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Target Market Definition

Describe your preferred buyers, customers, or prospects. To help you with this, look at your current customers (or those of your competitors, if you have a new business). Consider demographics such as sex, age, marital status, job title, and job industry, if applicable.

Also consider psychographics, which are the lifestyle behaviors and attitudes of your ideal customers. This information gives you an understanding of your prospects’ potential buying decisions and patterns. Armed with this insight, you’ll be better able to address any concerns or questions and then guide site visitors through your site, either leading to a directly measureable online purchase or other positive event. Indicators as to which psychographic categories your prospects may fall into may include activities and purchases made in relation to business/education, health/fitness, and recreation/leisure.

Both demographics and psychographics can provide you with additional color on the people you are trying to reach. More information is always better when designing an effective advertising campaign. Your entire campaign would be dramatically different if you market a car to 16 to 25 year-old men who play extreme sports, as opposed to 35 to 45 year-old married women, with children, who subscribe to parenting magazines. Depending on your business, it’s likely that you’ll have multiple target markets, and often each will require a slightly different strategy and perhaps even different messages.

The more you know about your ideal customers, the better you can communicate with them and develop a relationship. Relationships are key to both initial and repeat sales.

Sample target markets for might include:

  • Nonprofits with more than 300 supporters
  • Online shoppers who spend more than $2,000 per year on travel and products
  • Corporations that support nonprofit causes

Each of these target markets has the potential to deliver a specific revenue source to the venture, yet effectively reaching these three markets requires a different plan. Rarely will one form of media or advertising effectively reach each of several target markets, so tactically and strategically any plan must be evaluated against its ability to reach one or more of the groups.

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