Geneva Swanson

In Search of a Target Market


audience meme

On the topic of start-ups, knowing who you are selling your product to is essential.

So, STORY TIME: let’s say you have started a company and you are selling a type of hair accessories like hair ties. These hair ties are made so they don’t made dents in your hair.

If your target market is going to be everyone, is your target audience going to be everyone? No, it will be a certain type and group of people. Your target market would be dance studios who sell hair accessories for dancers, department stories that stock hair accessories, and more groups like that. Your target audience would be women with long hair, who actively use hair ties and hair accessories like dancers.

This is just a small example. The article “How to Define Your Target Market” talks about how to be successful in selling your product. The article states you must determine who you are selling to and tailor your marketing towards that audience.

spongebob memeTake a moment and think about who you might be the target audience for. Me? I would be a target audience for people looking to sell products to young, active, educated women. So, if a company is marketing a product like facial shaving cream to me, it would be a waste of resources. So, to be successful and get the most bang for your buck, make sure you are marketing towards a specific group of people who are most likely going to buy your product and are most likely to be interested in your product.

“Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it.” – How to Define Your Target Market

Local news is a great example of having a built-in target market and audience. If you live in the community of East Lansing, you most likely want to know what going on around you. You want to be updated on new developments like crime rates, community events, and local news in general. The article “A Crazy Idea for Funding Local News: Charge People For It” from The New York Times discussing this exact topic. Local news is suffering, why? Maybe it should become a product and you should charge for local news. It has a solid target audience, right?

You must ‘deliver a differentiated product that people would pay for’ so instead of local news trying to cover national and local news, focus in on local and community news. Make it so local news doesn’t have to compete with larger competitors like newspapers that report on national news.

“Don’t do movie reviews, stock market analysis, Super Bowl coverage or anything else that isn’t local. Instead, emphasize coverage that’s actionable, that residents deem necessary and valuable for short- and long-term planning — especially an obsessive focus on housing and development, transportation, education and local politics.” – A Crazy Idea for Funding Local News: Charge People For It

So let’s think this through:

  1. What is my product?
  2. What kind of people will buy my product?
  3. What kind of people would be open to or interested in my product?
  4. How can I reach those people who want to buy my product?
  5. How can I tailor my marketing and ads to those specific people?

With these questions you can determine who you are selling to and become more successful in reaching those people.





3 thoughts on “In Search of a Target Market

  1. Hi Geneva,

    I like how in the posts of yours that I’ve read, I can really sense your voice in your writing. You convey the concepts in a relatable way. I love the hair tie example as well. It makes it easy to understand the difference between target market and target audience as many mix up/misuse the two. Also, the delivering of a differentiated product is a concept that stood out to me in the readings as well. Giving your audience exactly what they want and need will generate the value that allows you the charge for a product if it be beyond basic tangible items and more in the direction of paying for content. Overall, great job! I really enjoyed your post!


  2. I enjoyed your post because your small anecdote really lead me into your story. Honestly seeing Toy Story and lets start story time really made me want to read more you grab my attention. I really love how you explained the deviation that is required to attract your target market


  3. I like that you emphasized that not EVERYONE is your target audience and that you have to think of who really is your target audience and market and how will you be able to reach them/distribute to them? I liked your example about hair ties and not only selling to people such as young girls and teens, but also dance studios!


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