Terms – Target Markets

  • Audience or customer base – This is the whole group of people who make up the buyers or potential buyers of a brand. It is generally made up of a group of target markets.
  • Target market or segment – A portion of the total customer base who share similar primary motivations. One segment might buy a Vespa (scooter) because they’re cute and fun. Another segment might buy one because it’s inexpensive to buy and operate (compared to a car). Yet another segment might buy one because it is easy to park and get through heavy traffic. Each segment buys the same product for different reasons.
  • Demographics – Hard information about a person or group of people, such as age, gender, level of education, household income, number of kids, etc. Demographics is about what a person is. It used to be the primary driver for marketing but has been supplanted by Psychographics (see below).
  • Psychographics – While demographics is what a person is (38-year-old female), psychographics is who a person is (ambitious,   career woman). Psychographics include things like priorities, motivations, and self-definitions and is the primary segmentation tool for most brands. Psychographics and target market segments go hand-in-hand.
  • Internal markets – Companies not only market to people outside of the company, but they also market to internal markets as well as their staffs.
  • Intermediary markets – These are the companies that sit between many corporate brand owners and the people who buy the brands, like retailers, brokers, agents, dealerships, and resellers. If a brand has one or more intermediary markets, they know that those markets are integral to the efficient and effective sale of their brand to the end-user (see below), so they put a lot of effort into keeping them on-side. Sponsorship virtually always has a significant component of the activity – and sometimes 100% of the activity – directed at intermediary markets.
  • End-users – The people or companies who are the final purchasers and users of a brand. This could be the accounting firm that buys the photocopier or the teenager that buys the Red Bull. 
  • SME – Small-to-Medium-Enterprise. This is a business marketplace that is between the SOHO market and the corporate market. The European Union defines an SME as a company with less than 500 employees, but different brands use different numbers.
  • Consumers – These are individual end-users. Can also refer to the SOHO market.
  • Customers – This could refer to individual or businesses (B2B). If a company sells to both individuals and businesses – like a computer manufacturer – they will often refer to their individual buyers as “consumers” and their business buyers as “customers”.

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