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As a Business, Who is your Target?

By Tunde Owoeye-Phoster.

As an entrepreneur, marketing is your key job. Don’t limit marketing to sales as it is generally done in our part of the world. Marketing supposedly includes all the process from the conception of a solution (product/service) to the successful delivery to the end user (consumer), for profit.

If you aim at Everything, you’ll still get nothing!

Sometime ago, I was watched a favourite TV station on wild animals and I saw how a lion lost the hunt for a mere zebra. The lion had waited on the same spot in ambush of a dazzle of zebras for about 5 hours. Finally, the zebras came in their droves to come and drink some water to cool off under the hot sun and the lion carefully launched an attack, only one thing was wrong, when he finally got in their midst he forgot their family strategy of targeting one prey and pursue the prey with gusto.

It got in the middle of the zebras and was running helter skelter, not focusing on anyone in particular and at the end of the day its five hours of patience soon resulted into no food but a lesson learnt to never forget the importance of targeting.

Many businesses fail to carefully identify their core target for their products. You do not need to be restricted to only one type of consumer target (as this is determined by the diversity of your product offering and services), but you must not fail to identify a consumer target you want to serve.

Needs sell, not Products

Often businesses forget that what people want is to meet their needs (from their perspective). People don’t want to buy a fancy gadget, nobody really needs to purchase an airline ticket to fly to another country. There is a deeper need that the customer is trying to meet. This is a typical portrait of the need of the person trying to get an airline ticket.

“I need to give myself some rest since all these days,

I’ve spent the past five years without a break

All my friends have travelled to Dubai several times, I can’t be left out

Infact, I need some exposure to give me a better edge in my business

I will travel first quarter of next year, but I need a reliable flight because I don’t want to die,

From my research, I found AIRLINE X to be very reliable, that’s what my friend flew the last time they went to Dubai”

From the above, you can see the thought process that probably led to selecting AIRLINE X as the choice airline for the trip to Dubai, and you can see that it came last, so what you need to do as a business is to target the emotions that was important in determining the person’s choice and that is why knowing that particular target is very important because everyone is not going to make decisions the same way.

To effectively target your market you need to understand two metrics:

Demography and Psychography

Demography talks about the measurable characteristics of the target which includes age, sex, geographical location, income level, marital status etc.

Psychography includes immeasurable psychological and emotional attributes of the target which includes their way of life, fears, belief system, experience, aspirations etc.

Clearly defining this will help you target carefully, spend less on advertising, be more effective and more focused in selling!

A Local Example of a Brand that has a Defined Target and It is Working for them!

This company sells a product that everyone eats, but they have found a special strength in targeting kids and their mothers, they run all their campaigns and ads to appeal to this target, they have defined their brand to be abit aspirational, emotional, for families (obviously kids and their mum), income level has to be from average income upwards and more of the children of working class upwardly mobile moms.

The brand is Indomie Noodles! With so much success in this area, other competitors jumped into the market targeting primarily the same segment, you know the story — most failed!

More than targeting, you need to also target the right market. Most Indomie competitors fell flat, not because they did not practice targeting though, but they did it wrongly because they don’t understand the power of unique positioning.

Don’t make the mistake as an entrepreneur, carry out your research, segment the market and target, target, target! Don’t overburden yourself, others will patronize you!


About The Author

TundeTunde Owoeye-Phoster ( ) is the CEO of Phoster Solutions ( a branding and advertising firm with. Co-founder of two other companies, he is a business coach and one of the lead facilitators and consultants at Orange Academy where he lectures both new and experienced staff of Nigeria’s largest companies.

He is a LEAP Africa Awardee (for empowering youths through entrepreneurship education) and is also a FATE Foundation Alumnus. He is a graduate of Management and Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. He is a dynamic and practical speaker who possesses the ability to bring insights to the minds of both the young and old about entrepreneurship, branding and innovation. He is married and lives in Lagos with his beautiful wife.

He can be contacted via email: tundeowoeye [at]


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