When it comes to marketing your business, sometimes it can feel like playing darts blindfolded. You close your eyes, aim for the target, and hope you hit somewhere near it.

Sometimes this strategy works. But most of the time, you end up nowhere near the bullseye.

star wars storm trooper target meme

Who are you trying to reach? Where do they spend their time? What are their hobbies, interests, and fears? These are the details you can use to refine your marketing messaging so you’re resonating with the right audience.

That’s why defining and understanding your target market is crucial to the success of your business. By identifying your target market, you can better understand your customers, how to reach them, what messaging will drive action, and how you can better meet their wants and needs with your products or services.

However, many businesses struggle with identifying their target market.

That’s where target market examples come in. And we’re sharing 11 target market examples that most consumers fall into along with the industries that might want to target them and how to actually reach them.

 

What are target markets?

First, let’s define what a target market is. A target market is a group of people who are most likely to buy from your business and who your products or services are meant for.

“Defining and understanding your target market is a critical foundational step for your marketing strategy,” commented Mitchell Leiman, LOCALiQ’s SVP of Strategy & Operations. “Without a clear understanding of your target market, chances are you won’t be able to achieve a strong return on your marketing investment.”

Target markets vs target audiences

So you might be wondering if target markets and target audiences can be used interchangeably. But they are actually different. A target market is who your products or services are meant for, as we outlined, while a target audience is who you’re trying to reach with your marketing or advertising.

Your target audience might be broader than your target market if you’re trying to reach people who could potentially be customers but who don’t fully fall into your normal customer base.

For example, if you’re a daycare center, your target market is children and their parents. Those are the people who will use your services. But your target audience could also include local schools and churches, your community, businesses near your center, grandparents, and more. These people might not specifically use your services, but they could refer your business to parents of young children and raise awareness for your business.

 

How do you identify your target market?

So how can you define your target market and identify the right group to reach with your marketing? It all comes down to just four simple steps.

1. Think about who your products or services are for

To identify your target market, you might ask yourself who your products or services are for. This could be a very general group. For example, daycare centers are providing services for parents or caregivers of young children. Vets are providing services for pet owners.

how to identify target market - example from vet

This vet is speaking directly to its target market on its website homepage.

But if your business serves a wider audience or a variety of products, you may have a harder time narrowing this down into a neat little bucket. For example, grocery stores provide groceries for all kinds of people.

It can help to look at what your customers have in common. Grocery shoppers need to buy groceries and they likely live close to your grocery store. That can be a good place to start when it comes to identifying your target market.

Once you outline what these customers might have in common, it’s time to look into some key differences that can help you further identify your target market.

This step may also require identifying different target markets for different product buckets. For example, you might have health-conscious shoppers who purchase organic produce and gluten-free freezer meals. This is a much different group than a large family who purchases budget-friendly ingredients in bulk.

Take some time to think through your different products and identify the customers who frequently purchase those products. There may be overlap, but it’s a good place to start!

2. Look at the data

Once you have some preliminary ideas about who your target market is, it’s time to back up those assumptions and hypotheses with data.

If you have access to customer data through a CRM, you can segment your customers by information like age, zip code, or products purchased. If you don’t have easy access to data about your customers, you can conduct a survey to collect information about your customers that can be used to narrow down your target market.

Make sure to go beyond the usual demographic data to find out information about how your customers spend their time, what their interests are, and where they spend time online.

how to identify target market - customer survey example from cinemark

This survey example from Cinemark shows a mix of demographic and behavioral questions to help them better understand their target market.

This can help you further tailor and personalize your marketing strategy down the line.

3. Analyze the competition

The next step in finding your target market is to look at your competition and see who they’re targeting with their products and services.

List your top three competitors and look at their products and services. What needs are they trying to meet with them?

You can also look at their overall business like their branding, their locations, and their websites to see if you can pull out their unique value propositions as well as any clues as to who they’re targeting.

For example, if one of your top dental competitors has a giant jungle gym in their waiting room, it’s safe to say their target audience is parents and kids.

how to identify target market - competitor analysis - pediatric dentist example

Source

4. Look at target market examples

Why start from scratch when you can look at target market examples to help guide you in identifying the right fit for your business?

Target market examples can take some of the work out of it for you by outlining specific consumer groups, their interests, and how they spend their time—both online and offline.

Lucky for you, we’re sharing 11 target market examples that make up the majority of consumers in the US.

 

11 key target market examples

Here are 11 target market examples to help you narrow in on the best audience for your business to reach (plus how to reach them!).

Young shoppers

The young shoppers target market is made up of college and post-graduate educated consumers who are fairly high earners, pulling in a median household income of over $73,000.

This target market example is typically found in large cities and the surrounding suburbs, and they enjoy the latest technology, financial products, high-end cars, and travel. You can find them researching travel plans online, shopping at high-end retailers, and doing physical activities like skiing, tennis, and yoga.

A large percentage, nearly 60%, of the young shoppers target market owns a home, and over 55% are married.

Interesting fact: Consumers in this group are likely to move or change addresses in the next year.

target market examples - young shoppers

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Home and home improvement: With high homeownership and high earnings, this target market is likely to spend money on home services and home improvement projects.
  • Real estate: Nearly 60% of this target market own homes and many note they are likely to move in the next year.
  • Health and fitness: This target market is interested in physical activities offered at many gyms.
  • Travel and hospitality: Travel is very important to this target market, so hotels, airlines, and other hospitality businesses should definitely keep this group in mind.
  • Automotive sales: This group is especially interested in luxury cars, so luxury dealerships are likely on their radar.
  • Personal services: Because so many in this group own homes, personal services such as home cleaning should be targeting them.
  • Finance and insurance: With fairly high incomes, kids to plan for, and more, this target market is a great audience for banks, insurance companies, and financial planners to target.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • Online reviews: As this target market spends a lot of time on Yelp, make sure you’re getting and responding to reviews.
  • Social media: This group spends a good amount of time on social media, especially LinkedIn, so make sure your business has a social media marketing strategy in place.
  • Display advertising: This target market is spending time online researching travel plans, so a display advertising strategy can help your business get found on websites they’re frequenting.

Upwardly mobile

Those in the upwardly mobile target market range in age from 25 to 64, making them a blend of family types. They are above average in their use of technology and often research their next purchase online.

This group is interested in moving or going back to school, and many within this target market are seeking new jobs, which means spending time on job listings sites.

The upwardly mobile target market contains a mix of homeowners and renters, with 30% owning homes. Many in this segment aren’t married and don’t have kids, and a social life is very important to them.

They spend a lot of time streaming online and eat at fast food restaurants frequently.

Interesting fact: Consumers in this group enjoy sporting events like WWE, Mexican league soccer, and Monster Jam.

target market example - upwardly mobile

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Real estate: This group is specifically interested in moving, and many are currently renting, which means multifamily communities and rental properties could target them as well as real estate agents working with first-time home buyers.
  • Education: This group is interested in going back to school, which presents a perfect opportunity for higher-learning institutions to win them over.
  • Arts and entertainment: An active social life is important to this target market example, so sports teams, entertainment venues, and more can target them for these purposes.
  • Healthcare: This group represents a wide age range of consumers, all of whom need healthcare—whether it’s preventative or specialized based on age, condition, and service lines.
  • Careers and employment: This target market is actively seeking new jobs and searching for new jobs on career sites.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • OTT advertising: This group is spending a lot of time streaming video online. OTT advertising can help your business reach them.
  • Snapchat advertising: As this target market spends a lot of time on Snapchat, make sure you incorporate Snapchat advertising into your marketing plan.
  • Online reviews: This target market spends a lot of time researching upcoming purchases. We know that online reviews are a big factor consumers look into during the buyer’s journey. So make sure you’re getting positive reviews for your business—and responding—to help influence these consumers.

Striving singles

Those in the striving singles target market range in age from 25 to 64 and typically work entry-level service jobs in both rural areas as well as cities. Their average yearly income is around $22,000.

This group spends a lot of time each week on social networking sites like Facebook as well as watching videos on YouTube. They mostly rely on public transportation but are also interested in inexpensive cars, with many owning a Dodge, Buick, or GMC.

About 20% of people in this target market example are homeowners, and only 25% are married.

Interesting fact: People in this group don’t typically travel often, but when they do, they stay at economically-friendly motels.

target market example - striving singles

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Real estate: Only 20% of people in this group own homes, which means the other 80% are likely renting. This presents an opportunity for multifamily communities or rental property owners to target this group.
  • Career and employment: Many in this group are searching for new jobs, which means those hiring should be targeting this group for open positions.
  • Restaurants and food: People in this group regularly eat at fast food restaurants.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • Social media advertising: This group is spending a lot of time on social networking sites, so targeting them with social media ads is an effective strategy.
  • YouTube ads: Because this target market example spends time watching YouTube videos, advertising to them through this channel is a great option.
  • Geofencing: Because we know that this target market example spends time on public transportation, you can use geofencing to target public transportation stops with coupons and offers that would entice them to try your business.

Wealthy professionals

This target market example comprises the wealthiest consumers, with a median household income of $110,000. Wealthy professionals are mostly college-educated, white-collar families who typically live in large homes in the suburbs of large cities.

This segment has disposable cash and sophisticated tastes, and they enjoy spoiling their children with toys, computer games, and top-of-the-line sporting equipment. They also enjoy smart devices, expensive cars, and frequent vacations.

Nearly 90% of those in this group are homeowners, 77% are married, and over half have kids.

Interesting fact: Despite their high incomes, those in this group like to use social media to find coupons and exclusive offers.

target market example - wealthy professionals

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Healthcare: Because many in this segment have children, they’re a prime target for pediatricians and generalists.
  • Dentists: This also makes them a great target market for dentists.
  • Home services and home improvement: As so many in this target market own homes, they’re likely looking for home services businesses. And, with disposable income, they may also be looking for home improvement help.
  • Finance and insurance: Because they are high earners, this group is a great target for financial planners. This also makes them a good target for insurance companies—especially those that provide home and auto insurance. (Speaking of, get our data-backed finance marketing strategies for more insight on how to reach your target market!)
  • Auto sales and services: This group enjoys luxury cars, which means they likely search for luxury car dealerships as well as auto service shops to maintain their vehicles.
  • Travel and hospitality: This target market enjoys traveling extensively and buying vacation packages online.
  • Retailers: With disposable income and an interest in luxury goods, retailers that offer fine items and the latest gadgets should look into this target market example.
  • Sports and recreation: This target market enjoys watching college sports both on TV and in person.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • Social media advertising: As noted, this group uses social media to find coupons and exclusive offers. So running social ads to target this group with those coupons and exclusive offers can help you win them over.
  • Search advertising: One way to reach this target market as they’re searching online for anything from vacation packages to the latest gadgets for their kids is through search advertising. This allows you to reach them directly where they’re beginning their search.
  • Direct mailers: As many in this segment own homes, you can target them directly by sending mailers.

Middle-class professionals

Middle-class professionals are slightly younger and less affluent than the wealthy professionals’ target market. They are typically college-educated and work a mix of white-collar managerial and professional jobs. These families have created comfortable, upscale lifestyles in their mid-sized homes.

Those in this target market enjoy outdoor sports, kid-friendly technology, and adult toys like campers, powerboats, and motorcycles.

Nearly 80% of those in this group are homeowners, almost 70% are married, and just over half have kids.

Interesting fact: This target market researches products online and spends over $2,500 online a year.

target market example - middle class professionals

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Home services and home improvement: This group specifically enjoys remodeling their homes, making them a prime target for home services businesses.
  • Education: Many in this group regularly attend high school sports events, which means they likely have children who are gearing up to go to college.
  • Sports and recreation: This group enjoys outdoor activities like hunting and own sporting equipment.
  • Healthcare: This target market ranges in age from 25 to 54, meaning they need a range of healthcare options from preventative to specialists.
  • Real estate: As many in this group are already homeowners and into remodeling, they may also eventually be in the market for a new home.
  • Animals and pets: Many in this group are pet owners.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • Search advertising: Because we know this target market researches products online and is ready to buy, search advertising is a great option.
  • SEO: You can couple your search advertising strategy with a robust SEO strategy so you can get found as this group is searching for products or services to buy.
  • Retargeting: As consumers in this target market are conducting their research, you can retarget them with display ads so you can win their business.

Mainstream families

The mainstream families target market is made up of middle-class and working-class families who live in modestly-priced homes in smaller towns. The median household income is just under $65,000.

Those in this target market enjoy outdoor activities and going to theme parks or on mountain or adventure vacations.

This group is very budget-conscious and looks for deals when shopping both online and in-store. They also typically purchase groceries in bulk.

The majority of this group, 70%, own homes, 50% are married, and 54% have kids. Many in this group also note they plan to get married or have a child in the next year.

Interesting fact: Despite their age range (25-54), this group is somewhat low in their tech use and mainly use social networks to play games.

target market example - mainstream families

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Healthcare: As over half of those in this group have kids and some are planning to have kids in the next year, this target market is a great audience for pediatricians and other healthcare businesses.
  • Personal services: Many in this target market plan to get married in the next year, meaning they’ll be looking for wedding planners, photographers, and more.
  • Finance and insurance: As this group is budget-conscious, they may be open to working with financial planners or finding ways to save money on their insurance policies.
  • Pets and animals: This target market has many pet owners who would need vet services.
  • Travel and hospitality: This group likes to travel to theme parks and hiking trails, so theme parks, local parks, and other outdoor destinations can target them.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • Direct mailers: Because this target market is fairly low-tech and also appreciates deals, you might consider targeting them with direct mailers.
  • Email marketing: You can also send deals directly to this target market through targeted email marketing.
  • Social media advertising: This target market does still spend time on social media, so targeting them there is a good strategy for your business—especially with a coupon or limited-time offer.

Sustaining families

The sustaining families target market is comprised mainly of working-class adults typically found in cities. This group is ethnically diverse and includes many first-generation Americans.

Many families within this target market also live in multi-generational households with grandparents, parents, and children under one roof.

Those in this group enjoy going to see movies on opening weekends and eating at fast food restaurants. You can also find them attending soccer matches or WWE events.

Less than half of this group own homes, 35% are married, and 45% have kids.

Interest fact: People in this target market spend five or more hours a day on social networking sites.

target market example - sustaining families

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Real estate: As less than half of this target market owns a home, they are likely renting from apartment complexes or communities.
  • Healthcare: With multi-generational households, there are people of all ages who need healthcare services ranging from preventive to elder care.
  • Restaurants: This group enjoys eating at fast-food restaurants.
  • Legal: As many are first-generation Americans, there may be a need for legal services to assist with the process to become a citizen or help their families become citizens.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • Promotions: This group is interested in finding coupons and deals, so promotions can help you reach them and bring them into your business.
  • Social media ads: This target market spends a lot of time on social media, making them a prime audience for social ads.
  • Radio ads: Many in this group listen to Spanish adult hits and Mexican regional music, so you could run Spanish radio ads to reach them in your area.

Affluent empty nesters

The affluent empty nesters target market features college-educated couples who hold executive and professional positions. They are most commonly found in some of the richest suburban areas in the US.

With their children out of the house, they have plenty of disposable cash to finance active lifestyles that include travel, cultural events, and new technology.

Many in this group are also retired or reaching retirement age (the majority are 64 to 74 years old, so they spend their time as community activists, interested in writing to politicians, volunteering for environmental groups, and voting.

Almost all of this group (95%) own homes, 77% are married, and only 8% have children in their household.

Interesting fact: Many in this target market have a child in college.

target market example - affluent empty nesters

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Travel and hospitality: Travel is very important to their target market, with many spending time on travel sites and researching their next travel destination.
  • Finance and insurance: This target market specifically spends time online monitoring their financial investments and keeping tabs on the market. This coupled with their large disposable income and retirement age makes a great fit for finance and insurance businesses.
  • Home services and home improvement: Almost all of this group own homes, many of them older homes, which creates a need for home services and improvement businesses.
  • Healthcare: As these adults age, they’ll need additional healthcare services.
  • Sports and entertainment: This target market enjoys golf, tennis, symphony, and live theater

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • Display advertising: This target market spends time researching travel destinations and keeping up with current events, so you can target them on local news sites and other pertinent sites across the web through display ads.
  • Print advertising: As this group is interested in the news, print ads could also be a good way to reach them.
  • Radio ads: This group frequently listens to public radio, so you can reach them with audio ads on these stations.

Conservative classics

Those in the conservative classics target market are over 55 years old and upper-middle class. They typically live in suburban homes and enjoy gardening, reading books, watching TV (50+ hours a week!), and entertaining neighbors over BBQs.

When they go out, it’s typically to a local museum, the theater, or a casual dining restaurant.

Over 80% of this group own homes, 68% are married, and 24% have kids at home. Many in this group have a child that is in college, and they look forward to retiring.

Interesting fact: This group frequently buys and sells investments through a broker.

target market example - conservative classics

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Home services and home improvement: This target market is not only comprised of majority homeowners, but they’re also interested in home improvement shows like Flea Market Flip.
  • Finance and insurance: Conservative classics are very into retirement planning and investments, making them a prime target for this industry.
  • Healthcare: As this group is 55+, they likely have many healthcare needs.
  • Sports and recreation: While this group enjoys time at home, they also have many hobbies including theater, golf, boating, and more, which makes them a fit for this industry.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • TV ads: This target market spends a lot of time watching live TV, which means television ads have the potential to reach them.
  • Display ads: While not very tech-savvy, this group does spend time on financial and investment sites as well as AARP, and NHL sites, so you can advertise your business using display ads here.
  • Search advertising: Another way to reach this target market when they’re searching online is through search ads targeted specifically to their interests and needs.

Cautious couples

Like conservative classics, cautious couples are also comprised of the over 55 set. The main difference is in their lifestyles: Cautious couples have a median household income of under $40,000, and they are less active, preferring instead to pursue sedate lifestyles that include reading, coin collecting, and gardening.

However, they would prefer to have a night out to a local restaurant than rely on technology to entertain them.

Cautious couples don’t travel often, but when they do, they enjoy going on guided tours or visiting casinos.

Over 80% of this target segment own homes, 53% are married, and 12% have kids at home. Many are beginning their empty-nest years.

Interesting fact: Many in this group are veterans.

target market example - cautious couples

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Healthcare: As this target market ages, they’ll continue looking for both preventive and specialized physicians.
  • Home services and home improvement: As the majority own homes, they’ll seek services to help with home repairs.
  • Retailers: This group does shop online and in-store so may be seeking new retail brands.
  • Real estate: As this group enters their empty-nesting years, they may seek to downsize their homes and need real estate services to assist with selling.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • Facebook ads: While this target market isn’t extremely tech-savvy, they do still spend time on Facebook.
  • Email marketing: This group also spends time on email and may be interested in receiving targeted marketing messages as well as coupons.
  • Print ads: This target market spends time reading the local newspaper as well as hobby magazines.

Sustaining seniors

The sustaining seniors target market is filled with older, economically challenged Americans typically found in small towns and rural areas. This group is comprised of many singles or those who are widowed and live in older apartments or small homes.

They enjoy gardening, sewing, and woodworking. Their social lives often revolve around activities at veterans’ clubs and fraternal organizations.

Just over half of this target market own homes, 30% are married, and just 6% have kids living with them.

Interesting fact: Although this target market likes to stay home and relax, they enjoy watching exciting sports and events such as Nascar, bull riding, and figure skating.

target market example - sustaining seniors

Is this your target market?

This might be one of your target markets if you’re in these industries:

  • Healthcare: This target market is older and also spends time on health-related websites.
  • Real estate: As this group has many renters, senior living communities may consider targeting them.
  • Retailers: This target market enjoys crafting and other hobbies, making them a great audience for crafting and hobby shops.

How to reach this target market

If this target market example looks like a fit for your business, here are some ways to reach them:

  • Email marketing: This group is very low-tech, but they do check their email. Sending coupons and special offers via email marketing could be a good option.
  • Direct mail: Because this target market doesn’t spend a lot of time online, sending special offers directly to their homes can reach them.
  • Display advertising: This group spends time on health-related sites, so your business could place display ads on the sites this group frequents.

 

Use these target market examples to define your own

Phew, we made it through all 11 target market examples. By understanding your target market, you can get to know your customers, where they spend time—both online and offline, and the best ways to reach them. Your business may have target markets across multiple of these examples, in which case, it all comes down to tailoring your messaging and your marketing strategy for each target market.

Need help finding your target market or want to put this info into action for your business? Reach out to our experts to learn more.

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