A target market is a group of people to whom you want to aim to sell. Age, location, occupation and hobbies are a few of the demographics that make up target markets. Maybe you're a hair salon marketing yourself to middle-aged men who like sports, or maybe you're a restaurant catering to savvy couples with interest in exotic cuisine. If you aim too broad you risk not capturing enough people's attention, and if you aim too narrowly, you risk not having many customers. Whatever you chose will permeate into your brand personality and marketing materials.

Target Customers By Age

Categories include newborns, toddlers, tweens, Generation Y (also known as millennials -- they are the children of baby boomers), Generation X (born between 1965 and 75), adults, baby boomers, seniors and more. You can target whatever age group you want to. However, you want to know them well so that you can cater to them, so if you focus on a segment too broad, such as ages 20 to 80, it might be hard to figure out their needs. Whereas if you focus on a smaller group, such as tweens, you'll find an abundance of research.

Aim Geographically

Geographic options include markets such as states, zip codes, counties, cities and neighborhoods. Across geographic locations, things like weather and cultural values can differ. Targeting a marketing campaign toward a specific location can help boost sales. For instance, if you sell rain boots, you might want to target places that are known to be particularly rainy, such as the Pacific Northwest. Or, if you're a small eatery, you might want to target local residents.

Target by Income

People across different incomes have different needs and different budgets. Perhaps you want to only sell a few items but charge a lot for them, or maybe you want to sell a lot of items at a low price. It will do you best to find out the characteristics of the income level you want to target. You might target consumers with annual incomes of $15,000 to $20,000, $30,000 to $50,000 or $100,000 and up.

Aim at a Specific Marital or Family Status

Some people have big families, some have small ones. Some are married or single. Some are divorced. Each type has a different need. Large families might need to buy in bulk, while singles may desire smaller quantities of things -- for instance single-serve meals so that food doesn't have to be eaten again later or thrown away. What profile best fits your mission as a business? Who can you best serve?

Think Personalities

You can target customers according to values, hobbies, interests and lifestyle characteristics. For instance, if you're selling clothing, you might want to target customers who value fashion. If you're producing a small local magazine, you might want to gear it toward people who put a high value on family. Examples of these categories include hikers, bikers, stamp collectors, vegetarians and dancers.

More Markets

There are many more target markets. To define yours, you might need to combine two or more categories. You must ask yourself who is most likely to buy from you. Other segments include travelers, risk-takers, home owners, renters, car owners, brides, students and computer owners. You can also chose a segment according to education level, ethnicity or occupation. There are many, many possibilities. Which one is right for you?