Article | Harvard Business Review | October 2012

Target the Right Market

by Jill Avery and Thomas Steenburgh


SparkPlace is a two-year-old business with a hot new product: software that manages and measures the effectiveness of permission-based marketing campaigns for social media. The company is in the process of deciding on which of two customer segments to focus its strategy. Each segment has demonstrable advantages, but developing the product for and marketing to both segments simultaneously could pose big challenges. Is the argument against being "all things to all people" a valid one? If so, which customer segment should SparkPlace target? Or is there a single strategy that can capture the potential value of both types of customers without draining the company's resources?

Keywords: marketing; Market segmentation; customer defection; customer lifetime value; customer relationship management; CRM; market segmentation and target market selection; Marketing Strategy; Product Marketing; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Value and Value Chain; Technology Industry; United States;


Avery, Jill, and Thomas Steenburgh. "Target the Right Market." Harvard Business Review 90, no. 10 (October 2012): 119–123.