Defining the Target Market

Rather than selling their products to every possible consumer, businesses will concentrate their marketing efforts on a target market. The target market is the consumer who would be most likely to purchase a product. Re-read this section to learn more about target markets paying particular attention to the examples of Marriott hotels and the target market for each type of hotel.

Marketers develop the information about the environment to get a clear picture of the total market for the product, including environmental factors. Once the marketers understand the various environmental factors, specific target markets must then be chosen from the total market. Marketers focus on providing value for a well-defined target market or target markets. The target market is the specific group of customers (which could be organizations or individual consumers) toward which a firm directs its marketing efforts. Quaker Oats targets its grits to blue-collar consumers in the South. Williams Sonoma has several different types of stores, each geared toward a distinct target market: Pottery Barn for upscale home furnishings; its specialty stores, West Elm, Mark and Graham, and Rejuvenation, that specialize in jewelry and other accessories; and home improvement and furnishings that are affordable and sustainable. These target markets are all part of the overall retail market for housewares and lifestyle. Identifying a target market helps a company focus its marketing efforts on those who are most likely to buy its products or services. Concentrating on potential customers lets the firm use its resources efficiently. Examples of the target markets for Marriott Hotel Brands’ lodging alternatives are shown in Table 11.1.

Examples of Target Markets for Marriott Hotel Brands
Price Range Target Market
Fairfield Inn $105–125 Economizing business and leisure travelers
Towne Place Suites $110–140 Moderate-tier travelers who stay three to four weeks
SpringHill Suites $120–165 Business and leisure travelers looking for more space and amenities
Courtyard $120–170 Travelers seeking quality and affordable accommodations designed for the road warrior
Residence Inn $126–175 Travelers seeking a residential-style hotel
Marriott Hotels, Resorts, and Suites $135–410 Grounded achievers who desire consistent quality
Renaissance Hotels and Resorts $135–415 Discerning business and leisure travelers who seek creative attention to detail
Ritz-Carlton $295–1,500 Senior executives and entrepreneurs looking for a unique, luxury, personalized experience


  1. What is a target market, and why should a company have one?

Source: Rice University,
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