Marketing Management and Target Audiences: Part Art, Part Science

Most people have heard the theory about the left and right sides of the brain. “Left side” thinkers are more analytical. “Right side” thinkers are more artistic. But, in reality, those faculties work together most of the time, and marketing professionals in the business world make the most of both sides of their brains, applying analytical and creative skills to identify target markets and improve market share.

One way for marketing managers to boost their careers is to strengthen the “art” and “science” sides of their profession. Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can help. For example, Radford University’s MBA online program offers coursework that emphasizes the art and science of selecting target markets to acquire and maintain profitable customers. Coursework also addresses socially responsible and ethical approaches to marketing, which increasingly influence buying decisions.

Finding the Target Market

Every marketer knows it takes analytics to identify a target market and know precisely where and when to reach the target audience. The more a marketer knows about the target market, the easier it is to create compelling marketing experiences.

There are many ways to go about identifying a target market. The following are a few steps commonly taken in this process:

Analyze Current Customers: Analyzing customer buying habits and patterns can help narrow the search for a target audience. What do they need, and how much do they spend? Who are the most profitable customers? How often do they make purchases, and when? Are there customers who are reliable but do not spend as much? Data points regarding the following provide additional insight:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Income
  • Education level
  • Occupation
  • Entertainment preferences

Get to Know the Competition: In business, competition is a good thing. Without it, we would just have monopolies. There is a lot to gain from checking out the competition. Who are their customers? What are they doing right? What are they missing? These are all opportunities to fine-tune your marketing strategies to target segments you may be missing.

Create Buyer Personas: Creating buyer personas is a bit like creating characters for a novel, but with data points, and you can even give them names. In an article for HubSpot, Pamela Vaughan describes buyer personas as “semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research.” In other words, they are a perfect blend of the art and science in marketing.

Buyer personas make it easier for a business to build strong connections with a target audience. Every business has different needs and will therefore have buyer personas with unique sets of characteristics. But as Vaughan explains, there are some basic steps for building buyer personas. These include:

  • Identifying demographic information
  • Determining the persona’s motivations
  • Having “conversations” with the persona
  • Crafting messages for the persona

Why Social Responsibility Matters in Marketing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is more than a buzzword. CSR influences how consumers view companies as well as their buying decisions. In an article for HubSpot, Anum Hussain notes a study that showed “51% of consumers wanting to reward responsible companies with their business, and 53% saying they’d pay a premium for products from a responsible company.”

Marketing managers may not be making decisions at the corporate level. However, as Hussain points out, “being socially responsible could be used as a messaging strategy in our marketing campaigns to help increase revenue.” Donating a portion of profits to do good is one way to do this.

Evolvetogether offers an example of marketing that appeals to customers who want to feel good about their purchases. The company gained a celebrity following as face masks became a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the company’s website, “10% of each We Stand Together mask sold helps the ACLU and Asian Americans Advancing Justice continue the fight for equality and justice.”

For business professionals with a creative mindset, a career in marketing can be personally fulfilling as well as lucrative. It is a chance to help companies advance their socially responsible and ethical practices and appeal to the modern conscious consumer.

Learn more about Radford University’s Master of Business Administration program.

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