Our Target Marketing Strategy Template offers a simple, visual way to outline your positioning strategies, the tactics and channels you will use to target each market, and the key messaging and value propositions that will resonate with your most important customers.
Target marketing is an effective strategy to help you identify your most valuable market segments and attract their attention. By evaluating a target market’s needs, attributes, behaviors and demographics, you can begin to create marketing strategies that are unique to your audience. This template helps you develop a target marketing strategy from beginning to end.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy refers to the entire game plan to convert your target audience into customers.
Creating a meaningful marketing strategy requires a proper template. A template should center your focus on that strategy.
Keep in mind that a marketing strategy differs from a marketing plan.
How is a Marketing Strategy Different from a Marketing Plan?
A marketing strategy is the blueprint that marketing teams use to create and execute their marketing plans.
Marketing plans, on the other hand, consist of actionable marketing activities like content marketing and social marketing efforts, among a slew of specific initiatives including marketing campaigns, blog posts, big-rock content releases, influencer marketing, and a vast array of other marketing tactics.
Without a solid marketing strategy in place, it’s hard to avoid creating bad content — and that’s the last thing any of us need.
Why Do You Need Both a Marketing Strategy and a Marketing Plan?
Businesses need a documented marketing strategy and a measurable marketing plan in order to be able to create a marketing roadmap, set smart goals, and follow them through to the finish line.
Every company has unique needs, goals, and personnel, but there’s two things we know for sure: each campaign is time-bound, and when it comes right down to it, metrics and KPIs — they matter.
But how do you decide which performance indicators to prioritize, and how to appropriately pivot if the analytics say you should?
That’s all part of your marketing strategy and the marketing plan that goes with it.
Building a Marketing Plan Template
When you’re creating a marketing plan template, you want it to be useful in multiple circumstances for different projects and campaigns. The best way to do this is to include key, high-level sections that your marketing team will follow when they plan out their marketing strategies, tactics, and tasks.
Any effective marketing plan template will include the following:
- Executive summary
- Business information
- Marketing goals
- Target customers
- SWOT Analysis
- Competitive analyses
- Branding or brand identity
- Marketing funnels
- Marketing channels
Let’s get into the details of each section of your template.
An executive summary is a good thing to include in any marketing plan to make sure everyone’s on the same page, from marketing team members to other departments and various stakeholders inside your organization and beyond.
The executive summary may include some or all of the following:
- Business name
- Company mission statement
- Company history
- Advisors and team members
- Pricing breakdown
- Marketing plan description
That last one’s especially important. Be sure your summary includes a brief explanation of your marketing plan, even if it’s just a couple of sentences long.
Include any relevant business information early in your marketing plan template. This encompasses a mission statement, headquarters, and marketing team.
Before spending valuable time, money, and other resources on marketing, you need to know your goals.
What is it exactly that you want to get out of your marketing efforts?
Some of the most common marketing goals (and business goals) include:
- Drive more visits or web traffic
- Increase sales
- Generate more leads
- Boost brand awareness
- Strengthen brand affinity
- Retain customer base
Remember that it’s important to get specific here. Your goal shouldn’t be just to “get more leads” — it should be to get more leads that are actually interested in your offer. And when it comes to sales, you specifically want the kind that don’t get returned and that are ideally from people who will buy again, or repeat buyers.
Along the way, make sure the goals you’re setting are SMART goals: marketing goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-framed.
That way, whatever happens, it’ll be easier to stay on track.
Your marketing needs to be relevant to your target customer.
And to be relevant you have to have a clear understanding of who that person is.
Specifying demographic information like age, gender, and income along with other data points like location and occupation should come first.
But it’s even more important to understand the motivation people have to buy from your business in particular.
User research is the best way to gather real-life insights. Consider conducting interviews, focus groups, data analysis, and other tactics to collect customer feedback. Questions to answer include:
- What are the problems your customers are trying to solve?
- What are their pain points?
- Are they even aware that a problem exists?
Once you’ve gathered enough information, your marketing team will be primed to determine the best kind of marketing activities to start with.
Based on your target market research, you can then create a selection of buyer personas that represent your ideal customer.
These should embody target users, company decision-makers, managers, and more depending on your business offer.
No one makes decisions in a void.
In today’s market landscape, you can be sure potential buyers are looking at you and your competition, every time.
When laying out your marketing strategy, take note of the strongest players in your space — as well as start-ups and up-and-coming companies. Set up a side-by-side comparison.
How are you similar? How are you different? And how do you measure up with the market leaders?
When running a competitive analysis, you need to answer these questions:
- What is their product or offer?
- How is it different from yours?
- What is their brand’s positioning and messaging?
- Who is their target market?
- What differentiates them?
A competitor analysis can also give you insights into what marketing efforts and channels are worth trying out. For example, if your competition advertises and sees success on Instagram, then you know to develop a presence on the platform, too.
After having understood your competitors, you need to distill how you’re different and better. You need a unique selling proposition (USP), which can be uncovered by a deep dive into your business.
We recommend following a SWOT analysis to guide your efforts and further marketing plans:
- S- Strengths. What do your customers love most about your business?
- W- Weaknesses. What are your company’s weak points?
- O- Opportunities. What new opportunities can you explore?
- T- Threats. Are there issues that are jeopardizing your future success?
Basically, you need to be able to answer why people should buy from your business instead of the competition that’s always just a click away.
Talking to your existing customers is a great idea.
Ask them what other competitors they considered before eventually deciding to do business with your company.
And if you don’t have direct contact with your customers, set up a meeting with your sales people or support staff to discuss.
When possible, always read through any and all comments and reviews of your product or offer as well.
How are you currently communicating the solution you provide to your customer’s pain points? You can’t be the best option for everyone; instead, use your marketing efforts to clearly communicate exactly who should be interested and buying from you.
A solid marketing strategy starts with a clear understanding of how much time and money you have to invest in marketing activities.
When you try to do everything at once and own every channel out there, it’s likely that no one element will actually excel in the end. And quality is what your marketing team should really be after.
Marketing efforts like SEO, content initiatives, social posts, and newsletters are technically free, but they require serious time commitments.
It’s important to calculate how many hours per week you can realistically spend on social media marketing, say, versus writing blog posts, ebooks, or white papers.
Decide when each deliverable is due, and whether they’re going to be rolled out simultaneously or over a set period of time.
When it comes to your marketing budget, get specific. Work out how much spend can be allocated to online tools, freelancers, and digital advertising, and how much you need to invest in each marketing channel to truly make it work for you and your marketing goals.
Welcome’s marketing orchestration software makes setting and tracking budgets and resources easier than ever, for streamlined planning and monitoring across the board.
Branding Voice, Tone, and Identity
A consistent look and feel to your branding will help streamline and direct all your future efforts.
Creating a unique brand voice and visual language depends on the user research, competitive analysis, executive summary, and the overall strategy developed at the onset of your marketing efforts.
Ultimately, your tone and design aesthetic needs to cater to your target demographic in order to convince them to engage with your brand and convert.
Once decided, documented style guidelines and editorial suggestions are good to have on hand to ensure consistency and so that every stakeholder and team member can work from the same jumping off point.
Such guides may include everything from a brand’s go-to color palette to its character traits and specific dos and don’ts that pertain to things like typography, word usage, visual direction, and more.
A refresher on marketing funnels will help your marketers build a more suitable strategy. The funnel begins when a customer identifies a need and ends with the transaction to buy the product that addresses their needs.
The stages of a funnel are:
- TOFU, the top of the funnel, or when your target market gains awareness of different products on the market.
- MOFU, the middle of the funnel, where they begin to research the products available.
- BOFU, the bottom of the funnel, is when they decide to buy the product. It could be from you or your competitor.
Understanding the funnels allows you to pick the right messaging that addresses the buyer’s concerns and needs at every stage. Some funnels may have more than three stages above but nothing more than seven.
Mass marketing, also called undifferentiated marketing, involves marketing to the entire market the same way. Mass marketing effectively ignores segmentation and instead generates a single offer and marketing mix for everyone. The market is treated as a homogeneous aggregate. Mass marketing aims to reach the largest audience possible, and exposure to the product is maximized. In theory, this would directly correlate with a larger number of sales or buy-in to the product.
Mass marketing tries to spread a marketing message to anyone and everyone willing to listen. Communication tends to be less personal, as evidenced by common mass-marketing tactics: national television, radio and print advertising campaigns; nationally focused coupons; nationally focused point-of-purchase displays. The success of mass-marketing depends on whether it is possible to reach enough people, through mass-communication techniques and one universal product offer, to keep them interested in the product and make the strategy worthwhile. While mass-marketing tactics tend to be costly because they operate on a large scale, this approach yields efficiencies and cost savings for companies because it requires the marketing team to execute only one product offer and marketing mix.
Crest Toothpaste. All-purpose toothpaste isn’t targeted to one particular market segment.
For certain types of widely consumed items (e.g., gasoline, soft drinks, white bread), the undifferentiated market approach makes the most sense. For example, toothpaste (such as the brand Crest) isn’t made specially for one consumer segment, and it is sold in huge quantities. The manufacturer’s goal is to get more people to select and buy their particular brand over another when they come to the point of purchase. Walk through any supermarket, and you will observe hundreds of grocery products, especially generic items, that are perceived as nearly identical by the consumer and are treated as such by the producer. Many mass-marketed items are considered staple or “commodity” items. People buy new ones when the old ones wear out or are used up, and mass-marketed brand loyalty might be the primary driver when they decide which replacement product to purchase.
A differentiated marketing strategy is one in which the company decides to provide separate offerings to each different market segment that it targets. It is also called multisegment marketing. Each segment is targeted in a particular way, as the company provides unique benefits to different segments. The goal is to help the company increase sales and market share across each segment it targets. Proctor and Gamble, for example, segments some of its markets by gender, and it has separate product offerings and marketing plans for each: Secret-brand deodorant for women, and Rogaine (a treatment for hair loss) for men.
When it is successful, differentiated marketing can create a very strong, entrenched market presence that is difficult for competitors to displace because of consumers’ strong affinity for products and offers that meet the unique needs of their segment. A differentiated strategy can be a smart approach for new companies that enter a market and lure customers away from established players to capture share in a large overall market. Often, established companies become vulnerable to new competitors because they don’t give sufficient attention to the perfect marketing mix for any given market segment.
However, differentiated marketing is also very expensive. It carries higher costs for the company because it requires the development of unique products to fit each target segment. Likewise, each unique product and market segment requires its own marketing plans and execution: unique messages, campaigns, and promotional tactics and investments. Costs can add up quickly, especially if you are targeting a lot of unique market segments.For a large company such as Kraft, the cost of this kind of marketing is well worth it, since its products are sold all over the world. An example of its differentiated marketing strategy are the many surprising variations of the famous Oreo cookie developed for the Chinese market. Consumers there can enjoy Oreos with cream flavors such as green-tea ice cream, raspberry-blueberry, mango-orange, and grape-peach. All of these Oreo formulations have been heavily market tested and are based on the unique preferences of Chinese consumers. 
Niche marketing (also called concentrated marketing) is a strategy that targets only one or a few very defined and specific segments of the consumer population. The goal is to achieve high penetration among the narrowly defined target segments. For example, the manufacturer of Rolex watches has chosen to concentrate on only the luxury segment of the watch market.
An organization that adopts a niche strategy gains an advantage by focusing all efforts on only one or a small handful of segments. All of their market analysis, product development, marketing strategy, and tactics concentrate on serving that select part of the market. When they do it well, this approach can provide a differential advantage over other organizations that don’t concentrate all their efforts on the “niche” segment(s). Niche targeting is particularly effective for small companies with limited resources, as it does not require the use of mass production, mass distribution, or mass advertising. When a company is highly successful in desirable “niche” market segments, it can be very profitable.
Ralph Lauren store, London
The primary disadvantage of niche marketing is that it makes companies vulnerable to demand in the narrow market segments they serve. As long as demand is robust, the organization’s financial position will be strong. But if something changes and demand drops off, the company has nothing to cushion it from financial hardship. Since the company has focused all efforts on one market (essentially putting all their eggs in one basket), the firm is always somewhat at risk. Such companies are especially vulnerable to small shifts in population or consumer tastes, which can greatly affect their position (for better or for worse). Large competitors with deeper pockets may choose to enter a market and use their size and resources to put smaller, niche players out of business. To insulate themselves from this type of risk, many companies pursing a niche strategy may target multiple segments.
Luxury-goods providers are a great illustration of the challenges of the niche marketing strategy. When economic recessions occur, luxury-goods providers like Rolex, Chanel, and Armani routinely struggle financially because their narrow segment of “luxury” consumers has less disposable income. When fickle consumer tastes shift from Ralph Lauren to Dolce & Gabanna to Prada (and back again), the company’s profitability can hang in the balance.
Micromarketing is a targeting strategy that focuses even more narrowly than niche marketing. It caters to the needs of individuals (“individual marketing”) or very small segments in a targeted geography (“local marketing”). Micromarketing can be very powerful by giving consumers exactly what they want, when they want it. However, to achieve large-scale success with this approach, companies must figure out how to meet highly individualized needs efficiently and profitably.
Handmade, customizable “Weeglins” from Etsy.com
Individual marketing is sometimes referred to as “mass customization” or “one-to-one marketing.” With this approach, companies offer consumers a product created to their individual specifications. For example, Build-A-Bear Workshop invites children to create their own custom stuffed animals. A child can select the type of animal, from teddy bear to unicorn, along with color, size, clothing, and other accessories. Creators of handmade goods on Etsy.com take orders from buyers who may request variations on the individually crafted jewelry, clothing, toys, and other items displayed on the Web site. In the following video, Etsty CEO, Chad Dickerson, explains what makes the company’s approach unique.
Target your ideal customers by outlining the demographics and psychographics of your target market. Use this template to create a marketing strategy that is tailored to your target audience