What Is a Primary Target Market?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2019
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A primary target market is the consumer market that a company wishes to enter and secure as the most attractive group of consumers for its goods and services. A market of this type may be attractive due to the sheer volume of consumers who are likely to generate significant demand for those products, or the market may be a primary target owing to other factors, such as the spending power of that targeted group of consumers. Defining a primary target market helps to focus sales and marketing efforts to best advantage and aid the business in establishing a presence within that market that can provide a steady flow of revenue for a number of years.

The characteristics of a primary target market usually include a high potential of those consumers finding the goods and services offered desirable and possibly necessary. In addition, those consumers must be able to pay the level of retail pricing that the seller must generate in order to make an equitable amount of profit and remain in business. In order to ascertain how well a given group of consumers meets these basic criteria, companies will often invest resources in researching viable markets, ultimately identifying the one that offers the greatest potential to be the main focus of that company’s efforts.


While there is a perception that a primary target market must be large in order to be a main focus of a company’s business efforts, that is not always the case. Many companies seek to identify what is known as a niche market. Markets of this type may be small and somewhat specialized, but offer the benefit of having relatively little competition. This means that even though the potential sales volume may be limited, that niche market may become a primary target market if business owners believe they can displace a sufficient amount of the current competitors serving the market and capture enough market share to generate profits.

Typically, a primary target market is accompanied by several other secondary target markets that a company will also identify and seek to establish some sort of presence within those groups of consumers. This type of diversification makes it possible to have a focus for the main group of consumers who are likely to demand the goods and services offered while still making inroads into other markets that over time will generate enough profit to sustain the effort. As consumer tastes and economic conditions change, one of those secondary markets may eventually demonstrate promise of becoming a primary target market, allowing the company to continue operating even after that former targeted market begins to fade.


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