Defining your Target Market

In today’s cluttered world, consumers are being bombarded with more messages than ever before.  Knowing your target markets intimately is critical to your future success.

Building a detailed profile of your ideal customer or customers (as businesses often have more than one customer group) will assist you in identifying and then fulfilling their needs.

This blog will help you to break you, customer groups, into segments which will allow your business to understand their individual needs.  Understanding each segment allows your business to tailor your offering, and how you market it, to better suit each segment.

A deep target market understanding will lead to greater sales potential.  Understanding why your target market would purchase your product/service and what your product/services mean to them is a critical success factor for your business.

Here are some steps to help you identify and define your target market and segment them into like groups.



Start with a list of all the different customers who would purchase what you are offering. Ask yourself questions like:


What are their demographics?

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Education status
  • Employment status
  • Marital status
  • Income
  • Where do they live
  • Where do they work
  • What car do they drive?
  • What other media do they consume?
  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • Personality
  • Attitudes/Values
  • Interests/Hobbies
  • Lifestyle
  • Behaviours

Define the individual in as many relevant ways as you can possibly consider.


Who are they?

If you can identify why it is more compelling for people to purchase from you rather than your competitors, then you are able to understand what makes your offering more attractive. Or alternatively, if your competitors have a greater market share than you, can you identify why their offering is more compelling?

Answer the following:

  • Who will be most likely to purchase your product/service?
  • Who will have the most to lose if they don’t have what you’re offering?


Why are they doing it?

Understanding why people buy your offering is important to then understand what your target market wants and needs and their psyche.


  • Why are people buying your offering?
  • What needs/wants are you fulfilling for them?
  • What emotions does the purchase deliver?



Once you’ve decided on your target market(s), be sure to consider the following before moving forward:

  • Are there enough customers that fit the criteria? (i.e. is the market size big enough to sustain your business?)
  • Will these customers genuinely benefit from your product/service?
  • Will these customers see a need for your product/service?
  • Can they afford your product/service?
  • Can I reach them in my messaging?
  • Is the messaging correct?

It can be difficult to find this information, however, try searching for research that other companies have undertaken is a good place to start. This includes magazine articles, forums, survey results or blogs that talk about your target market. If you have current customers who are a perfect fit, ask them for feedback.



From the list you identified above, group individuals into the same types of customers. These groups will form your target segments.

Look at each of your customer segments, identify which one is the MOST IMPORTANT – the group that represents the largest potential sales return and that is most likely to purchase your brand/service. This group of people are called your Primary Target Market. It is this Primary Target Market you should use as the primary focus for your efforts and messaging on attracting the purchase of your product/service.



The world of marketing, and its methods, has changed dramatically over a relatively short period of time. Customers can now consume information from many sources at any time of the day. The internet has allowed every person to enjoy a unique viewing experience. It is more critical than ever before to know your segment(s) intimately in order to target, reach, and engage them.



Once you have segmented your target market into similar types and identified which one is your Primary Target Segment, try to understand their consumer behaviours intimately.


Defining your Target Market is the hard part. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to identify the media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages that will be best suited to them. This will, in turn, help you to save money and get a better return on investment.

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Lynda Schenk

An energetic and strategic marketing professional with over twenty years’ experience in industries ranging from wine, not for profit, transport, logistics and manufacturing. Lynda founded Purple Giraffe Marketing Consultancy in 2014 offering an end to end marketing service that draws on her proven ability to formulate brand strategies and marketing communications plans that build brand equity, growth and profitability.

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