Target Markets – Strengthen Existing or Develop New?

A national brand doesn’t necessarily mean they are strong in every state, be it FMCG product or a service business. While planning an advertising campaign, should a brand have only their current & stronger markets in the media mix or should it consider their weaker/newer markets too?

What to choose

Image courtesy: SkyNoir 

View:  The markets are getting cluttered by the day, newer communication mediums emerge faster than a brand can keep up, and changing cultural behaviors makes it mandatory not just to get the audience’s attention, but the need to engage with them at a near personal level.  For service brands, social media has created more problems than it can solve.

Given this dynamic scenario, talking to the right audience at the right time is the only way to achieve significant growth, this can be possible only if the targeting is precise, the insights from the markets are interpreted right and tailored communications are propagated. A brand trying to talk to everyone everywhere will impress none.

So, it is prudent to stronghold the existing markets than going on a wild goose chase across the country.

Counter View: Costs of media are ever increasing, every marketer aims to get maximum bang for the buck, and CMOs having to justify ROMI is a fair argument, to enable this, media planning agencies dig every available data to reduce spill over, minimize duplication, and increase efficiency of the ad spends. Campaign optimizations are meant to be filtering which audience you want to reach, but in the process, it limits the reach across geographical territories.

Doesn’t this put brands in a vicious circle? A brand manager sticks to running campaigns only in their already stronger markets. While they are busy reinforcing their presence in existing markets, new market penetration becomes more inclined slope to reach.

A national brand having strong holds only across a few regions has to buck up and come out of comfort zone. Consider Boost, they have a very strong market in south, Boost aims to talk to Indian mothers, but do you think a mother in Mizoram is any different from a mother in Tamil Nadu?

Conclusion: Marketing can’t start at CMOs desk end at an agency; it is too big a function to just be handled by a single department, to worsen this, sales works in isolation, and similar to territorial predators, marketing is seen as a suave communication function working from the corporate office, while sales is seen as a department pushing inventories and handling fulfillment in the field.

New market developments can be achieved only by striking the right balance across functions (production, sales, logistics, etc.,) but of course, it starts at marketing, which in its purest form should create and meet demands.