultancy Indivia Inc., in "The Future of One-to-One Marketing."
Mass marketing is associated with high-volume consumer products advertised on commercial television or in newspapers with large circulations. Advertisers and their agencies aim to reach the largest possible market at the lowest cost per thousand. The campaigns require large media budgets, although it has traditionally proved difficult to measure the effectiveness of that type of advertising expenditure.
Difficult economic conditions have accelerated the demand for greater accountability in marketing budgets. A survey of chief marketing officers by the CMO Council indicated that investing in digital demand generation and online relationship building ranked among the top initiatives being taken to maximize the impact and value of marketing in 2010.
The development of data collection and mining technology supports greater precision in target marketing. Organizations use detailed information they collect to develop marketing messages that reflect the specific needs of small groups or individuals. An article in "Social Times," One-to-One Marketing, Social Media and Millennials, by Neil Glassman described the potential for precision. A colleague had used Twitter to express how she was having a bad day. A snack food manufacturer picked up the Tweet and responded, later delivering sample products.
Jim Hackett's article, "The Future of One-to-One Marketing," describes the emergence of a new target marketing term, B21. This is marketing communication delivered to an individual, where words and images are personalized to the recipient. The level of precision is now extremely high, particularly in online media. The website Webvertization.com reported how changing one letter in a keyword phrase from piano lesson to piano lessons improved conversion rates from 1.64 to 5.09 percent.
Target marketing is effective at building long-term relationships with customers. An article in "Managing Change," One-to-One Marketing; Much more than Relationship Marketing, describes how organizations engage customers in dialogue, building trust and gathering information on their needs. Organizations use that information to provide superior service and products that meet customers' needs precisely. This strengthens the relationship in a way that competitors would find difficult to match.
- Document Media; The Future of One-to-One Marketing; Jim Hackett
- CMO Council; State of Marketing Report Reveals Digital Marketing Driving Transformation in Global Marketing Organizations; April 2010
- Social Times; One-to-One Marketing, Social Media and Millennials; Neil Glassman; January 2011
- Webvertization.com: Besting Adwords; One Letter Can Boost Conversion Rates; October 2005
- Managing Change; One-to-One Marketing; Much More than Relationship Marketing; May 1998
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
Example of Target Market Analysis
Small-business owners can better compete with large companies by selling to a smaller segment of a marketplace, targeting a customer who wants...
The Difference Between a Target Market & Target Audience
The terms target market and target audience are interrelated, but they are not interchangeable. A company's target market may also be its...
What Is the Difference Between Reactive & Proactive Marketing?
Proactive marketing involves the implementation of prepared strategies, whereas reactive marketing involves tactics employed when opportunities arise. A major difference is that...
Difference Between Market Segmentation & Target Market
Market segmentation and target marketing are two steps of the marketing process. Although the two go hand-in-hand, there are distinct differences between...
Difference Between a Target & Niche Market
As a business owner, it's important to have an understanding of your consumers. That means having a good grasp of the characteristics...
Difference Between Industry & Market Analysis
Industry analysis and market analysis are two different ways to look at the environment in which a company competes. Although related, these...
What Is the Difference Between Goals & Targets in Business?
The terms "goal" and "target" are often used in the same way when company leaders discuss plans. The applicable difference between these...
The Difference Between Relationship Marketing & CRM
Relationship marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) are closely-related business concepts. However, most experienced marketing professionals agree that CRM is an evolution...
How to Select a Target Market in a Marketing Strategy
Defining your target market in your marketing strategy determines whether you are throwing marketing money away or if you are reaching a...
Difference Between Marketing & Marketing Communication
Marketing is the business discipline that deals with sending messages to the marketplace about companies and their brands. The term "marketing" encompasses...
Key Elements in Market Analysis
As markets constantly change, businesses must analyze various aspects of the market to make changes to marketing strategies that allow them to...
What Is the Difference Between Finance and Marketing?
Finance and marketing are distinctly different, but valuable functions within a typical organization. The finance division or department is involved in financial...
Difference Between Individual & Market Demand
Everyone has some influence over the economy. When economists look at the individual decisions that people make and how these decisions influence...
What are the Differences Between Communication Media and Communication Devices?
Communication media and communication devices deliver messages to a receiver or audience. Communication media can be referred to simply as "media" because...