Whenever we are helping a new client with their marketing we ask them about their target markets. It kinda freaks us out a little if they say that their target market is 'everyone'. Why is this? Well, it is because it is impossible to be all things to all people and it would cost a fortune to try to reach everyone across a bunch of different channels.
The other thing to consider is that the target market (or audience) is not necessarily like yourself - sometimes the things you are selling are for people completely different to you and other times it aligns perfectly. In nearly 10 years of business we have seen it all!
The aim of the game is to determine your target markets specifically to get the best return on investment (ROI) for your activities by focussing on them. We call this the Most Profitable Prospects (MPPs).
Some businesses feel it is easier to understand their target markets by breaking them down into:
Primary - the largest market, the most likely people to purchase your product.
Secondary - the second largest target market likely to purchase your product.
Tertiary - the third largest target market likely to purchase your product.
Niche - any other smaller markets that may be worthwhile representing. Often local groups, niche celebrations.
You can tell a story about who your target markets are, some business even give their target market a persona such as 'Sally', put a picture of her up on the wall with a description of what media she consumes, what she chooses to do in her leisure time, where she works, where she lives, what food she likes, what car she drives, what clothes she wears, etc.
If you don't know who your target markets are, then you should talk to a marketing consultant to get it nailed (pick us, pick us!) because it is critical to everything that you do going forward.