• Brett Pittsenbargar

How to Identify Your Perfect Target Market

By Brett Pittsenbargar

Ever heard the famous line, “the customer is always right?”. This line was pioneered by three successful retailers - Harry Gordon Selfridge, John Wanamaker, and Marshall Field – who realized that that the success of their stores depended on how happy their customers are. Well, are customers really always right? At all times? Forbes has weighed in on the subject matter and concluded that “...customers are not always right, but they are always the customer”.

Regardless if you believe if the customer is always right, when you are a small business owner, it is imperative that you consider who will be your target market. Having a set of well-defined customers will allow you to create more effective marketing strategies. This, in turn, can be translated into great success for your business. There is no business that can target everyone. Even the most-famous Super Bowl has been consistently losing TV viewers each year, despite their efforts of hiring famous celebrities and artists on their show.

If the Super Bowl is struggling, how will a small-business like you fare in the face of adversity? It’s pretty simple – create a target market. Don’t target everyone because you can’t please everybody. So now, how can you identify your perfect target market. You just have to remember the acronym, “RIGHT”. If you are a business owner, you should take the same principals in account with your business, what buyers are looking for in a small business?

Research your product/service! What services or products do you offer? How accessible is it for the people who want it? Does it address specific needs or industries? In order to get you on the right track, the most important thing that you have to do is know your services and products and understand them very well. For example, you cannot offer animal adoption services to people who are allergic to fur and dust.

Identify who would want your service/product! Offer your product/service to the right audience. The right audiences are usually the ones who will be needing your products/services. You may need to ask, “who will benefit the most from what I offer?”. Do not hesitate to list down different audiences that may benefit from your business. Remember, choosing the right target market does not mean that you have to exclude everyone outside of the market, it just means you will be more focused on creating marketing strategies for a specific set of people.

Get data and information about your audience! After identifying whose needs will your services/products are catered towards. It is now time to get more specific. In here, you have to consider the psychographics of your audience. This may include their personalities, attitudes, values, lifestyles, and interests. By getting more information about your audience, you will be able to place your product/services to areas that are more accessible to your audiences, or that you will know how to reach them effectively: is it through social media or is it through the newspapers? It is critical that you understand how your product will be able to fit into the lifestyle of your audience.

Highlight cost-effective strategies! Since now you know your target market, it is now time to decide how you will be able to introduce your products/services to them. If your target market are young people, then maybe you can social media platforms. If your target are women, then maybe you can create billboards and posters that you can put on department stores and groceries. Cost-effective strategies are not only concerned with how you can reach your target market, it is also concerned with disseminating the right messages to your market. Of course, it would be useless to reach your audiences if you don’t have effective one-liners or slogans that will capture the interest of your market. So remember, effective reaching out + great messages = efficient strategies.

Tap into your network! Do not be afraid to ask your family members, friends, and fellow business owners on what they think about your products/services or about your target market strategies. You do not possess the sole knowledge to leverage the success of your business. Sometimes, the most effective pieces of advice will come from sources where you least expect it. So, do not forget to solicit opinions and do not be afraid to ask for help. We all need it.

In summary, to identify your perfect target market, you must do “RIGHT”! By doing this, it guarantees that you will be able to create the right product for the right market at the right time and at the right place.


Brett Pittsenbargar is a savvy business investor and turnaround strategist dedicated to assisting business owners reach their objective at every growth phase. With a background in business development and investment experience, Pittsenbargar understands that business is much more than written contracts, it is about the people working every day in the business that matter most for small and medium sized enterprises generating $1-20 million in revenue annually. He invests in, mergers and acquisitions, growth partnerships, cash out purchases and adding shareholder value.

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to give you general business information, not to provide specific legal or financial advice. Be sure to consult your attorney, accountant, and financial professionals for any specific questions relating to your business.

Further Reading:

What is a Business Exit Strategy? And Why Should You Care?

Even If your Not Planning To Sell Your Business Should Be Sellable