Target Market: Examples and How To Define It

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 3, 2022 | Published January 13, 2021

Updated June 3, 2022

Published January 13, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Understanding your target market is essential for creating an effective marketing plan. Consumers have many qualities that influence their purchasing decisions. By organizing these qualities into a target market, you can select the best strategy to appeal to your ideal customer. In this article, we discuss target markets and explore some examples from hypothetical businesses.

What is a target market?

A target market is the segment of consumers most likely to want or need a business's products or services. This group of people is a subset of the business's total market. It involves a specified series of customer qualities that the business believes its products or services will appeal to. The target market can be a type of person for a business-to-consumer (B2C) company or a type of business for a business-to-business (B2B) company.

The target market is not the same as the target audience. The audience is narrower—it refers to the group of consumers the business expects to actually purchase the product. They may or may not overlap with the target market. For example, a children's toy may have boys ages 9–11 as the target market and the boys' parents as the target audience. It may also be defined as the consumer segment most likely to be influenced by an advertising campaign.

The target market is also distinct from the buyer persona. While the target market describes a type of person in general, the buyer persona is a complete but hypothetical individual. The buyer persona can help narrow down an advertising strategy for B2B businesses depending on who they speak to when selling within their target market.

Read more: What Is the Difference Between B2C and B2B?

Why are target markets important?

Well-defined target markets can help a business increase its profits and attract new customers by boosting marketing efficiency. This is because the business does not waste resources and time marketing to consumers who are unlikely to be interested in its products. Having a good understanding of target markets can help small, startup and niche businesses compete with bigger companies.

Related: Comprehensive Guide To Creating a Marketing Plan (With Tips, Template and Example)

Data points to include in your target market

Here are some factors to consider when defining your target market. It may help to reflect on your product or service's distinguishing features when you assess your consumers.

Demographics

Demographics describe who your target customers are in terms of categories like their age, gender, employment status, life stage, family structure, religion and income. Here are a few examples of demographic descriptions of your target market:

  • College students with a part-time job

  • Women ages 40–50 who are employed full time with a yearly income of at least $60,000

  • Retired men who are married without children

Read more: What Is Demographic Segmentation and Why Is It Beneficial?

Geographics

Geographics describe the physical location of your target customers. Factors to consider include:

  • Whether they live in a rural, suburban or urban environment

  • Which area of the country they live in

  • Their local language and time zone

Also, consider whether your target market uses your product or service in the same place they purchase it. Ask yourself if they are likely to travel with it or send it to someone else.

Related: What Is Geotargeting?

Psychographics

Psychographics describe the intrinsic personal qualities of people in your target market. This includes things like their hobbies and leisure activities, entertainment interests and preferred sources of information.

Behavioral patterns

Behavioral patterns are those that define your customers' purchasing habits. When considering your target market's behavioral patterns, ask yourself what qualities your consumers are looking for in the item or service and why they want to purchase it. Think about when and how frequently they buy and use your product or service.

Target marketing examples

To better understand target markets, here are six hypothetical examples:

Example 1: Target market for a farm supply store

Barn Goods is a farm supply store in a rural environment. The local area includes many family cattle farms. Due to the community's remote location, delivery times from online retailers can be long. Barn Goods defines its target market as middle-aged family men who live in the area, farm for a living and need convenient access to farming equipment and feed for their animals.

The business closely follows the farmers' cyclical needs. This way, Barn Goods can buy extra inventory before demand grows. They understand that it is important for their business to be a reliable source of essential items.

Example 2: Target market for a fashion boutique

Lovely Dresses is a fashion boutique in a populous city. It has a small showroom and offers a personal shopper to help customers select customized items. Purchases are then made to order and fitted to each buyer. Because of their high level of service and attention to detail, their products are costly.

They define their target market as women ages 35–50 with a high income relative to the area's cost of living. Customers in their target market prefer a personalized shopping experience. Finally, they target shoppers who enjoy socializing in the community and want to wear their purchases to events.

Example 3: Target market for a sandwich shop

Speedy Subs is a sandwich shop adjacent to a gas station in a suburban town. Because it is close to the highway, Speedy Subs expects many of its customers will be traveling. It defines its target market as adults with low to moderate incomes looking for a fast but filling meal. They use their billboard to advertise low prices and package deals, and their marketing features race cars to emphasize their quick service.

Example 4: Target market for a beachfront shop

Maggie's Memories is a beachfront shop in a popular coastal town. Because this business is next to a shop that caters to teenagers and people who enjoy beach sports, Maggie's Memories chose a different target market. Their customers are retirees, with a moderate to high income who are looking for a relaxing getaway.

The customers in this target market are interested in buying unique gifts to commemorate their trip. To appeal to their target market, Maggie's Memories sells home décor items, jewelry and small accessories with a peaceful seaside aesthetic.

Example 5: Target market for a hiking supply shop

Climbers is a hiking supply shop in a city known for its active population. Their target market includes men and women ages 18–30 who enjoy being in nature and take pride in their outdoor gear.

These customers are very knowledgeable about their equipment, and they expect Climbers' staff to be knowledgeable too. The company's onboarding process includes training for the team, and they hold monthly meetings to update everyone on the latest developments and recalls in their industry. They post pictures of their employees and customers using their products on their social media page and inside the store.

Example 6: Target market for a photography studio

Everybody Smile is a photography studio in a suburban town that specializes in family portraits. Their target market includes adults with children looking for professional photos to display at home and send to their friends and family. Because the customer in this target market sees the photography session as a special event and is very hopeful about getting a good result, Everybody Smile offers personalized packages and a satisfaction guarantee.

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