Market targeting should be an integrated part of producing the marketing part of a company’s business plan, namely the identification of what sales and marketing position the company currently holds, what is believe it can achieve, the steps to be taken to achieve its aims, and where the company considers it will be placed in the future market. The company’s effectiveness depends in this area on both its ability to define markets and on its skill in producing products or services which the identified groups of tourists see as providing sufficient added benefit to buy. In this sense, target marketing applies both to situations which are market led and to those which are product led.
Marketing scholars and practitioners, in tourism as elsewhere, set out to investigate consumer needs, and attitudes, thus preparing to take measures to influence consumers.
Consumer research has developed as a discipline recommending which explanatory variables should be monitored in order to understand consumer decision-making process. As consumer behaviour deals with multiple causes and compound variables, the measurement techniques are of special importance. The widespread use of multivariate methods means that the marketing manager today can rely on efficient data reduction and comfortable visualization of the research output.
A consumer’s decision process reaches its crucial stage when the evaluation of alternatives takes place. Depending on the character of evaluative criteria employed, the outcome may be portrayed by a theoretical construct such as image, attitude, perceived risk, and cognitive dissonance.