People Targeting Segmenting

People, one of the nine elements or components of marketing, is another addition to E. Jerome McCarthy’s original 4P’s of the Marketing Mix. 

For a long time, companies focused on WHAT they sold (Product). Then there was a shift to WHERE they sold (Place). Somewhere during the 1960s and 1970s there was a shift more rigorous attempts to segment and target specific potential customers (People).

It has now become science. We began to study demographics, geographics, psychographics, technographics, and buying behavior as a way of better understanding People. Today it’s even more data drive. For example, we now track and use data on a consumer’s browsing and research behavior, content consumption, transaction history, service inquiries and social network activity which influence segmentation and targeting

Let’s look at “People” more closely.

  • “People” or targeting has almost always been left out of the traditional “Marketing Mix.” Almost every diagram includes the four P’s with Product, Promotion, Place and Price.
  • As a marketing professional or new to the game of marketing, look at new, existing and repeat customers.
  • Assign “consumer, “People” or “potential buyers” in the middle of a circle. Add the other components in the nine P’s. In Marketing, from my education, training, research and analysis plus testimony, there needs to be greater focus on the “Customer” or “People.”
  • “People” or market segments may utilize demographics, geographics, psychographics, behavioral characteristics and technographics, which may be a vital component or components of the 9P’s of Marketing.
  • Once a target market is chosen, the organization can develop its marketing strategies to target this market segment.

Defining a target market requires market segmentation; the process of segmenting the entire market as a whole and separating it into manageable units based on:

  • Demographics (such as age, family size, family life cycle, gender, income, occupation, education, religion, race, culture, generation, nationality, and social class).
  • Geographics (where your potential buyers are located by street, city, region, nation or global)
  • Psychographics (buyers are on basis of psychological/personality traits, lifecycle, values)
  • Behavioral characteristics (needs and benefits, decision roles, user and usage-related variables, occasions, user status, usage rate buyer-readiness stage, loyalty status, attitude and multiple bases) 
  • Technographics or technographical characteristics. Understand your potential consumer. Remember, in the back of your mind, that the reason technology is phenomenal is because it displaces years, or centuries, of previous technology. Consumers may or may not have the skills. Think employees here too. The reason technology skills are transitory is because they will almost certainly be displaced, too.

Checking to see whether any of these market segments are large enough to support the organization’s product. 

We like using MSADA: The concept on segments. They need to be: Measurable; Substantial; Accessible; Differential/Different; Actionable

Once a target market is chosen, the organization can develop its marketing strategies to target this market.

A couple of examples:

  • A unique example of targeting and reading the data. PayPal looked at segmentation and was finding a segment of their customers who were buying women’s products, men’s products, electronics, haircare product for both sexes plus dresses and tuxedoes. It was a multitude of both men’s and women’s products. From research and planning, they found out that their customers (couples/partners/husbands and wives) were using one ID and password. It was two sexes, one login.
  • A segment of car buyers when they think of Jeep, they think of running wild and free off road and driving on sand dunes. Jeep has targeted behavior and psychological needs of their target segment of Jeep buyers.
  • Facebook shows content to different users based on their preferences and demographics.
  • Snapchat is mostly millennials, really young people and high school and teens.

The 2 Guyz on Marketing say, “Be sure to look at competing FOR the customer more than AGAINST your competition.” 

The more you discover, learn, know, and understand about “your” potential and actual “People” who are buying your product, the more successful in marketing you will be!

For more Marketing insights, ideas, concepts and Marketing solutions: Go to and look under “Articles and Resources” and the 9P’s/Nine P’s ©2007. Specifically you will find them detailed at 9P’s/Nine P’s or Nine P’s/9P’s of Marketing.

*Created by Larry Steven Londre. Copyright 2007.