One of the most significant uses of industrial market segmentation schemes is to make targeting and product positioning decisions. Companies chose to target some segments and downplay or avoid other segments in order to maximize their competitive advantage and the likelihood of success.
“There is a critical difference in emphasis between target market and
[target] audience. The term audience is probably most useful in
marketing communication”. (Croft, 1999) Target markets can include end
user companies, procurement managers, company bosses, contracting
companies and external sales agents. Audiences, however, can include
individuals that have influence over purchasing decision, but may not
necessarily buy a product themselves, e.g. design engineers, architects,
project managers and operations managers, plus those in target markets.
Croft quotes Friestad, Write, Boush and Rose (1994) as stating that
because the purpose of advertising is to persuade, consumers become
sceptical of its methods and approaches [and indeed intentions].
However, while this may be entirely true in consumer marketing, the
level of trust and reliance on marketing communication by industrial
customers is fairly high due to the professional experience and
knowledge of the industrial buyer. Some even appreciate advertising
because it keeps them informed of the products and services available in