Target Practice: The Evolution of Target Marketing

Have you ever seen a commercial, billboard or online advertisement and thought that the brand or product was talking directly to you? This is no coincidence. Marketers use target marketing to specifically target their products at an identified segment. Marketers realise that there is no point in advertising a product for little girls in a Men’s Health magazine. In a nutshell, target marketing is concentrating your marketing efforts in the right places and getting the product/brand information to the right people.

Marketing was not always like this however, not so long ago marketing consisted merely of placing an ad in the newspaper or magazine, or having a commercial on TV with no real thought about who the product was targeting or how to reach the right segment (Kerr, M ND). This was likely because of the way people were back then, dependable and predictable. The average adult male would get married and get a career and work in the same industry for 30 years then retire. The average women would get married and stay at home raising the kids and doing the housework, as were the times. How things have changed! More and more women have joined the workforce and people change jobs like they change clothes, but what does this mean for marketers?

This change in society has meant that consumers have become less predictable and far less dependable and never before has brand loyalty been so important, and never has the market been more saturated with products and advertising making marketing more difficult than ever before. So how have marketers dealt with these changes? The answer is through the evolution of target marketing. Marketers have had to become smarter and more accountable. Marketers now have to research the best ways to reach their target market and use their resources more effectively. Marketers are now able to speak and connect directly with their desired audience through social media and email making the relationship between marketer and consumer closer than ever before.

Social networking has been growing at an accelerating pace, which has had major implications for marketers (Anthony et al 2007, p.6). With so much data being made through these social networking sites, marketers now must do more research than ever to ensure that they are using the correct channels and reaching their desired audience. It has never been easier for businesses to measure campaign effectiveness and as such marketers have never been more accountable for their work.

It has been such a rapid change and evolution for marketing over the last 30 years and even the last decade in particular with the rise of social networks. Where will we be in 2025? 2040? What new strategies will marketers come up with to reach their target market? It is such an exciting time to be involved with marketing and who knows, it could be the people posting in this Marketing Management blog who come up with the next big marketing idea, which makes many of the existing strategies obsolete!

Click the link below to see a fun take on the evolution of marketing!

– Mason Thorn


Kerr, M ND, ‘What is Target Marketing’, retrieved 29 March 2015, <;

Anthony, J, Budden, C, Budden, M & Jones, M 2007, ‘Managing The Evolution Of A Revolution: Marketing Implications Of Internet Media Usage Among College Students’, College Teaching Methods & Styles Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 5-10, retrieved 29 March 2015, <;


6 thoughts on “Target Practice: The Evolution of Target Marketing

  1. I really enjoyed reading this blog, mainly because I am in agreement with the ideas put forth.

    Targeting is a strong tool to reach a defined segment, which allows a business to focus on where the money is, be more cost and time efficient.

    With the development of technology and new ideas, the possibilities are vast. However, every market has competition and it doesn’t take much time to latch onto a new strategy. So innovation should be encouraged, and to do so, businesses may need to look at employee motivation or creating an organisational climate that encourages marketing innovation (see The Marketing Donut), governments may also provide more information of offer more incentives for innovation.

    Understanding the importance of targeting and having the right strategy and tools to reach target consumers allows a business to be a step ahead of the rest.


    Tasmanian Government, 2014, ‘Encouraging innovation in your business’, Tasmanian Government, retrieved 31 May, 2015,

    The Marketing Donut, 2015, ‘Ten ways to encourage creative thinking’, retrieved 31 May 2015,


    • Yes innovation is such a game changer and it definitely needs to be encouraged from all stakeholders. With the Apple Watch being released this month who knows what marketers might think of when trying to use this technology to their advantage. I think this is what makes the future so exciting, the unknown!


  2. Targeting and segmentation are very powerful tools, but I wonder if they have the potential to perhaps limit consumer choice in the future? For instance, google tailors adverts and feeds based on your search history, purchase history, etc. Could this start limiting our curiosity for other things? Will news feeds start to only deliver news items that we’ve previously shown an interest in? Might we be missing stuff completely that once upon a time we saw in our periphery, or had to at least acknowledge?

    Liked by 1 person

    • A very interesting idea you have raised here. I guess marketers may see it as what we don’t know wont hurt us. If this became the case also, it will require marketers to think outside the box for them to make consumers who are unaware of their brand/products to become aware. Reaching customers who do not currently use your brand cost up to 6 times more than retaining existing customers and this could rise if it as you have said becomes harder to do so.


      • Maybe instead of limiting to what I have searched for, it will also show what my Facebook friends have search for? But then this raises questions on privacy!

        I heard radio advertising at the moment with the argument companies who advertise on the radio are more likely to have the listener look at their website afterwards than those who don’t advertise on radio. I think what it means is a marketer will need to be smarter about bringing in new consumers without the high cost. But I agree it is an exciting time ahead for advertising of products and what the changes will be for the future.


  3. I think with the growing users in social media, marketers are leaning towards making advertisements and posts depending on trends and sociable likeness and sharing ability, rather that targeting a specific market segment. It’s suddenly become acceptable to purchase, discuss about and share things that are going viral on the web. Marketers are able to reach a new segments of consumers just by creating something that would create a buzz on the web and exciting enough for users to tell other and spread the message


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