Gone are the days of mass marketing. You can’t just administer the same message and the same doses of communication to all and sundry and think that your brand is going to be a hit. In all likelihood, your brand story will get diluted and you will feel lost and lose money, time and energy in the bargain. Mass marketed brands run the risk of competition and over exposure. Which is why you need to go back to the basics and understand all about the three target marketing strategies and see how you can use it to grow your culinary business. Target marketing strategies will help you narrow it down to your customers, your potential market and how you are going to engage them.

The three different target marketing strategies are Undifferentiated, Differentiated and Micromarketing.

Undifferentiated marketing

As the name suggests, treats the entire market as one segment. Or rather as one single target. You do this with the premise that you are going to dole out the same product and same message to everyone and that everyone will accept it, absorb it and align to it. It may be possible in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods such as toilet rolls, toothpaste, washing up liquid) segment to some extent, but in the culinary business it is not possible and not the right strategy to adopt.

Culinary business is a personal business. And by personal we mean that it caters to people individually. Personal tastes, palate, liking, interest, adaptability, health, choices, lifestyle…the reasons are endless about why undifferentiated marketing may not be the optimum choice in the food business or culinary business.

Differentiated marketing

It is a little more in-depth, more segmented and targeted. Differentiated marketing helps you from getting over exposed and can help promote to reach distinct target markets. Differentiated marketing is more personalized and focused, which the consumers appreciate. It is quite possible to implement this in the culinary business. Like say for example, you cater to communities at large, like ethnicity, or region, or province or a culture. Success is more consistent. It is easier to carve messages and communicate and reach out. It’s great for products like jams, soups, sauces, curries, breads and the likes.


Micromarketing is the final target marketing strategy where you are really defining who you are talking and reaching out to. It is  a part of niche marketing and it gets that much more personal. Micromarketing is highly individualistic, targeted and all the marketing efforts are aimed towards small groups or individuals. It fits real snug into the business strategy of a local catering business or an artisanal  bakery, or think categories like vegan, gluten free, catering to those who are lactose intolerant, and you realize how targeted you can get.

How Do You Decide And Implement The Right Strategy?

First, define what is your product and who is it targeted towards? Based on this, create strategies to determine its price, where to sell it and how to promote it.

Your target market is the group of people who are willing to buy your product. Learn about the people in the area where you want to sell your product. Look for age, gender, education, occupation, income level, and household type. If your business is cooking or baking, then who is it targeted to? Single parents? Kids? Families? The health-conscious? Students? You would also have to keep in mind the area and how much of it you can cater to.

For a small business owner in the culinary industry, it gets too niche to advertise in mainstream media and extremely expensive. Besides, it may not even be relevant to every watching or listening to the advertisement. Word-of-mouth advertising is an alternative when your focus is building customer loyalty for a target group rather than saturation of a larger market.  A satisfied customer often has like-minded friends who can be persuaded to try your product or service. This builds sales slowly, creating a stronger following for your new product, and will eventually create a demand from local independent grocers and farm markets.

For niche marketing or micro-marketing, it helps if you can introduce frequency card programs. They are a popular type of loyalty program for cafes, bakeries. Create a display and sign-up forms to promote your frequency card program or promote on social media. Invite people to fill out an application. Reward people according to the frequency in which they visit your restaurant or order for your products or services.

For example, you could offer people a free drink after their first four visits or purchases, then a free side dish after their next four visits. This would encourage them to keep coming back for more!

Product strategies cannot be targeted en-masse. They have to be done for the core segment. Have seasonal food promotions. Tie up with a local gym or yoga class if you cater to the health aficionados and run promotional schemes. Or with a craft class or art class or even do promotions closer to special occasions and festivals. As diversity becomes more pronounced and talked about, you can develop new aspects to your business to cater to the audiences. Now, the in-thing is ‘Glocal’- Global Attitude for Local Audiences. The more minutely you think about your target audience, the more profitable and advantageous your marketing strategy will be.

See Also: Your Social Media Strategy Guide For Your Confectionery BusinessTips And Tricks To Growing Your Baking BusinessBiggest Learnings And Marketing Tips For A Baking Business

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