This chapter introduces target marketing (which stands in contrast to mass-marketing) and explains how it can help brands understand who they can target thus helping them to develop a custom brand communication strategy which promises a higher return-on-investment.

Segmentation is explained in great detail and includes demographics, geography, psychographics, purchase behaviour of the customer as well as distribution, time, price and media. This data is often obtained through census data, surveys, questionnaires, internet data and information from the point-of-sale or on-line sales. Once the market has been segmented, it can be further divided into three parts: primary, secondary and tertiary target markets.

When targeting consumers not only is it important to know them better, but also to understand how they perceive the brand’s message and react to it. All marketing communication would be in vain if the consumer just doesn’t comprehend.

A brand’s message has no meaning to the consumers until it has been decoded and understood. This requires the brand to use the right verbal and non-verbal cues that resonate with the target market. The general communication model states: Desired brand message -> encoding -> media channel -> decoding -> meaning in the consumer’s mind and this is illustrated in a unique Communication Model entitled “Coding and Decoding of Messages”.

The chapter closes with ethical questions and considerations regarding the content. In particular, the main concern of segmentation is the risk of stereotyping, discrimination and stigmatization because segmentation primarily aims to group people together based on pre-determined characteristics and variables, judging them and predicting their behaviour. A further ethical concern is the collection of vast amounts of personal data on consumers. Communication would be in vain if the consumer just doesn’t comprehend.