Target market is a phrase that is thrown around frequently. In simple terms, it is a segment of the market that is the strategic focus of your business. Being able to effectively identify who is part of your target market is important if you are developing a marketing strategy and campaign and you want it to be successful.

Prior to creating your marketing plan, you need to be able to answer two essential questions: (1) what is your target market and (2) what does your target market want and/or need that you can provide? If you are able to answer both these questions in great detail, then you can begin drafting your marketing plan. If you have doubts or lack the details, you need to back up and do a little homework.

Who Is My Customer?
You need to recognize who your customer is because the objective of your marketing efforts is to concentrate on those customers most likely to buy your products and services. Therefore, you need to start by describing exactly who your customer is. Are there certain characteristics that your target market shares? Do they fall into a particular age category? Gender? Socio-economic class? Occupation? Do you know which customers spend the most time and money with you? Why do they do that?

Be Precise
When creating your prospective list of customers, you need to be as precise as possible. Make sure that you are able to identify them in specific demographic or geographic terms. If you can’t, you will have a hard time in determining which channels will be the most effective in reaching them, i.e. television, radio, internet, newspaper, etc.

Give Them What They Want
This is often a difficult area. We think we know what our customers want, but unfortunately we often fail at finding out what they really want and/or need. You need to be able to give them exactly what they want or need in a convenient and affordable way if you expect them to buy what you are selling.

Quality versus Quantity
More is not always better when it comes to developing prospects. Buying leads lists is one prime example of this. If you haven’t taken the time to truly identify who your customer is, buying expensive marketing lists are often a major waste of money. Most of these lists are outdated to begin with and are typically only as good as the information you put into them when generating. Having a quality list of leads increases your ability to convert them into sales tenfold. So, shift your thinking from quantity and focus on the quality angle of building your list.

Use a Sounding Board
Finally, before running with that marketing plan you’ve created, test it out. One of the most common mistakes made is failing to test out your assumptions on a sampling of your target market. By taking a little extra time to conduct a survey or questionnaire of a small portion of your target market, you can avoid wasting your time and money. It may take a little longer to kick off your campaign, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

Author's Bio: 

Darrell Morris is the V.P. of Business Coaching for the Achieve Fitness USA Licensing Program. He is a dedicated toward helping fitness professionals achieve there goals of running a successful fitness business. For more information contact him at or visit and