Target Market Groups – Making the Most of Your Target Market
Sifting through your target market in search of the most profitable segments may sound daunting, but it’s a little like sorting playing cards: hearts in one pile, spades in another, diamonds over there, clubs in the center. You’re simply sorting a large group of people (your target market) into smaller segments, based on demographic or psychographic data, natural boundaries and trends.
A neighborhood with an abundance of college-age gals may not hold much interest for a real estate agency eager to land new clients, but it’d be considered a goldmine for a tanning salon. Likewise, a landscaping company probably won’t have much luck marketing to a neighborhood heavy with renters, but a real estate professional could have a heyday there.
These are just two examples of how simple demographic differentiators (population characteristics) can be used to divide any target market into subsets of profitable sales prospects. And, thanks to the U.S. census database, all the demographic information you’ll ever need is just a few clicks away and free for the taking. (Or, for a small fee, you can target these individuals directly via the direct-marketing services of companies like .)
A more sophisticated way to segment your market is with “psychographics” (peoples’ personal opinions, interests and activities). Once you start grouping people based on what they like to buy, their hobbies, and other psychographic attributes, it’s easy to tailor your marketing messages to make them more appealing to those factions (e.g. “A special offer for you home gardeners”). Your direct-marketing service provider can help you target people on these grounds, as well.
Most small businesses have geographic sweet spots within their target market – areas of town, the city, even the county, that their core customers call home. You’ll want to treat those as separate marketing segments, as well – targeting each with unique marketing messages that speak directly to their needs and desires (e.g. “This home offers the in-town location you already appreciate, but is situated in a serene setting not often found in the Broadmore district”).
Temporary Trends and Cycles
You should also consider seasonal trends, social issues and economic cycles when segmenting your target market. For hotel owners, that might mean targeting one region in the winter and a completely different area during the warm months. For real estate professionals, it may mean focusing your marketing efforts on first-time home buyers (especially in a slow market like we’re experiencing now).
Will all these market segments prove equally profitable? No. But keep reading, and we’ll show you how to choose those with the best chances of success.