If a company sells its products only from a website, which is accessible over the internet to customers from all over the world, does it still need to worry about having a specific target market?

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An internet-only based company needs to have a target market. Most companies do significant research before they begin to sell products. This research will guide them to understand the needs of various groups, and what products these groups are willing to purchase. Once the company has an understanding of these...

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An internet-only based company needs to have a target market. Most companies do significant research before they begin to sell products. This research will guide them to understand the needs of various groups, and what products these groups are willing to purchase. Once the company has an understanding of these factors, it will be able to determine what products to make and begin to develop some form of marketing strategy to reach the people they are targeting. For example, a company making hearing aids would want to advertise in an AARP publication. When a company knows whom it is targeting, it has a greater chance of being successful.

If a company just started producing products without any research, it might produce things that consumers don’t want, and the marketing strategies might be ineffective. Additionally, the company may produce either too much or too little of the product, which will impact potential profits. Just because a company is an internet-only based company doesn’t mean the business owners don’t have to do their research before starting the company. It is very important for any business to have a well-defined market and an effective marketing strategy.

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Every business has a target market, whether they know it or not. By knowing your target market, you can place the right type of adverts in places where they will be seen by your target market, and this is just as important online as it is offline—if not more so. It's important to remember that a target market is about a lot more than where your clients are in the world—it's about who they are and what type of messages will appeal to them.

For example, if you were selling clothing for toddlers, would you want your website to be advertised on a website about basketball? Would you want your Facebook advert appearing in teenagers' news feeds? By knowing and understanding your target market (which, in the case of toddlers clothing, is parents and grandparents), you can make sure that your online adverts get seen.

Also, think about the way you word your adverts that appear online. You are likely to use a very different vernacular when selling toddlers clothing (to parents and grandparents) to that which you would use if you selling windsurfing equipment to a target market of extreme sports enthusiasts.

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Yes, every company needs to try hard to have a target market.  The fact that the company can reach customers in every corner of the globe does not say anything about whether it needs a target market.  There are at least two reasons why this is so.

First, companies need to have target markets so that they can know what sorts of products they want to make.  They need to think about who they are trying to sell to so as to be able to tailor their products to those kinds of people.  If they do not do this, they may lose out on potential sales.

Second, companies need to be able to market their products well.  In order to do this successfully, they need to know who they are trying to sell to.  If they know this, they can have marketing campaigns that target the people who are likely to buy their goods or services.  If they do not, they may waste money trying to market to everyone.  They may engage in marketing activities that do not really attract the people who are most likely to buy their products.

Thus, if a firm lacks a target market, it is likely to miss out on sales because it is not actively pursuing the people who are most likely to be customers.

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