Do I need a target market if my product is good for everyone?

From an Expert's Perspective

This month, we hear from Paula Reile, Research Program Manager at the Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre.

“Anyone can enjoy my product or service,” is something I hear regularly, and often the business is right! There is a large range of people who can enjoy their product or service, so why do marketers insist every company needs to understand their target markets?

There are multiple reasons why understanding your target market(s) is important, when you know who your target market(s) is/are, you can ensure your marketing messages are meeting the needs of the groups of people who are most likely to purchase your product.

This is the key to a target market; many buyers can enjoy a product or service, but there are often a group of buyers who have some common elements that make your product or service more desirable by them. Sometimes this can be as simple as the age and location of buyers, but often it is about the psychographics and buying behaviours of a specific group of people. When you understand these elements of your target market, you can efficiently and effectively reach those buyers.

At the Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre, we focus on four categories to get a full understanding of who your customers are, these are: demographics, geographics, psychographics, and buying behaviours. When a business has this information, they have a full understanding of where to put their marketing messages, what product or service attributes to highlight that resonate with the market and ensure the tone and messaging is speaking to buyers. When this all works in harmony, a business saves time in their marketing, and reduces the cost to acquire a new customer. It also supports building a strong brand following and engaged audience.

So yes, even if anyone can use your product or service, you still need to understand your potential largest customer base, because not having a target market is like buying one-size-fits-all clothes; just like those clothes never really fit anyone, your marketing messages won’t resonate with anyone, resulting in fewer sales and wasted marketing dollars.

If you need support in understanding who your target market(s) is, we have the expertise and tools to work with you for support your business growth.


Interested in learning more about our innovation project possibilities?
Explore our website, and contact David DiPietro, Research & Innovation Manager, Business Development, at [email protected].