When I first read about Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, I was seriously impressed. It was fundamental, it was simple. You had to define different segments of consumers, decide one that you will target (TG) and then position your product favourably to satisfy that consumer segment.
This then becomes the basis for designing the product and advertising it. All cues subtle or overt are intended to convince your TG(target group) to buy into your proposition.
Ok, so every marketer worth his salt knows this.
Let me tell you why I am talking about it. When you ask any marketer to define the consumer, they seem compelled to define one. It can either be too broad or too narrow.
Like children, between the age group of 4-8, or SEC A housewife between the age of 25-45, who wants the best for her family.
Now if I called out to you saying "Hey female between the ages of 25-30, who wants to have the best man in her life, can I take you out for dinner tonight", I would probably be inviting half the world for dinner. But would I manage a date?
The all intelligent marketer who knows his consumer like the back of his hand would tell you that their consumer likes fine wine, world movies, jazz music, holidays in different parts of the world, appreciates art etc.?
This comes with its own perils, try defining a Coffee Shop consumer or the Pringles consumer. Most marketers will have a single definition, it makes life easy while briefing any creative agency on the next big advertising campaign.
The ad campaign is launched and resonates fantastically with one segment, and suddenly all the other segments are wondering if your brand is meant for them.
The first step is to definitely define multiple target groups. It makes your life difficult but that is required for the acceptance of a brand.
Additionally you might want to abandon the mass media ad campaign?
Red Bull has done this successsfully, they stand for energy right. So they sample in offices to folks who have had a long tiring day, they also sample at rock concerts and at clubs / discs. No mass advertising, but each group individually believes that this drink is for them.
Imagine a mass media campaign from red bull which targets the office goer. It is sure to alienate the party animal and one that targets the party animal is never gonna stick with the hard working bread earner.
In the era of the mass media campaigns, the rule was target one group or loose all. The reason was simple, you had a TV ad which reached the entire nation. You have to choose to alienate.
In the current era of digital advertising, you can remain contextual to different TG's without alienating others. In fact remaining contextual will endear you to all of the TG's and widen your market.