How and Why to Define a Target Market for Your Business
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How and Why to Define a Target Market for Your Business

Conducting background research, articulating your demographics, and exploring how to reach your target market can help boost sales.

Target Market

As a small business owner, you probably already know that marketing to promote your products and services is important. But just throwing dollars towards advertising won’t get you the results you’re looking for. You have to make sure you’re getting your message to the right people!

Why Do Small Businesses Need to Define Their Target Market?

Why is defining your small business’s target market or client demographic so critical? Because those target customers are where your marketing dollars will go farthest. Those are the people that really fit your product or service; they’re the ones whose attention you want to get.

Conversely, you can waste marketing dollars if your ads are being seen by the wrong demographics. If you’re selling iPhone cases with popular internet memes on them, you don’t need to spend marketing dollars on the over-70 set. And if you’re selling a hair dye specifically for covering up grays, you don’t need to spend marketing dollars on the under-30 set.

Your target market and customer demographic will be based on what products you sell, what services your business provides, and what your customers value.

Demographics provide key insights into what type of people would benefit from your business. This crucial information can help you target your advertising and social media platforms to reach those people, thus building a stronger brand, as well as a correctly-targeted audience.

This sounds like a lot to sift through, but it’s a lot simpler than you might think.

Defining Your Small Businesses’ Target Market Demographics

The first step to defining your social media audience is nailing down your customers’ or clients’ demographics. This is the easiest place to start since as a small business owner, you’re likely already very familiar with your clients or customers.

Simply make a list of the overt, obvious characteristics of your clients or customers. For example, if you run an e-commerce infant or toddler’s clothing shop, your customers would be “parents of young children who shop online.” If you own a pool cleaning business, your customers would be “people or businesses that have pools on their property.”

See if you can slot your target customers into categories like:

  • Age Range
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Education Level
  • Occupation
  • Income Level
  • Marital/Family Status

By answering these key questions, you’ll be able to put together a demographic profile of who your current customers are.

Define Your Business’ Target Market Psychographics

Once you’ve been able to put together a clear mental picture of your customers’ or clients’ demographic profile, it’s time to expand that profile to include your potential customers’ psychographics.

What are psychographics? According to Small Business Forum, psychographics are “understand[ing] where do [customers or clients] hang out, what do they read, what do they listen to, what do they search online, what makes them tick, what triggers them to go looking for a solution.”

By defining your potential audiences’ psychographic profile, you’ll be able to create targeted advertising to boost your marketing. When considering your customers’ psychographic profile, you want to consider their hobbies and interests, their lifestyles and personalities.

One way to gain valuable insight into your customers’ or clients’ psychographics is by considering questions like:

  • What do your customers or clients like?
  • What do your customers or clients dislike?
  • What values do your customers or clients share?
  • Where do they get their news?
  • Where do they get their entertainment?
  • What do they read or listen to?
  • How can your products or services better their lives?
  • What are their pain points?

Answering these key questions will help you define your customers’ or clients’ psychographics, you’ll get a sense of what kinds of marketing they’ll respond to and what elements of your product or service you need to highlight to get their attention.


Defining your target market is a smart step in any small business owners’ marketing plan. By conducting background research, articulating your demographics, and exploring how to reach those demographics can help boost your sales.

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