Targeting Your Real Audience through Market Segmentation

To be a successful marketer, your first thought has to be the consumer and spending time breaking down who they are in their habits, opinions, and behaviors. This process is understood as an STP evaluation (Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning). Focusing on the topic of segmentation, we are looking to take a deeper dive into the consumers’ habits, opinions, and behaviors. 

  • How is the ideal consumer being defined in your team meetings? 
  • What specific questions are being asked to get a thorough understanding of your target audience?

Data is very important. Data allows you to segment an audience into a demographic breakdown of age, race, gender, income, household information, etc. But… you have to wonder; will data REALLY define who that audience is? While data should never be ignored, a psychographic evaluation tends to be overlooked.

For example, segmentation is commonly broken into four groups:

  1. Demographic Segmentation
  2. Geographic Segmentation
  3. Psychographic Segmentation
  4. Behavioral Segmentation

From these four groups, it’s common for organizations to ignore a psychographic and behavioral segmentation analysis, and stop at demographic and geographic data.

It is important to understand that consumers’ act based on hidden motives. Sigmund Freud identifies three levels of awareness or consciousness of the human mind: 

Conscious 10%

Unconscious 30 – 40% 

Subconscious 50 – 60%

Psychographic Segmentation breaks down your audience for who they truly are by evaluating portions of consumer behavior through personality traits, beliefs, attitudes, interest, and lifestyle or habitual tendencies. Segmenting your audience within a psychographic / behavioral scope places your branding strategy within the unconscious and subconscious of your ideal consumer. 

The subconscious mind is referred by as a human’s storage point. Immediate access to ‘front of mind’ memories such as your address or phone number. Memories or habits that human’s adapt to as their own. The unconscious mind is referred by as a human’s place of memories and past experiences; referred to as automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts usually are triggered by a memory, similar to an action or an event. 

By developing the proper psychographic breakdown of your target audience, you not only save money but increase efficiency in your marketing budget. The proper breakdown also allows for you to remove assumptions and focus on specific character traits to move consumers into an engagement funnel. 

When identifying these specific character traits to build your marketing and advertising strategy, you begin to speak to the hidden motives consumers act on. These hidden motives live within the unconscious and subconscious mind of your target audience, building higher adoption rates and increasing engagement through your advertising spend. 

While this is only the first step in idea creation, it is the most essential. When done successfully, it’s the ‘my pleasure’ of Chick-Fil-A, the playpen and happy meals of McDonald’s, the ‘Just Do It’ of Nike, the ‘Make America Great Again’ of Donald Trump, and the ‘Share A Coke’ of Coca Cola. Hammering down this practice will build long term investment, consumers will find themselves believing in who you are leading them to advocate to others. The wonderful world of “word of mouth” marketing.  

One of the best ways to exercise this segmentation strategy is through a Marketing Strategy Model. At Emmis Marketing, we offer free Marketing Strategy Model consultations. In the MSM consultation - our team, alongside your stakeholders, executes a brainstorm that helps us identify and define characteristics of your frequent consumer. Emmis Marketing not only wants to work with you, but wants to be an extension to your marketing, communications, and leadership team. Take some time to evaluate if your team is diving deep enough in step 1 of the 3 step STP evaluation. Controlling step 1 leads to complete control and efficiency in your execution to ensure you are solidifying relevance and effectiveness in your marketing and advertising spend.


Malcolm Weaver,  Integrated Marketing Campaign Strategist at Emmis Marketing 

For more insights from Malcolm, follow him on LinkedIn.


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