What is a Target Market? Definition, Strategy & Examples 

Feb 8, 2022 - By Luka Pipiraite

Like what you read?
Apply it in practice with Sender.net - the most cost-effective email marketing solution in the market.
Try Sender for free

There may not be a recipe for success, but there’s a sure-shot way for business failure—sell to everyone. Therefore, when you reach out and sell to everyone, you sell to no one.

See, not everyone needs your product or service. Therefore promoting your product or service to anyone who’s NOT your target market would end up being an utter waste of time, marketing efforts, money, and resources.

This article discusses the concept of a target market and how you can get it right for your business.

What is a Target Market? Definition

As a business, you want to sell as much as possible. But out of the total populace, only a tiny percentage of people are ever interested in your product. This set of prospects who are likely to buy your product is a target market. In other words, these are your ideal customers.

You’re probably more used to hearing the term “target audience.” But what exactly is the difference between target market and the target audience?

Target Market vs. Target Audience

While your target market will always be a broad set of consumers that your business caters to, a target audience is a subset or segment of this target market with specific needs and asks.

For example, a company selling new age, funky t-shirts may have their target market set as young people aged between 20 and 30 years old, while their specific target audience segments could include men and women.

Since the target audience is a synonym for the target customer, this same answer applies to the target market vs. the target customer. The target customer is a specific segment within your broad target market.

Benefits of Defining a Target Market

  • Higher engagement. Tailored messaging and offers intended for a particular segment or target audience grow interaction.
  • You have a better potential for conversions because selling to a highly segmented audience with personalization steals the day!
  • Of course, more focused messaging.
  • More optimized marketing budget spends. Save as much as you can, later you will thank yourself.
  • Less time wasted! Selling to the right audience will make your efforts worth it.

Overall, target market definition provides an improved brand value proposition—you no longer have to compete on price in a crowded marketplace.

Also read: STP Marketing: Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning

How to Define Target Market (Types of Target Audience)

The most concise description of segmentation is the simple process of grouping prospects together based on common characteristics.

Your target market will be segmented into smaller market segments majorly based on the below considerations.

Demographic (“Who Are They”)

This form of segmentation is entirely based on who the customer is. For B2C businesses, the demographic traits could include age, gender, income level, family status, and education. While for a B2B setup, the company turnover, number of employees, role, or designation might matter more.

Geographic (“Where Are They”)

This refers to splitting your target market into segments based on their location. This can be highly relevant to businesses when the customer’s location is crucial in purchasing decisions.

For example, suppose you know that nearly all of the demand for your product or service is based on the United States and Australia for some reason. In that case, you do not need to waste advertising dollars on people living in Europe.

You can segment by region, continent, country, city, or district.

Psychographic (“Why Do They Buy”)

Psychographic market segmentation attempts to split audiences based on their personalities. When you understand what emotions motivate your target customers to buy what they do, you can design marketing messages that speak directly to them.

This segmentation includes traits such as lifestyle, attitudes, interests, and values.

Behavioral (“How Do They Buy”)

Behavioral market segmentation breaks down your target market based on previous behavior exhibited by the prospect towards your brand. 

For example, provide a great offer to those prospects that opened and clicked each and every of your brand’s emails. Or you could run a win-back campaign to get your past inactive customers to start buying from you again.

Target Market Strategy

Target market strategies are critical because they supply a foundation for businesses to plan and budget for the growth and development of a product. In addition, businesses that create a target market strategy are more likely to reach potential buyers and nurture existing clients to continue buying from the brand

Finding Your Target Market

You should just know to whom you are selling. Although seemingly effortless, it turns out that many businesses often face challenges in determining this.

Follow the below steps to get there faster.

  1. Analyze your product or service.
  2. What key benefits does your product or service offer? What pain points or problems does it solve? Make a list of these.
  3. Think about who could be impacted by these problems the most. Then, make a list of all such prospects.
  4. Identify and select the main characteristics that separate these prospects from the rest.
  5. Based on what you know about these prospects, categorize them into buckets based on relevant characteristics – age, gender, location, income levels, their most preferred digital channels, etc. This will lead to creating a Buyer Persona template document for your brand.
  6. Conduct market research for your niche or industry. 
  7. Do a competitive analysis to understand a customer’s profile buying from your competitors. 

Target Market Segmentation

Market segmentation means categorizing potential customers into meaningful groups based on their characteristics, behaviors, and wants.

As seen above, you can categorize potential clients into four types of market segmentation:

  • Demographic
  • Psychographic
  • Geographic
  • Behavioral

With these segmentations in place, you can tailor your marketing messages to speak more directly to your diverse customer base.

Selecting Target Market

Break up the broad market classification by asking yourself this one question—is everyone going to buy my product for the same reason, or with the same velocity or in the same manner?

Most likely not. Some will buy it for feature A and others because of feature B.

  • Now conduct market and competitive research.
  • Look at who’s already buying it, i.e., your existing customer base.

If you’ve already had some sales, then great! However, a closer look at the data you have about existing customers will help you understand who needs your product most and who’s buying it.

  • Use Google Analytics to analyze the traffic visiting your site.

You can learn what channels your target audience uses or what type of content they enjoy and connect with the most.

 A google analytics sample report shows you exactly how many public users visited your website online, how long they stayed, how many pages they visited, which pages they visited, where your best visitors are located, which online campaigns brought the most traffic and conversions, your top-performing content and your worst performing content, and so on so forth.

Google Analytics will help add plenty of data points to your buyer persona document.

  • Construct Reader Personas Blog Content

A reader persona is the equivalent of your Buyer Persona, only for your blog. It represents the average reader on your blog. Once we understand the different reader personas who frequent your blog and why they are there, we can write to that persona. Doing this will make our approach much more targeted, relevant, and hence powerful.

  • Social Media analytics

Social media analytics (SMA) gathers and analyzes data from social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter and then uses it to make business decisions. As a result, it’s possible to understand demographics and user behavior by using a social analytics tool.

6 Best Target Market Examples

Nike Target Market

Nike sells equipment, apparel, shoes, and accessories to athletes and sports enthusiasts. Their products are of high quality and last a long time, so their prices are high enough that only those with disposable income can afford to buy them.

They specifically target young aspiring runners and athletes, two groups of people who need to be motivated to continue pushing themselves beyond their normal limits.

Nike targets these groups by creating motivational ads that can move viewers to tears.

Apple Target Market

Apple is the textbook example of product design and innovation. The tech company has something for everyone with its diverse product offerings.  Here are two of their target markets:

Technology enthusiasts — This is a customer category that launched Apple’s brand decades ago. Apple is still creating value for this segment with launches of new tech categories such as Apple TVs, Apple Watch, and HomePods. 

Healthcare — Apple has positioned healthcare workers to communicate with patients more conveniently by focusing on the appeal of having information at your fingertips with the iPhone and the iPad.

Apple doesn’t exclude many people from its target market and has positioned itself to benefit both businesses and consumers — even with the same products as the iPad.

Its success has been based on understanding the value of its various segments instead of excluding people from them.

Starbucks Target Market

About half of Starbucks’ customers are between 25 and 40 years old. As a result, many of their locations have been remodeled and now have a hip, contemporary look. 

Starbucks’ mobile process accounts for 24% of the brand’s transactions, indicating that they’re catering to a tech-savvy audience.

Starbucks also attracts on-the-go professionals by positioning its locations in highly populated urban areas.

Mcdonald’s Target Market

McDonald’s target market has a wide range of customer personas. However, younger professionals are a prominent target market segment for the chain. For example, several McDonald’s locations have been redesigned to look sleeker, more modern, and more appealing to millennials.

Another important base for the chain is “full nest” families with children over six years old. The franchise’s efforts to appeal to this specific segment are most visible in the Happy Meal options it provides.

McDonald’s also makes a conscious effort to appeal to the lower, working, and middle-class clients.

In summary, the company’s target market isn’t clear-cut in terms of demographics — but it’s specific in terms of the economic circumstances of its various personas. 

Its value proposition is based on the fact that its food is affordable. The franchise positions itself as a low-cost alternative to more expensive options in the markets it attempts to sell in. For example, when promoting its McCafe line, the brand highlighted its low price points as a major selling point.

Coca Cola Target Market

Coca-Cola’s targeting strategy is broader due to its global market presence and the various products they offer. But their primary target market is younger customers between 10 and 25 years old, and a secondary market of people between 25 and 40 years old.

The company targets their regular cola drinks to people that desire an intense flavor. Meanwhile, diet cola drinks and their variants cater to health-conscious customers. 

Coca-Cola has also expanded its product line to include non-cola beverages to appeal to those who don’t enjoy drinking its traditional cola drinks. For example, Sprite is specifically designed to target college students and teens, while others target the young working group.

Tesla Target Market

While Tesla’s goal is to change the energy economy, the fact remains that electric cars are still relatively expensive and thus a “luxury” product. Consumers are primarily interested in purchasing an electric vehicle due to economic concerns about the price of gas and environmental concerns about the use of fossil-fuel-based gasoline.

At the moment, Tesla’s clientele reflects primarily affluent, highly educated professionals and families with stable incomes whose lifestyle revolves around minimizing their carbon footprint.

Since the launch of Tesla’s first model, the Roadster, in 2008, the company has been working toward the broader goal of potential Tesla market segments and making electric cars accessible and affordable to a wide range of people.

The necessity of Target Market

Your marketing strategy starts with determining your business’s primary target market and defining specific audiences. This will empower you to understand whom you are selling to and their buying journey. This, in turn, enables you to tailor your messaging and offer specifically to their needs, maximizing the chances of conversions and sales.

Also, keeping your target market and target audience research up to date is crucial. Think of it as a living document, a process if you will, and not a one-time open-and-shut thing.

Sender is a marketing tool that finally does all the necessary tasks and also gives you the superpowers to compose an email and send SMS marketing campaigns inside the same interface and with extremely affordable pricing. Choose your target market, then choose Sender. Easy peasy!


Additionally, our SMS marketing features include extensive automation options. You will be able to send scheduled or triggered messages to every subscriber no matter how complex your workflow might be.


Also read: What is Multichannel Marketing? Definition +6 Strategies

Content Contributor – Santosh Balakrishnan


Get started with a free plan

With our Free Forever plan you can send emails to up to 2,500 of your subscribers.

  • Access to all features, including automation
  • Up to 15 000 emails per month to 2 500 subscribers
  • No credit card required
Get Started