Target markets should be explicitly defined by the marketing plan. Failure to define your target markets well will typically result in inefficient marketing that does not advance your business objectives.
It's important to remember that the primary focus of marketing is the customer.
If you're concentrating your efforts on your product or profit only, you'll miss the mark.
The term "target market" is used because that market -- that group of people -- is the "bull's eye" at which you aim all your marketing efforts.
So, don't forget that a market is people...people with common characteristics that set them apart as a group. The more statistics you have about a target market, the more precisely you can develop your marketing strategy.
Design Marketing Strategies With Your Target Market In Mind
The reason we're concerned with identifying 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're focused on that target market, you should choose that type of packaging. If, however, you're product or profit oriented–rather than people oriented–you might simply make the package out of plain styrofoam because it protects the product (product oriented) or because it's cheap (profit oriented).
Here's another example: 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 to "kinda cover all the bases." Make sense?
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.
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