A differentiated marketing strategy is an approach to target marketing where a company markets to multiple market segments using distinct market mixes for each one. This is one of three common approaches to target marketing strategies and is common when a company believes it has unique benefits that would appeal to different markets.
Target Marketing Strategies
The three common target marketing strategies are differentiated, undifferentiated and concentrated, according to Western Publishers Ltd. Whereas a differentiated marketing strategy means you target each segment uniquely, an undifferentiated strategy means you target multiple market segments with a generally consistent approach. A concentrated strategy means that you concentrate your production and marketing efforts on meeting the needs of one market segment, or a very small number of them.
The marketing mix, commonly known as the 4 P's of marketing, is a blend of four core elements that go into your marketing efforts. They are product, place, price and promotion. Product is what you are marketing, place or distribution is the availability of the offering, price is the cost, and promotion involves the specific forms of marketing used. In a differentiated strategy, the make-up of your marketing mix is inherently different for each market segment. You could market a different product, use different promotional tools or have different price points.
In its overview of target marketing options, LearnMarketing.net shares the example of an airline targeting economy, business and coach class flyers with different marketing programs and price points. Many subscription-based service providers target different market segments by using tiered pricing and benefits programs. For instance, low-cost seekers may get a more basic or minimal service package, whereas higher-end quality seekers would get a better solution for a higher price.
Benefits and Drawbacks
The main benefit of using a differentiated marketing strategy is the ability to leverage your various product strengths as they best align with each market segment. The major disadvantage of differentiated marketing is that it costs more to produce different products or market with different messages for each segment. Western Publishers points out that larger companies are more equipped to use differentiation because they are more likely to get enough volume in each market to justify the costs.