Segment your online targets and clearly define your routes to market, whether it’s business to business, business to consumer, through a distribution channel or direct to the end user Market segmentation and sales channel marketing are techniques widely used by larger companies. This is an extremely effective process of clearly defining your target markets for ongoing communications. Your sales channel could determine branding decisions, promotional strategies, pricing strategies and methods of communication.

You can segment your target market by a wide range of factors including price, needs, demographics, geographic location or by value. By categorising and profiling your market you can start to formulate simple strategies to begin dialogue and introduce your own unique selling points and your own positioning in the marketplace. Your message and method of communication should be tailored to each market segment. For instance a package holiday company should have a completely different approach to marketing a family package holiday than it would to say luxury holidays for the over 50s. So ensure your internet marketing and keyword research starts from your market segments. You will be rewarded by taking the effort to segment your targets, researching their needs and profiling their buying behaviour.

Channel marketing is a different way of segmenting your customers. This process looks at all potential routes to market either direct to the end user, or through an intermediary. You should consider all options during your marketing planning stage as decisions on route to market can also have a major impact on branding decisions, point of sale, pricing, promotional activities and positioning. There are several routes to market and can include direct from a website, through a 3rd party website, direct to a retailer or stockist, indirect to a retailer through wholesalers or distribitors, through buying groups, supplying white label versions, through independents and also major retailers export channels and national chains. Once you establish your chosen routes to market you can develop your marketing plan and communications plan to position your brand(s) correctly to your target market segments.

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