Target marketing is a process of dividing a market into segments and concentrating the marketing efforts on one or several segments (Kurtz, 2010). This allows target marketing to be specific. It sub-divides large groups such as males, females, adult, teens, etc. into small segments where members have shared characteristics. It can be separated into various forms such as behavioral, psychographic, demographic and geographic segmentations. This is considered a key to business or firm success. However, some businesses opt to consider all its customers as one target market. This means that there are no product differentiation and marketing strategies.
The approach of considering the overall market as one target segment is cost effective. Product promotions, advertisements and distribution are done once. The time spent when attending to various segments is saved and used to improve the overall market (Kurtz, 2010). Also, the approach curbs the faulty segmentation choices as a result of incorrect research interpretation.
However, it has several pitfalls that hinder its effectiveness. The needs and preferences of customers differ (Armstrong and Kotler, 2009). Treating them as one target market would not meet their specific needs. Customers have varied disposable income. This differentiates their sensitivity to price shifts. Fairness would not be achieved if all the customers in the market are treated equally. The approach fails to consider the fact that customers’ circumstances change. They grow older, change jobs, form families, get promoted or change their purchase patterns. Therefore, product marketing should be done to appeal them at different stages of their life. When businesses are communicating with the customers, they need to deliver relevant information to a specific audience (Armstrong and Kotler, 2009). Unfortunately, the broad market puts this at a risk of missing key customers. The communication costs become rather high and unprofitable. Market segmentation facilitates customer accessibility and lowers the costs of communication. The effectiveness of this approach is at jeopardy and gaining returns on investment is uncertain.