Best practice of the week: 2.4.1 Target marketKnow your buyers! Meet new ones!

Don’t let habit keep you from looking for good customers in new niches: maybe the barriers are easy to knock down. Target marketing is about deeply understanding potential buyers so you can extend the reach and effectiveness of your marketing. Small businesses can compete with large companies by targeting small segments. If you’re not taking small risks in new niches, you’re taking a big risk being stuck in your old one.


Definition of target marketing: “Identifying the people or organizations most likely to buy from or work with you today or in the future.”

Practice Summary

Determine who may want to buy from you

  • Current customer base: why do they use our product?
  • Whom does the product benefit the most?
  • If a personal product, what demographics and psychographics tilt towards our product?
  • Is our product/service affordable to this group?
  • To whom do our competitors target and sell?
  • What is the growth rate of market?


  • Do we have the resources to compete, including product development?
  • Will competitors threaten our target market? What are the barriers to entry for new entrants?

Business criteria

  • Given operating costs, are there enough people who fit the target profile?
  • Can we reach them with our message? Are they easily accessible? Marketing costs?
  • Potential market revenue: forecasted volume * price

Click the image below for the resources approved by our Review Board.

3 Good Questions (discuss in a management meeting)

  1. How might we have to modify our products in the future?
  2. Why do our customers make the choices they do?
  3. What might change how our customers think about us?

The recent spike in online purchases opens the opportunity to grab new target markets; see the section “The advantages of ecommerce” in last week’s article 2.2.3 Ecommerce. Next week’s article will discuss ways of conducting marketing research, most of which can now be done cheaply: keyword search, competitor links, blogs as a gauge of public opinion, and online surveys.