Your target market, stripped down, essentially asks the question – who are you aiming your offering at? Whenever a company launches, they always have an idea in their minds of who will be purchasing from them. However, as companies evolve so might their offering, their branding, and therefore their target market. It is important to regularly reassess your target market so you can correctly position your offering.

To understand your target market you need to break it down into segments. The four key segments to consider are demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioural. A combination of these will create a holistic approach to your target market.

Demographic segmentation is the most simple of all. It covers the basics: gender, age, income, occupation, etc. All surface level categories that your target market falls into. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is stopping your search here, e.g. “my target market is 30-40 year old men making 40k+ a year”. By doing this you lose out on many other considerations that affect a consumers buying habits. Although a great place to start, if you don’t break past this surface level you risk misjudging your target market and damaging consumer relationships.

Geographic segmentation divides consumers by their geographic region, whether its continents, countries or counties, private estates, etc. Your consumers purchasing behaviours are likely to be influenced by where they live. Where a consumer lives can give influence to cultures, traditions, politics and any other factors considered by specific regions. Using this information can help you to better position your offering. 

Psychographic segmentation can be a little difficult to analyse as it can verge into the more private aspects of a persons life. This can be hobbies, if they are introvert or extrovert, lifestyle and personality traits, motivating factors etc. These personal aspects will help you learn more about your consumers habits. For example, your psychographic data might tell you that your target market spends more time on instagram than any other platform, that they value long lasting luxury products over cheaper alternatives, and they’re not impulsive buyers. From this you’ll know that a targeted instagram campaign highlighting luxurious product features with a repeat on posts and sponsored videos will be the best way communicate with the buyer. This should then push them from the awareness to the purchasing stage in the consumer touch points. (Learn more about consumer touch points here). 

Behavioural segmentation addresses how a consumer decides what product to use. This may be through simple categories such as quality or brand loyalty. However, they may be more complex, such as if the customers are tech savvy, or always wanting the next new “thing”. These can be difficult to measure, however the more time you spend studying your consumers the better the picture you will build. Behavioural segmentation also covers occasions, such as seasonal holidays, birthdays, weddings and so on. For example, a shop may promote chocolate and teddy bears just before Valentines Day. 

Once you have applied all 4 segments to your target market you are ready to asses how to target your ideal consumer, and how to position your brand. All of these segments should be kept in mind throughout every aspect of your marketing campaigns. 

May Sweeney

Marketing Executive