An important part of making marketing successful, even if you are on a tight budget, is to define your target market. The targeted demographic will have an effect on the type of marketing that is most effective, the products you use, and how much money you spend. Thankfully, even small businesses can learn from the larger ones when it comes to what works and what doesn’t. Keep in mind that marketing isn’t always about the quantity of the people you reach, but rather the quality. A small business cannot compare to a multi-million-dollar conglomerate, and therefore their target market is much more precise. Discovering your target market To have the most successful marketing campaign possible, you have to find your target market. The target market is the customers who have a need your business can satisfy. Your marketing goal is to identify this market and set your focus of the campaign on them. To do this, you have to consider four variables – your product, your location, the promotion you want to do, and the cost. The product means coming up with something that the customer sees as having value and satisfying their wants or needs. The location is a combination of being in the right place at the right time. Your promotion is your way of communicating with the customer and doing so effectively. The last thing to consider is the price. You need a price that satisfies your profit margin without being so expensive that the target market does not wish to buy it. You also have to consider the segmentation of the market. Every market can be broken down into smaller categories, including geographic regions, specific demographics, or product types. What you want to do is identify what traits your ideal customers have in common so that you can market to those traits. Playing the mass market Mass marketing is a strategy that works well for larger companies, where it is assumed that just about anyone could be a customer. Car companies and soft drink companies, for example, often appeal to the mass market. However, this only works well if you have a large amount of capital to back this marketing form, and it can be a great risk for smaller companies with less marketing funds. Segmenting your market In order to better understand your target market, it is useful to segment it. This allows you to focus on the market most inclined to buy your product, giving you the most bang for your marketing buck. Geography is one of the first segments that are applied to the market. This can be dividing your target market to a specific region, city, or even neighborhood. Different marketing techniques will be required for different geographical locations, and small businesses usually will achieve the best results by marketing locally. Demographics are another segmentation that is commonly used. It looks at the age, gender, race, nationality, education, and more of the target market. For instance, if you are marketing towards teens, your marketing strategy will be vastly different than if you are marketing to senior citizens or if you are marketing primarily to women over men. This does require you to understand to whom your product will most appeal. Segmentation can go even further depending on the results that you are trying to achieve. The better you understand your market, the better you can target your marketing, and the more successful your marketing strategies will be.