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According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

Put much more simply, marketing is the process of getting people interested in buying your company’s products or services. Marketing, of course, is most successful when you’re clear about which people are likely to have an interest in your products or services at all.


Before you can create marketing materials that will successfully sell your products or services, you need to be crystal clear about who you are selling to. Who is your target audience? Who do you believe will buy your product or services?

It’s hard to succeed if you don’t know who you are selling to

A classic example of a product that failed because its developers never clearly defined its target audience is the Segway. This two-wheeled transportation device came on the market with incredible fanfare in 2002. It was going to be a game-changer! Everyone would want one! Sales would explode! But this never materialized, because nobody inherently needed a Segway.


Everyone will not be interested in your product

What I’ve seen is that when someone first launches a business, they are so excited about their product that they think everyone will want to have it. Then, as they get out into the market, they realize that this is definitely not the case. No matter how wonderful your products or services are, some people simply won’t be interested—even if you are giving it away for free.

Your target audience wants a solution

People will buy a product because they believe it will solve a problem that they have, meet their needs or improve their life in some way. Your target audience consists of the people who have a big enough problem or need that they are willing to spend money to do something about it…and have the money to do so.

One way to define your target audience is therefore to define the problems that your company solves and then identify who currently has that problem that is willing and able to spend money to resolve it. Not everyone, but a clearly defined group of prospective customers for you to market to.

What Others Are Saying

"Geez, Linda, you sure write well!"

Ray Johnston
President, Lido Property Management