What is a target market?

Very simply put: it’s the person you are talking to.

When something great happens in your life, who’s the first person you call? Friends? Family? They would be considered your target market. But what about your business and your products and services? When you want to tell someone how great your product and services are and how your business can solve all their problems…who do you call?

When you put it that way, it maybe starts to make better sense.

Does it make sense to tell the entire world? Of course not. There are folks out there who don’t need your products and services.

Let’s pick an example. Let’s pretend I invented a natural, green, floor cleaner. I’m super excited, it’s affordable, it’s so natural you can drink it, no worries if your kids or pets get into it, and it smells fantastic. Not only that, but it restores your floors like new. Who am I going to tell? Men? Women? Children?

Well, not children. They aren’t buying. And most likely, not men. I mean, sure there are a FEW men out there who might be interested in buying, but generally speaking WHO buys stuff like this? Women.

But not ALL women. Young women? Old women? How about rich women? Well, the very wealthy probably have maids and cleaning services. They don’t care. I probably want to tell their maids and cleaning services! How about moms? Single women? Married? Married with children? Living in condos? Homes? Apartments? 

Let’s pretend I only have 3 phone calls. Who are the first three categories I want to call? Married women with children. Women living in homes. And perhaps cleaning services.

Bingo! I’ve just narrowed down my target market. Does that mean eventually I can’t call the others? No, it just means I have to wait a little, build a little credit in phone calls, and then call them later.

This is a great example of your target audience. Narrow it down and speak specifically. Your website, your social media, your images, and your tone of voice have to appeal to this specific audience. You’re talking to THEM…and now what can you do to make them listen?

Do cleaning services and moms with kids care about the ‘statistics’ of your cleaning product? No, they want to know it’s affordable and that it works fast. They do care if you lied about it being toxic or natural (that would be extremely poor branding and a liability for lying) but they don’t care that statistically your cleaning product is made up of 93 natural ingredients, or 2.

You can naturally start to expand in several different ways: you can perfect this audience and play with price point (do I offer cleaning services a bulk discount?) or you can focus on reaching a new audience (called customer acquisition).

There’s a lot more into marketing and branding than just your target market, but it would all be wasted money if you didn’t figure this out fast!