Target Market Person Activity Guide
Digital Outline of a person that students can add images to (this can be done by the students on a piece of paper).
Market segmentation is a marketing analysis strategy that involves subdividing the market into smaller groups called segments. Market segment descriptions typically include demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral segments. A target market is a specific group of consumers that have similar wants and needs. The business owner can utilize knowledge of the market segments and sound judgment when making decisions regarding different ways to build productive customer relationships through market strategies that most effectively reach the business’s target market. Some target markets may not be a sound investment, while others may help a business thrive and get the most benefit from its marketing dollars. In this activity, students will research a popular U.S. restaurant, then create a target person for the restaurant their team selects. Students will research the restaurant to gain as many clues as they can about the business’s market segments and target market. After developing their target market person, teams will pitch their target market person and why they believe it represents the business’s market segmentation.
Do you have an idea for a business? Identifying your business’s target market(s) and conducting market segmentation, as well as conducting market research, are vital to developing a customer-focused business. In today’s activity, you will research a popular U.S. restaurant, then create a target person for the restaurant selected. You will research the restaurant to gain as many clues as you can about the business’s market segments and target market. After developing your target market person, you will pitch your target market person and why you believe it represents the business’s market segmentation.
- Determine if your students have the ability to work together, if so, how you want to divide students into teams of 3-4 or if you will have students complete the activity individually.
- Review the activity and create any supporting materials that may be helpful for your students (student handout of instructions, an example, etc.). Determine if the rubric needs to be modified and how you will share it with students to reference as they work.
- Review the list of restaurants in the activity guide and modify it as needed. You may want to add some that are local to your area.
- You may need to spend time discussing market segmentation, market research, and target market prior to assigning this activity. See BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE below for information around key terms that students need to understand prior to beginning the activity.
- Protip: If you are crunched on time, share this information ahead of time with your students before they join your virtual session.
- Decide how you would like students to respond to any of the debrief questions after they complete the activity and how they would do so.
- Post the activity to your classroom platform for students to access and complete or set up a Zoom session to walk through the activity with students.
- Demographics – Statistics that describe a market or population of people in terms of characteristics such as; age, education level, ethnicity, gender, occupation, avg. household size or income and more.
- Psychographics – Dividing the market based on personality, buying motives, lifestyle, attitudes, beliefs, interests, hobbies, and habits.
- Geographics – Segmentation based on where people live, shop and trade. It can be local, regional, national or global. It can also include where people live and the distance they will travel or the method used to travel to exchange.
- Behavioral Segmentation – Dividing a market into groups based on consumer knowledge, uses, or responses to a product. Examples include occasions of use (regular, special, holiday, seasonal), benefits of use (quality, service, economy, convenience or speed), the status of the user (nonuser, ex-user, potential user, first-time user, and regular user), and rates of use (light user, medium user, and heavy user), buying behaviors and loyalty status.
NOTE: These directions are written for a collaborative session with students virtually – if not collaborating as a class virtually, you can post pieces of the directions online with the resources listed above.)
- Depending upon the background knowledge of your students, you may need to spend time discussing market segmentation, market research, and target market.
- Share the list of restaurants with students and allow each team to select one to research. Each team will need to choose a different restaurant.
- Protip: You may wish to have students use other brands, such as clothing or video games.
- List of popular U.S. restaurants: (All have websites can be found on Yelp.)
- Pointers Pizza (St. Louis, Missouri)
- White Rabbit Food Truck (Los Angeles, California)
- The Big Texan Steak Ranch (Amarillo, Texas)
- The Varsity (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Lambert’s (Springfield, Missouri)
- Amy Ruth’s (Harlem, New York)
- Primanti’ Brothers (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- Heard Dat Kitchen (New Orleans, Louisianna)
- Yesterday’s Calf-A (Dell, Montana)
- Tio’s Mexican Café’ (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
- Casa Bonita (Denver or Lakewood, Colorado)
- Wahoo! Fish Tacos (Fresno, California)
- The Hideaway Grill (Cave Creek, Arizona)
- La Sandwicherie (Miami, Florida)
- (Olde) San Francisco Creamery (Walnut Creek, California)
- PityPat’s Porch (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Have your team come up with a popular restaurant in your area.
- Instruct students to complete the following steps:
- Research the restaurant to gain as many clues as you can about the business’s market segments and target market.
- Using the digital version of the target person provided or using another tool, create a target market person that represents the business’s market segmentation. Here are some helpful tips:
- Find out if anyone on the team has knowledge to share about the team’s restaurant.
- Research the restaurant online including the businesses website, Yelp and other sites to seek knowledge about the restaurant.
- Illustrate the characteristics of your target person by drawing a face, hair, apparel or other items that represent the target market. Encourage students to be creative!
- Name the target person appropriately for the target market.
- Protip: It is important to advise students to be culturally sensitive, not using hurtful stereotypes.
- Decorate the target person on paper with pictures of products, services, and brands that would visually describe the target market.
- Include 3 ads as part of your target person image that target the same market. No more than 1 ad should be from a food business.
- Show/demonstrate on the target market person paper at least three (3) characteristics of this target person, from each form of market segmentation. (These are based on the teams’ perception.)
- Behavioral Segmentation
- After developing your target market person, you will present a two-minute pitch of your target market person and why you believe he/she represents the restaurant you selected.
- Protip: An alternate would be for the groups to record their pitch using Flipgrid or a similar tool to then share on your classroom platform.
- Once each team has selected their restaurant and understands the instructions, send the groups to breakout rooms to begin creating their target market person. Be sure they have access to the rubric as they work. Allow students 20 minutes to complete the steps and prepare their pitch.
- After 20 minutes has passed, bring students back together. Allow each group two minutes to pitch their target market person.
- Protip: Consider allowing students to vote for the pitch of the target market person that they believe is best aligned. Students cannot vote for their own group. Incentivize the winning group.
Students can complete the debrief on paper by answering the following questions or in a group setting via Zoom (either as a full class or in breakouts) to discuss their learnings.
- While working on this project was your team in total agreement on the market segmentation of the business?
- How did you come to a consensus amongst your team?
- How did your team seek and share knowledge about your restaurant?
- What evidence did you find that supports your perception of the market segments the restaurant might be targeting?
- What are some reasons a small business owner might target specific market segments?
- How might a small business owner utilize knowledge of the business’s target market or market segments?
- How does the Foundational Value of opportunity play a role in target marketing?
- What is the relationship between knowledge and opportunity when it comes to a small business owner identifying the business’s customer or market segments?
- On a scale of 1 to 4 (1 being low and 4 being high), how would you rank the importance of each market segmentation; demographics, geographics, psychographics and behavioral to the restaurant you researched?
- In terms of importance in today’s world, how would you rank the importance of each market segmentation: demographics, geographics, psychographics and behavioral?
- Why do you think “X” is most important?
- Why do you think “Y” is least important?
- Why did you rank “X” above “Z”?
- Why might target marketing and market segmentation be important to the following areas of a small business?
- Customer Relationships (assist in market strategy decisions)
- Marketing Budget (sound judgment in market strategy decisions lead to the best use of marketing budget and resources (time and money)
- Operating Costs (sound judgment in market budget leads to reduced operating costs – lower overhead)
- Income Statement (lower operating costs directly affects the businesses bottom line – net profit)