Before we can discuss best practices for taking a more targeted approach to marketing, we've got to define what it actually means to do so. The interesting thing is that to some marketers, increased targeting is about who is targeted (e.g., micro-segmentation) while to others it's about targeting the content of marketing messages (e.g., personalization).
To my way of thinking, there are three basic component concepts to a more targeted approach: (1) WHO is targeted (micro-segmentation), (2) HOW they're targeted (personalization, multi-channel marketing; and (3) with WHAT are they targeted (e.g., promotions/offer management).
As marketers, we know that a more narrowly focused marketing effort generates better penetration within a given segment. But it is a different mindset completely to depart from a mass marketing approach to one where you deliberately market differently to hundreds and maybe thousands of tiny segments. Most of all though, it requires us to embrace the massive fragmentation of our companies’ brand constituents and let go of our long-held belief that the more people we can market to, the better (as opposed to the smaller the segment, the better).
Do you agree with this general framework for taking a more targeted approach to marketing? Tell me what you think!