What Is ‘Targeting’ in Business and Why Does It Matter?

So, you’ve got a killer product, you’ve been carefully marketing it, but the sales just aren’t rolling in. What could possibly be wrong?

Targeting. In business and marketing, targeting is the process of selecting your product or service’s target market, and effectively directing your marketing efforts at them. This means picking the right people who will want to buy your product, and making sure that your ads reach and resonate with them.

In this article, we’ll be going over what exactly targeting is and why it matters.

What Is ‘Targeting’?

Before we explain targeting, let’s first cover the concept of a ‘target market’. A target market is a group of people at whom you direct your selling efforts (or at least, you should). If done correctly, your target markets for various different products are the people who are most likely to purchase from you.

Targeting itself is the process of picking a target market and effectively reaching them with your marketing/advertising. Targeting is an integral part of almost every big company’s product development and marketing — so it is not to be forgotten!

Picking a Target Market

The first step in targeting is picking your target market. This is arguably one of the most important points in developing and selling a product (why create a product that nobody wants, or try to sell it to the wrong audience?)

If your product or service solves some problem, then it’s clear that you should try to target people who have that problem. Otherwise, just look to target the people who you think might be most interested in your offerings.

Examples of Picking a Target Market

Here are some examples of how one might pick an appropriate target market:

  • Selling a cream to alleviate back pain? Your target market should be of middle/old age, especially focused on those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. If you want to build up more of your own niche, you can always focus it down even further (e.g. to dentists or surgeons, who have to lean over all day).
  • Selling a lawn care subscription? Target homeowners living in wealthier areas, who might be happy to throw out some cash for the convenience.
  • Selling a video game? Choose a target market which is slightly younger.

Of course, the more specific your target market gets, the better your odds of selling the product. On the flipside though, if you make your target market very specific, you won’t have anyone left to sell to and might lose potential customers who may not have fit the criteria of definite buyers.

Why Does Targeting Matter?

Alright, great — you know what targeting is. But who cares? Why does it matter?

Well, if you don’t properly choose a target market, then none of the people to whom you advertise will respond. This is because they aren’t truly interested in your product. On the other hand, if you target properly (ensuring that you know exactly who might be interested in your product) you will see better results with your marketing campaigns.

If your product is getting plenty of reach, but very few conversions, then targeting is probably the problem. Don’t waste any more money on advertising, but take a step back to decide who has the greatest likelihood of buying from you.

Summing it up, targeting is the process of selecting the group of people who you think are most likely to become customers (the target market), and making sure that your message gets through to them, and not anyone else instead. Targeting is important because, otherwise, you won’t see any results with your costly, time-taking marketing campaigns.

What have we forgotten to mention about targeting? Let us know in the comments section just below.

Image: Ollyy/Shutterstock.com

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