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Target market    

There is no simpler law for strategy, than to keep the forces concentrated.
Carl von Clausewitz


This is the area or sector within which an organization operates - it may be a category of person who is the target customer as with a retailer, or it may be a geographical area as with local government or a library. Each market has a unique profile regarding size, services, clients, customers and competitors. The extent to which an organization is successful is dependent on how well it is able to align itself with its target market. Each organization should define what and where its marketplace or sphere of influence is and just as importantly, where and what it is not.

Horses for courses: 
Organizations should not compare themselves with those that have different markets. Specialist sports car maker Morgan, producing for the budget conscious enthusiast does not compare itself with Aston Martin producing for the rich and famous!  Toyota is positioned as a global manufacturer mass-producing cars under a variety of different names at different prices with competitors like General Motors and Ford, but doesn't compete in Ferrari’s marketplace. Each organization should tailor itself according to its market and therefore what is expected from it. For example, the library of a small town is positioned as meeting the needs of the local populace, whereas the British Library and Library of Congress are positioned as national institutions serving the needs of academics, students, historians and other researchers, often from overseas.

Changing the marketplace: 
Changing the target market of an organization is generally only possible by restructuring and by promoting different products and services. A university which has traditionally appealed to students from its own locality will find it difficult to develop into a national institution. Organizations can make use of subsidiaries to target more than one sector - British Airways positions itself as an up-market intercontinental carrier catering for business people, while a subsidiary, go, was positioned as a budget European airline. However, BA has now sold go and concentrates instead on its original market. For some organizations, the target market may be defined, as with a city police force that serves all those living within the city limits. Even locally based organizations may have room for expansion, for example, a local library lending out videos. However, it may be possible to widen the market - a college that attracts mainly local students may  provide a specialized course in, say, automobile design, which then becomes internationally recognized. >>>