What is Target Market
Target marketing is about attracting customers who will buy what you’re selling.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. After all, you’re not a magnet and this isn’t The Secret—in order to target market effectively, you’ll need to know exactly who purchases your products and exactly how to to reach them. And acquiring that kind of knowledge requires some research and planning on your end.
The evolution of target marketing
Target marketing is the most current method of marketing to consumers based on research into their interests, hobbies, and needs, and it didn’t spring from nothing. Before we got here, advertisers and marketers were using cohort marketing, and before that they were using generational marketing. Target marketing is essentially a refinement of these ideas.
Prior to the 1960s and 70s, most American adults—depending on their gender—more or less followed a similar life script. For men, it was to join the military or go to school, get married, start a career, have kids and then, after 30 years with the same company, retire with a nice pension and a gold watch. Their wives stayed at home and did the real work of running a household and raising kids.
For businesses back then, marketing was easy. If you were a small business, you knew all of your customers by name. And if your company was big enough, it had only a few marketing options: place an ad in the local newspaper, or in one of a handful of national magazines, or on one of three broadcast TV networks. From a marketing perspective, people were dependable.
With advances in technology like credit cards and store loyalty programs came a solution: cohort marketing. Suddenly it was possible to market to people based on their past purchases and buying patterns, because we could track those purchases and buying patterns. And as it turns out, this is a highly effective method of grouping consumers for targeted advertising.
Today, things are changing faster than ever before, and we have access to more data on our consumers than ever before. It’s a pretty incredible time to be in marketing.
Identifying your target market:
One of your first steps in starting a business (or growing one) is identifying your market. Once you’ve identified your market, you can begin targeting the people who will pay for all of your business’s explosive growth: your customers!