Posts Tagged ‘Targeting’

Product Segmentation Gone Too Far? Girl’s Microscopes, Women’s Toolsets

Posted by Joe Cannon

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 9.15.36 AMMaybe the most important concept in marketing is segmentation. And one of the simplest ways to segment a market is by gender. Hey just make a pink version and wa-la, you have a women’s version. Just because you should segment and gender segmentation is easy, doesn’t mean that every product needs a men’s and women’s version. Yes, it makes sense for clothing. But how about pens? Ear plugs? Tea, Energy drinks? This article on BuzzFeed21 Pointlessly Gendered Products” (January 24, 2014) provides some great examples you might find fun to show in class.

Some of these might be a good way to start a class session about segmentation and targeting or when you cover Product. A special thanks to Jakki for forwarding me this article. Also posted at Learn the 4 Ps.

How should financial services firms adapt a marketing mix for women?

Posted by Joe Cannon

The financial services industry believes it may have identified a new and underserved target market — women.  More than a quarter of all the world’s millionaires are women — and that number is growing.  In the U.S., women control$8 trillion in assets with that number expected to grow to $20 trillion by 2020.  This Wall Street Journal article “Clients from Venus,” (April 30, 2012 – non-subscribers may need to click here) explains how women investors have different needs than men.

The article might have broad interest in an introductory marketing class — as many of your finance and accounting majors might be considering post-college work as financial advisers or in insurance sales  The article might stimulate discussion about how financial services firms might better adapt marketing mixes to better meet the needs of this target market.  A prime area for discussion could be the sales force — it might be interesting to ask how sales training should be adapted to address this market.  Students might also be encouraged to think about how to adapt a website, advertising, and products.  This article with some of these questions has been posted at Learn the 4 Ps.

Is “This is How We Dew” It to Appeal to Young Blacks and Latinos?

Posted by Joe Cannon

According to “Mountain Dew Wants Some Street Cred” (Bloomberg Businessweek, April 26, 2012) Mountain Dew accounts for 20% of PepsiCo’s US soft drink sales.  The brand is especially popular in the southeastern part of the country — even outselling Coca Cola in convenience stores in Coke’s home state of Georgia.  Mountain Dew’s customer demographics skew to young whites – a slow growth demographic.  So the company has been trying to reach out to young Latinos and blacks.

This short article touches on many different elements of marketing — demographics, targeting, new product development, and advertising.  You could describe the demographic issue in a couple of slides, show the ad below — part of the new “This is How We Dew” campaign — and then ask students what else Mountain Dew could do to appeal to these new target markets.  We have also posted this over at Learn the 4 Ps.

Facebook apps gather user data

Posted by Joe Cannon

I recently gave a talk at Colorado State University’s Future Visions program titled, “Marketing and Social Media:  Creepy or Cool.”  As I prepared for my presentation, I was surprised to see that some marketing practices I thought were years away — are being practiced now.

For example, did you know that Facebook apps are gathering data about users and user’s friends?  You can read more about this in “Selling You on Facebook” (Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2012).  Looking ahead, you can be sure that Facebook and Google are developing techniques for mining many types of data — everything from your “likes,” gender, and political leanings — to your status posts and photo stream. Facebook wants to be able to anticipate your needs — so that it can help marketers address those needs.  Yes, that is the reason the company is worth $100 billion.

The video below is kind of long (7:54) provides an overview you could show to stimulate class discussion.  Students may be interested in this topic.  I have found that my students are much less concerned about the invasion of privacy than I would have suspected.  Also posted at Learn the 4 Ps.

The article and video might be used when you discuss social media, advertising, targeting, and privacy.

“How Companies are ‘Defining Your Worth’ Online”

Posted by Joe Cannon

I thought I understood how much my privacy was being compromised as I surfed the web — well I didn’t know the half of it.  The future is now.  Recently the NPR Fresh Air show titled “How Companies are ‘Defining Your Worth” Online” (February 22, 2012, the link will take you to the 39 minute interview as well as a shorter written set of highlights) included an interview with Joseph Turow (Professor at the Annnenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania) about his new book The Daily You .  Marketers are increasingly connecting data from our credit cards, web-surfing and search, Facebook, etc. to create fairly specific profiles of many individual consumers.  Marketing managers can go to catalogs from companies like Acxiom and purchase e-mail or street addresses of target customers: a) likely to have diabetes,  b) likely to vacation in an RV, c) who are overweight, and much more.

The interview raises a lot of questions about consumer privacy and ethics.  On the one hand, receiving ads and perhaps coupons for new skis when we are in the market for new skis might be a good thing.  I tell my students that it is only junk mail or spam when we don’t want it.

But what if we prefer our privacy?  What if  we are diabetic and there are new products to help make my life easier — do I want to know?  Or if I am overweight — do I want to receive promotional materials from health clubs and diet programs?  What if potential employers can also pull this information — and don’t want to hire me because my health problems might lead to higher health insurance costs down the line?

This whole issue is complex and in a state of flux.  This interview and book might help get you up to speed.  The topic can be used to stimulate a discussion of marketing practices and related legal and ethical issues.

Great Market Segmentation Example – 5 Hour Energy Drink

Posted by Joe Cannon

When I teach segmentation and targeting this week, 5-hour ENERGY will be one of my examples.  Many of our students are familiar with this or similar products that help them stay awake and focused.  5-hour ENERGY can be found at check-out counters in stores around campus.

Marketing managers at 5-hour ENERGY are now targeting the senior citizen market.  I got a first-hand look at one element of the strategy at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival this past summer, where 5-hour had a tent with promotional material and free samples.  For more on the new target market and strategy, see Bottlers of Buzz Wake Up to Find Seniors as Newest Customers” (Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2011 – non-subscribers may need to click here) will give you more information.

Here is how I plan to use 5-hour ENERGY in class.  I will start by using 5-hour ENERGY as the example when I explain how to define a product market – and use the student market as my customer type.  Later, as my lecture continues and I get into qualities of a good market segment (homogeneous within, heterogeneous between, substantial and operational), I will introduce the senior market (which fits these criteria).  Then I will get the students active and talking.  I like to use an approach called “Think Pair and Share” which works well in the large 90-student sections I teach.  I will focus students with the question – “What ideas do you have for 5-hour ENERGY if the company pursued a senior citizen target market?  Think about all 4 Ps.”  To motivate and reward their effort, I have them turn in a page with their ideas.