If you try to sell products to everybody, you can waste money on advertising to people who aren't interested. On the other hand, if you aim for a target market, you can reach potential buyers by customizing your marketing message and placing it in media outlets your ideal customer is most likely to use. Making a detailed profile of your target audience will help you make marketing and distribution decisions.


You have to make some educated guesses about the age group your product or service will appeal to. While you're at it, determine if one gender will be more likely to buy than the other. Think about the income level of your target customer, which may go along with education level. If you do some product research, select trial customers according to exclusive demographic categories. For example, if you are interested in determining the best age group, don't mix seniors with teens. A sample target market profile focusing on demographics might read, "Male teens with parents who are college-educated and have incomes above $50,000." As a second example, you could write, "Married women with children who live in households with an income of less than $40,000."

Geographic Location

Your products or services may appeal to people who live in specific regions. This would certainly be true of fans of sports teams, but you might be surprised to find that consumers in rural areas appreciate your products more than city dwellers, or that residents of Southern states especially like your products, to give some examples. The geographic portion of your target market profile might say, "People who live in the rural areas of Oklahoma," or, "Residents of the cities in California."


Psychographics deals with lifestyle issues. Although it is clearly related to demographics, psychographics is more concerned with the types of activities and interests your target customer likes. Your target market profile dealing with psychographics might read, "People who like to play tennis and tend to participate in political causes." You might also write, "Motorcycle enthusiasts who tend to go to road rallies."


The goal of looking at behaviors is to identify the kinds of problems your customers want to solve or the needs they seek to identify. Once you understand how your product or service satisfies a customer's desire, you can include a description of this function in your target profile. You could write, "Target customers tend to make impulse buys to satisfy their desire not to be left out of a good deal." You could also say, "My target customer is a thoughtful person who carefully weighs the benefits of a purchase before buying."

Putting It All Together

Your complete target market profile will use all the information you've gathered or surmised. A thorough profile could read, "Males between ages 35 and 50 who live in suburban areas, enjoy golfing and want to look stylish." Another example might say, "Teenage girls living in the inner city who tend to idolize pop stars and buy items that boost their status among their peers."