Target Market (TG)

So, I was at this woman’s place and was just in awe of her accomplishments. The whole house was laden with her accolades and awards bestowed upon her from across the world. She is a marketer having stints with some of the biggest consumer brands. And she quit all that to become a travel influencer, has traveled to 60+ countries, has 500k+ followers on social media with a blue tick on Instagram!

In one of our earlier conversations, I mentioned this site to her. She had briefly gone through it and was quite impressed by the content. In fact, she saved my number as ‘Sidhant Dating Theorist’ on her phone. Time just pleasantly flew by in her company. We talked about almost everything under the moon, from her fun Coke stint in Singapore to her recent Laos trip.

Anyway, coming to the MBA concept of ‘Target Market (TG)‘. Part of the success of selling a good or service is knowing to whom it will appeal and who will ultimately buy it. A target market refers to a group of customers to whom a company wants to sell its products and services, and to whom it directs its marketing efforts. Not knowing who the target market is could cost a lot of money and time for a company. That’s because not all products and services are meant for every consumer.

For example, the TG of Zara is composed of men and women, 18-40 years of age, with mid-high range incomes. The target customer is very fashion-forward and trend-conscious, and are either shopping for themselves or for their children.

The concept of TG can be used to derive a number of relevant insights in the context of modern-day dating. The dating matrix and DOSE talk about the chemicals of happiness. Each individual has different happiness chemicals as the dominant ones, which may change with age and/or other life-altering events.

The triangular model talks about the three components of love (lust, attraction, attachment). Though there are overlaps and subtleties to each, each type is characterized by its own set of hormones. Testosterone and estrogen drive lust; dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin create attraction; and oxytocin and vasopressin mediate attachment.

Delving into 4 chemicals in detail and drawing analogies from the concept of TG.

Dopamine: People who are high on the dopamine scale tend to be curious, creative, spontaneous, energetic, restless, enthusiastic, impulsive, and mentally flexible. These are the explorers and the risk-takers (personally and in business). They are good at idea generation and can’t tolerate people who are boring.

These people are drawn to people like themselves.

Oxytocin: People who have high oxytocin activity are more sociable and eager to belong. They’re quite traditional in their values and less inclined towards exploration. These are builders and guardians. They’re calm, cautious, controlled like to make plans, persistent, concrete thinkers, detail-oriented, structured, fact-oriented, loyal. They prefer loyal people over interesting or exciting people.

These people are drawn to people like themselves.

Estrogen: People who are expressive of the estrogen system tend to be intuitive, introspective, holistic, imaginative, trusting, empathetic, and contextual long-term thinkers. They are sensitive to people’s feelings and typically have good verbal and social skills. These people are negotiators. They’re big-picture thinkers, tolerate ambiguity well, have mental flexibility, and have strong executive social skills. They’re highly emotionally intelligent.

These people are drawn to people who are the opposite (testosterone).

Testosterone: People expressive of the testosterone system are tough-minded, direct, decisive, skeptical, competitive, emotionally contained, inventive, experimental, exacting, analytical, and assertive. They tend to be good at rule-based systems- engineering, computers, mechanics, math, and music. These are the rank-oriented directors.

These people are drawn to the people who are the opposite (estrogen).

A number of interesting insights can be drawn from these revelations. Firstly the concepts like ‘opposites attract’, ‘men are from Mars; women are from Venus’, etc. are most relevant for those driven by the latter two hormones (testosterone, estrogen), and not everyone. Secondly, some relationships are just not meant to work out because of the above-mentioned governing dynamics. Stop falling into the trap of sunk cost fallacy, and blaming yourself or your partner for the fall. Thirdly and most importantly, observing acutely and archetyping a potential partner to figure out their dominant chemical driver is in your TG can be highly beneficial. You’ll meet around eighty thousand people in your life out of the more than seven billion there in this world. ‘Your time in this world is limited, people aren’t. ‘

That brings me to the endorser of my suffix ‘dating theorist’. Is this it? Has my quest for dating finally come to an end? Will we become fellow travelers in the journey called life. Well, my affinity towards dopamine is quite high, which is easily visible in my iconoclastic lifestyle with low LTV of almost all dating encounters for over a decade. It is not purely by choice, but circumstances in my life at various points have a crucial role in that. The life choices of the wanderlust, including quitting a well-settled job with Coke just to travel around the globe, indicate that her primary driver is dopamine too. So, that means she’s in my TG, right? Yes, but even in the TG, every consumer has different ways of getting dopamine. Some get it by high effort/reward jobs (IB/consulting), some by recognition (actors/influencers), exploring unexplored places, while some others by unhealthy addictions to social media, drinking, gambling, overeating, promiscuous encounters, etc.. She is getting enough dopamine and more now from her present travels on the career front. On a personal front, she needs oxytocin to handle the career flux and for stability. That is something which I can’t give her. The longer I stay in touch with her, the harder the mutual non-exclusivity will get for her. Thus, despite a great time together, we had to bid goodbye. Also, the dating theorist engaged in a lot more practicals than theory.



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