Imagine the dissatisfaction that comes with creating a product that no one needs – this is what happens to organizations that do not have enough knowledge about their target market. Identifying your target market is essential for every organization as it influences business decisions and the overall product conception and development. 

Without knowledge of your target market, your entire product conception and marketing process can best be described as a square peg placed in a round hole – it simply wouldn't fit. In this article, we would share practical tips to help you identify your target market effectively. 

What is a Target Market? 

A target market refers to a specific subset of individuals and/or organizations that need your product or service and are most likely to patronize your business. This group can be niche-based or extremely diversified in nature depending on the product or industry.

You can also think of your target market as an aggregation of the demographic segments which your product or service appeals to. The relationship between an organization and its target market is usually symbiotic because the target market has a need that your product or service satisfies. 

Knowledge of your target market is one of the most crucial elements of market success. Naturally, everyone cannot be interested in your product and so, your job is to find those who are and ultimately get them to make a purchasing decision in your favor. 

target-market-segmentation

Examples of Target Markets

  • Cosmetics

Cosmetics includes a wide range of products from skincare items to makeup and beauty items. These are items that predominantly appeal to women and women are more likely to purchase beauty products than men; even though some men are interested in cosmetics. 

Hence, from a generic point of view, a typical cosmetics business dealing in make-up items and other skincare products will primarily have women, aged 18 and above as its target market. 

  • Sports Betting

Over time, men have shown keener interest in sports and sports betting than women. Therefore, businesses looking to provide sport betting services should, in a general sense, have men as their target market. Other demographic variables like education and employment can also influence the mapping out of the target market. 

  • Alcoholic Beverages

Typically, organizations dealing with alcoholic beverages tend to appeal more to men and this makes men the target market. Hence, it is not out of place to see men play the role of central characters in adverts for alcoholic beverages. 

  • Baby Food

Organizations that manufacture baby food have a niche-based target market comprising new or expecting mothers. This target market is usually reflected in the product adverts and the overall brand image for these organizations. 

  • Coffee

The target market for coffee-manufacturing businesses is adults; both male and female. Coffee contains caffeine and other substances that can have damaging side effects for children and so, it is unrealistic for coffee industries to have children as their target market. 

  • Confectionery

It is no surprise to see confectionery businesses target children and families as their primary market. Children typically have a sweet tooth and enjoy confectioneries like sweets, chocolates, and biscuits. 

  • Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have young and middle-aged individuals as the primary target market as these are individuals who prioritize having an online presence for conversational communication. Snapchat targets individuals below the age of 25 (18-24), most of which are still in high school and college and preferably females. 

  • Toys

The toy manufacturing industry has children and parents as its target market. Children are the end-users of the product hence, the product must appeal to them. However, parents have the purchasing power to make a buying decision and so, the toy company must emphasize the value of its product to them. 

Types of Target Markets

Sometimes, a product or service can appeal to different groups within a marketplace. In this case, the organization needs to identify the primary and secondary target markets accordingly to maximize revenue and profitability. 

Primary Target Market  

Your primary target market is the market segment that is most likely going to purchase your product or service. It follows that this is the market segment that largely dictates organizational marketing strategies, promotions, advertisement, and revenue allocation. 

Many times, the primary market is the group that has the largest revenue and profit potential, and it comprises consumers whose pain points are directly relieved by your product or service. These are consumers that guarantee repeated purchases because your product meets an essential need. 

Your primary target market is also made up of leads that you can easily convert to paying customers with limited resources. This market segment often yields attractive returns on investment and they prove useful for organic brand publicity. 

How to Identify Your Primary Target Market

  1. Determine the geographical segmentation; that is, where they are located. 
  2. Analyze demographic variables like education, gender, and income levels. This would help you determine the market sector with the most opportunities for you.
  3. Analyze the purchasing pattern of the market. Pay attention to the market category that has the most demand for your product or service.

primary-target-market

Secondary Target Market

The secondary target market refers to the second most important category of consumers who need your product or service. The primary and secondary target markets can be interdependent such as in situations where products appeal to both parents and children. 

In some cases, the secondary target can influence the purchasing decision of your primary target market. For instance, children can ask their parents to choose a certain confectionery item over another in line with their personal preferences and vice versa. 

Since primary and secondary target markets are not necessarily mutually exclusive, it is easy for you to create inclusive marketing campaigns for both of them. A toy-manufacturing company, for example, can create an ad that appeals to the needs and preferences of both the parents and their children. 

When you know who constitutes your primary and secondary market categories, you would have a better knowledge of their behaviors. This ultimately has a positive effect on your customer experience as you would be able to adapt marketing strategies that work for each market segment.  

How to Find Your Secondary Target Market

  1. Identify customer segments that have a direct relationship with your primary target market. 
  2. Identify customer categories that have a need similar to the needs of your primary target market. 

Tips to Identify Your Target Market

While identifying your target market is essential for success, it can also be challenging especially when your product appeals to a wide range of consumers. Here are a few tips that will help you easily identify your target market.

  • Analyze your CompetitionOne of the easiest ways to identify your target market is to pay attention to who your competition focuses on. Find out what sector of the market they are targeting and leverage this information to identify any similar niches that can form the core of your customer base. 
  • Analyze your Existing Customer Base: Who are the people currently patronizing you and what are their preferences? Knowing this would help you to discover other market segments that may have use for your product. You can conduct an online feedback survey to gather insights from your existing customers to help inform your next business decision. 
  • Understand the Value of Your Product: Knowing the unique selling point or value proposition of your product or service would help you understand how it fits into the lives of the consumers in different market segments. Thus, you must define your value proposition from the customer's perspective. 

Start by listing out all the features of your product and then, match each feature with a specific pain point of the target market. You can take this a step further by conducting a product evaluation survey that allows consumers to provide feedback on different product features. 

  • Carry out Demographic Segmentation: Split the market into specific categories with similar characteristics using demographic variables. Demographic segmentation is a proven method of gaining a better understanding of your target market in terms of consumer behavior, choices, and preferences. 

Without demographic segmentation, it is nearly impossible to understand what your consumers want. Common demographic variables include age, gender, marital status, employment status, income levels, religion, race, occupation, level of education, geography or location, and ethnicity. 

  • Understand Consumer Psychographics: This refers to the perception of your consumers; that is, how they see your brand and your product or service. Understanding consumer psychographics simply helps you know what your consumers think and with this knowledge, you can create a product that is more appealing to them. 

To understand consumer psychographics, you will need to pay attention to their values, interests, and disposition to social issues. You also need to pay attention to the behaviors and lifestyles of your consumers. With this information, you can easily determine how your product will fit into the lifestyle of your proposed target market. 

For example, if you are a beef-processing business, it is irrelevant for you to have vegetarians as your target market. This is an example of how lifestyle choices affect how consumers perceive your product. 

  • Analyze Purchasing Patterns: Paying attention to your sales and revenue data is an objective way to determine your target market; especially in the context of an existing product. This way, you would be able to identify the market segment that has the highest demand for your product.  
  • Conduct Market Research Survey: Market research survey is an important tool that helps you to determine the feasibility of your business. With market research, you can collect primary and secondary data that reflect the needs of your target market, consumer behaviors, and other market challenges. 

As you get familiar with the needs of the market via your market research survey, you would be able to identify the market segment that offers the most prospects for your business or organization; that is, your target market. You can conduct market research using Formplus forms. 

  • Use Online Data Tools: Data collection tools like Formplus makes it easy for you to identify your target market as a new or existing business. With Formplus, you can create and administer different surveys and questionnaires to help you gather useful insights into the market and consumer choices. 
  • Map Out the Geography: Understand the geographical concentration of your target market. You would want to choose a target market that is somewhat close to you and can easily access your product. 
  • Explore market niches. 

Segmenting a Target Market

Earlier, we asserted that a target market is a collection of demographic segments. After mapping out your target market, it is necessary to further categorize this subset into different segments using one or more demographic segments. This makes it easier for you to understand the needs of the market. 

Customers can be placed in demographic segments based on their age, gender, level of education, or income levels. For instance, the target market for a coffee-manufacturing business can be further categorized based on gender so that you have men and women. 

target market segmentation


Splitting your target market also helps you to identify the most important preferences of your consumers and this information ultimately influences your product conceptualization and improvement. Also, customer segmentation plays a crucial role in product marketing strategies for organizations. 

How to Create a Product/Pricing Survey For Your Target Market 

Formplus is a data collection tool that helps you to gather information from your target market easily. By creating and administering your product/pricing survey or questionnaire on Formplus, you can insights into the needs of your target market and make the right decisions. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a survey or questionnaire with Formplus.

  • Sign in to your Formplus account to access the drag-and-drop form builder. Don’t have a Formplus account? Create one here.

  • On your dashboard, click the "create new form" option to begin. Alternatively, you can select a preferred template and edit it in the builder.
  • In the form builder, drag and drop preferred fields into your form. Formplus has over 30 form fields that help you to gather different data from your target market. 

  • After adding the required fields to your form, click on the Save button to access the builder's customization section. Here, you can modify the appearance of your form by adding preferred background images, changing the form font, or adding your organization's logo to it. 

  • Use the multiple sharing options to share your survey with specific respondents. You can share your form with your online community via social media direct sharing buttons or send out email invitations to respondents. 

Conclusion 

Identifying your target market goes a long way in determining the success of your business. This helps you to optimize your business processes, determine your competitive advantage, adopt the right marketing strategy, and effectively utilize your resources to generate more revenue. 

As your business scales towards profitability, your target market is likely to expand, which is why you must track market preferences and behaviors as they evolve. You can use Formplus forms to monitor market trends and stay up to date with your target market. 



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  • on 10 min read

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