Do You Know Your Target Market?


Running a business is easy. Decide on a product or service to provide, identify your target market, and get the word out.

Okay, so maybe it isn’t easy but these three components are all very important considerations for any entrepreneur. But what if you don’t know exactly who your customer is, or if the profile of your customer changes over time?

Even when a business has been around for a few years, and has encountered a reasonable amount to success, it’s important not to lose the entrepreneur spirit. Too often businesses will make a firm choice on who they want to market to, and as a result they fail to recognise the value of other potential markets.

One field that is learning to overcome the limits of a primary target market is young adult fiction. A key leader in this expansion was J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter SeriesHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone may have started as middle grade fiction, but the Harry Potter Series went onto intrigue millions of adult readers as well. It also paved the way for cross marketing techniques for Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series, or Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy. The lesson, of course, is to keep the door open for possibilities beyond what you originally expected.

It’s often said that the only constant in business is change. This could mean change in a business’ customer base, the regulations that need to be followed, or the general demand for any given product or service. With the right clarity about the Business Model,  businesses can see the value in these changes and continue their day to day operations without missing a beat. 

Defining your target market may be a place to start when undergoing any new business venture, but that target should be a mere guideline, and the business clarity model should always be reviewed and evolved over time. Customers are more than their basic demographics to, so your business plans should involve crossing paths at many points, you need to be willing to engage where your customers are, not where you want them to be.

The value in developing a robust business model with clarity doesn’t just come from knowing who one’s customers are, but by realising the potential of what they could become.


William Buist


William Buist is MD of Abelard Management Services, which specialises in developments in the Societal Web.

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