The focus of marketing effort is people. The goal is to reach a subset of the population who may be interested in your particular product. That group of people is your target market.
The term target market is used because that market is the target at which you aim all your marketing efforts. The market you are trying to reach are people with common characteristics that set them apart as a group. The more you know about a target market, the more precisely you can develop your marketing strategy. The table below shows some examples of market segments (or groups):
|Type of Market Segment||Shared Group Characteristics|
|Demographic Segment||Measurable statistics such as age, income, or occupation.|
|Psychographic Segment||Lifestyle preferences such as music lovers or urban dwellers.|
|Use-based Segment||Frequency of usage such as recreational drinking or traveling.|
|Benefit Segment||Desire to obtain the same product benefits such as luxury, thriftiness, or comfort from food.|
|Geographic Segment||Location such as home address or business address.|
Here are examples of target segments that can be created using the above table:
Women business owners between the ages of 25 and 60 earning more than $25,000 annually form a demographic segment.
People who drive compact cars due to their fuel efficiency form a benefit segment.
Design Marketing Strategies With Your Target Market In Mind
The reason you need to identify a target market is because it makes strategies for designing, pricing, distributing, promoting, positioning and improving your product, service or idea easier, more effective, and more cost-effective.
For example, if research shows that a sturdy recyclable package with blue lettering appeals to your target market and if you are focused on that target market, you would choose that type of packaging. If, however, you are product- or profit-oriented, rather than people oriented, you might choose to make the package out of plain styrofoam because it protects the product (product-oriented) or because it's cheap (profit-oriented).
Or, if you know your target market is 24- to 49-year-old men who like rhythm & blues, are frequent CD buyers, and live in urban neighborhoods, you can create an advertising message to appeal to those types of buyers. Additionally, you could buy spots on a specific radio station or TV show that appeals to this type of buyer, rather than buying general media time.
In summary, when you're making marketing decisions and you say "kinda," it's costing you money. Know whom you are aiming for (your target market) and create a strategy for a direct hit.