What Does “Target Market” Mean in Business?

| November 26, 2016

target-audience-2Did you know that zebras can teach you a lot about target marketing? Zebras instinctively know that when they hang out in groups, interestingly called dazzles, their stripes blend together, making it hard to pick apart as individuals by prey animals like lions. The black and white stripes of their bodies come together to create a confusing target that appears as one large individual to a lion.

However, when a lion focuses on just one individual zebra, it is much easier for him to hit his target and enjoy a lazy zebra dinner in the shade of an African savanna tree. Small fish use the same strategy to stay alive. Smaller saltwater fish are often brightly colored, in eye-catching patterns and designs. Small freshwater fish have iridescent, shimmering scales which create confusing patterns of light when they dart about, traveling in schools.

In both cases, the prey animal understands that hanging out in a large group makes it harder for predators to single them out. You can use this lesson to understand what target marketing means in business.

Instead of focusing on a huge market, like weight loss, target your marketing to a smaller, specific subset of that large group. This could mean that you spend your marketing efforts and capital targeting weight loss for single female baby boomers, or some such similar, small, laser-targeted group.

You should also market as if you are speaking to an individual rather than a group, just as a predator is successful when he picks out a single target.

Target marketing means having a very clear and distinct picture of your prospect. Imagine the perfect customer, what he or she looks and acts like. Understand the specific demographics, likes and dislikes, and other qualities that make that individual your dream customer. This is the face of your target market, the person you are on the prowl for when you hunt for sales.

This picture of your perfect prospect is known as an avatar in business.

Target marketing means every bit of focus is on this type of person, rather than everybody who is looking to lose weight. When you focus on a smaller target market as opposed to a general market at large, it is easier to connect with an individual. Always remember you are selling to one individual at a time, not a group. Target your marketing to a smaller subset of a larger group, share your avatar with everyone in your organization, and your marketing efforts have a much better chance of being successful.

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