I've broken them into two groups for easier understanding: Target Marketing Techniques and Psychological Marketing Techniques.
You'll notice overlap between them. That shows the interconnectedness of all these techniques. Use them together in your marketing strategies to be most effective.
Target Marketing Techniques
These technique target consumers based on characteristics they already have such as age, psychological profile, and special interests.
1. Demographic Targeting
This is the most common, and general targeting technique. Demographics target marketing is based on consumers' vital statistics such as age, sex, location, income, etc.
Though superficial, demographics can play a useful role in your marketing strategy.
2. Psycho-graphic Targeting
Though this sounds like a psychological technique, it's really a target marketing technique because it targets consumers based on their pre-existing psychological characteristics.
These characteristics can be general, such as conservative or liberal, outgoing or introverted, social or private. But psychographic profiles can also be quite specific.
Marketing professionals have even created their own psychographic categories with names like 'early adopters', 'opinion leaders' and more.
3. Niche marketing.
Niche marketing simply means finding a specific group of customers from within a larger group of customers and basing your small business marketing strategy on that.
For example, lets say you want to start a restaurant. 'Restaurants' is a large category with lots of competition. Niche marketing should be applied. What smaller niche within the 'Restaurants' category could you specialize in (and eventually dominate)?
How about Italian Restaurants? Well there are lots of Italian Restaurants around. Further 'niching' might reveal a market segment that's easier to dominate.
What about Pizza Restaurants? Unfortunately, you'll face stiff competition from Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns and others. Try a smaller niche.
How about a Pizza Restaurant for Kids? Great idea! That's a market niche with no competition. At least, there wasn't until 1977 when the first Chuck E. Cheese restaurant opened. By 2006 there were 524 stores. Their slogan: 'Chuck E. Cheese, Where a Kid Can be a Kid.' 524 stores certainly isn't kids play. And it demonstrates the power of niche marketing.
The trick to using niche marketing as part of your marketing strategy is to choose a niche that's small enough for you to dominate, but big enough to be profitable.
Psychological Marketing Techniques
These are marketing techniques that actually place a thought, impression or feeling into the minds of consumers.
In their book 'Positioning: the Battle for Your Mind', authors Al Ries and Jack Trout popularized the idea that your product, service, or company has an image (like a personality) in the minds of consumers.
Positioning techniques are used to be sure that the image in consumers' minds about your company is the one you want them to have.
Many marketing strategies are founded on the concept of branding. Think of a brand as the reputation of a product or company, translated into a marketing tool.
For example, Rolex is a watch company, but the Rolex Brand is far bigger than just watches. The Rolex Brand - its reputation - stands for elegance, celebrity, and class. It represents an upscale lifestyle and the spirit of achievement. Rolex is Wimbledon. Rolex is The Masters Golf Tournament. Rolex is Le Mans.
A brand's power lies in its ability to translate its reputation to other products and services just by associating itself with them.
The same holds true for people as brands. For example, did you know that Catherine Zeta-Jones was paid $20 million by T-Mobile because they felt the "Catherine Zeta-Jones Brand" was such a good match to their own brand image.
By making Focus part of your marketing strategy, you create an image of expertise.
The guiding principal of focus is specialization. In the minds of consumers, you can only be an expert in one thing. Therefore, focus all your marketing efforts on that thing, and you will reinforce a perception of specialization and expertise.
This includes your product line. Keep your product line focused. Avoid temptations to apply your name to more than one specialized area. And another Paul, Paul McCartney has trademarked his name. Some have estimated that royalties from products bearing his name could generate
Focus can be a powerful part of a marketing strategy because it goes beyond just promoting products and services and actually infuses your marketing strategy into the product line itself.
Differentiation means just that; making yourself different from the competition.
Fundamentally, differentiation is the underlying aspect of every other technique. Entire books have been written on the subject including 'Differentiate or Die' by Jack Trout.
For now, the principle to keep in mind is that when you are in doubt about your marketing strategy, "be different."
Hopefully, this list helps you understand some of the techniques most often applied to strategy development.
Whether it's target marketing, niche marketing, branding, positioning, focus, or differentiation, the next step is deciding which of these methods are right for you, then applying them to your website design, advertising, packaging, pricing and the rest of your marketing efforts. In other words, making them a integral part of your marketing plan.
Though these explanations are brief, I hope they stimulate you to learn more, and incorporate these techniques into your own small business marketing strategy.
-by Andrew Sokol