Phases of Marvel Cinematic Universe: Nailing Your Business’s Target Market

If you’ve run a business for any length of time, you probably already know about marketing lingo, like determining and understanding your target market. What you might not know is how crucial this is. Dare we say, it’s as crucial as understanding your powers if you’re a superhero!

In this article, we’re going to take a peek at the marketing chops that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (hereafter dubbed MCU), the behemoth franchise that has mastered pinpointing and catering to diverse segments of its audience––much like your business needs to understand your customers so you can cater to them effectively.

Start with a Target Market Strategy

Marvel Studios first pinpointed comic book aficionados as their core audience; then, they expanded their reach to reel in young adults, families, and international viewers. Your business has to do the same thing if you want to identify and expand your own target markets so you can focus your marketing efforts in the direction that will result in the most impact. Think of it as more than just a strategy to sell; it’s a strategy to create a “universe” where every customer finds their own hero.

Nail Down Who Your Target Market Is

You can do this by mining data from your existing customer base. Use demographics, behaviors, geo locations, and more to understand who they are. You can also use traits like marital status, age, employment, and education to delineate your different market segments.

In Marvel’s case, you can take notes on their skill at market identification. Doctor Strange appeals to people who like a little modern mixed with mysticism, while Spider-Man ropes in the younger crowd. Learn how to spot niche markets within your own audience the way MCU does it, and you’ll be well on your way to kicking some business targeting butt!

Master the Art of Segmenting Your Market

Dividing your market into smaller, specific (or niche) groups can be done with geographic, demographic, behavioral, and psychographic segmentation. As an example, if you want to target young professionals for a software product through social media, you might use demographic segmentation.

When you examine the hugely diverse character roster that makes up the MCU, you can see how they’ve mastered this to create different heroes for different audience segments. Whether it’s the mythological Thor bringing down the hammer or the sarcastic and tech-savvy Iron Man, every character reflects a unique segment, showing you how you can segment your own markets based on consumer interests.

Suss Out Target Market Viability

Once you’ve come up with market segments you think you may want to target, it’s important to assess their potential before you invest in them. You can do this by using data analysis and metrics to help project business growth and help you understand the competition and their hold on market share.

Ultimately, you want to choose market segments that offer the most engagement opps and chances for profitability. Marvel does this exceptionally well, analyzing which characters will resonate most with fans. Take the movie Black Panther. You can see how powerful the ability to understand diverse markets and invest in them can be just by how successful it was at the box office.

Create Marketing Strategies That Work

Coming up with strategies to reach your targeted audience, consider using a multi-pronged approach. Each one is uniquely different but more appropriate for different objectives. For instance, micro-marketing can be useful if you want to tailor your message to a single individual’s potential wants or desires. However, segmented marketing means slicing your audience up into specific groups with common characteristics and then marketing to each group differently.

This is a common strategy for clothing stores, where you have clothing for teens, clothing for kids, clothing for adults, etc. Another option is to choose concentrated marketing strategies, where you focus on one segment only with certain characteristics. And finally, the broadest approach is mass marketing, which is basically like throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks and who might engage. Kind of like TV commercials during the Superbowl.

Circling back to our MCU comparison, they’re top-tier when it comes to cross-promotion. They use media (TV and movies) and merchandise (clothes and toys) as tie-ins to create a strong, cohesive strategy, much like a business using different marketing channels to reach an audience. By using a blend of strategies like this, you can create a strong overall strategy to appeal to a larger audience.

Build Personas for Your Target Market

For any marketing strategy to be effective, creating customer personas is crucial. Essentially, you’re using actual data from your research to craft a fictional yet highly detailed profile of your ideal customer. Think of both demographic details and psychographic details, so values, lifestyle, interests, gender, age, income, etc.

When you take the time to develop detailed customer personas, you can then understand your ideal customer better and anticipate the concerns, behaviors, and needs of different segments within your audience. Hello, targeted marketing, better engagement, and higher conversions! You will be able to craft marketing messages that really resonate with each ideal customer, and that can be a game changer for any business.

Of course, Marvel is amazing at doing this. Think of every superhero or character in the MCU like a customer avatar, with their own unique motivations, backstory, and character traits. Take Tony Stark (Iron Man) again… he’s a snarky, techie billionaire who loves to innovate. Therefore, he likely appeals to an audience that loves sophisticated tech.

However, in contrast, Captain America (aka Steve Rogers) is the embodiment of American patriotism and traditional values, which resonates with a different audience entirely. Using these distinct character personas means Marvel can create marketing campaigns and stories to appeal to different groups of people.

See where this is going? You can do the same thing with your business, creating services, products, and marketing messaging tailored to specific groups within your market. Think of it like a tailored approach to marketing that ramps up engagement but also increases brand loyalty and creates brand ambassadors who want to tell other people about your offerings.

Leverage Social Media for Audience Insights

Social media these days can be a massive time suck if you let it. However, it can also be a great resource for data and provide you with some great insights into your target market. You can learn about and understand the type of folks that are engaging with your brand and suss out potential niches or segments you might not have otherwise considered or thought about.

Take a page from Marvel’s playbook and watch how they use social media to interact with their fans. You can bet they are using every one of those interactions as fodder for the idea machine so they can better understand their audience and serve them up to what they want most. Social media can be an invaluable tool in helping you adapt your marketing tactics to meet audience demands better.

Use Data to Refine Your Approach

No strategy is perfect right out of the gate. It’s a constant refinement and iterative process. Use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to help you measure what’s working and what isn’t based on the trends and feedback you get from your audience. Analyze all that lovely data ruthlessly to help you quantify those more complex consumer behaviors, like engagement on social media and website traffic.

MCU does this exceptionally well in how they adapt their storytelling and characters based on how they are received by their audience. It’s refinement at its best!

Master the Art of Personalization

Hands down, one of the best ways to increase your marketing impact and stretch your budget is to engage in personalization. Personalization means you use tools to help you deliver messages that are relevant and timely for a specific customer persona, whatever the marketing channel happens to be.

In the case of Marvel, they use themed merchandise and character-driven storylines to help engage with specific segments of their audience. This is something you can adapt and use to your benefit, no matter your industry, to help increase loyalty and engagement with your brand.

We highly recommend studying the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s empire when you have some free time. It’s like a playbook for success if you’re a business that wants to diversify its audience, create raving fans of your brand or product from multiple audience segments, and develop a strong target market.


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