I am looking at a corporate brochure that includes the phrase:

Our international target group includes governments, businesses and semi-private organisations.

Somehow the word 'target group' does not sit well with me in this context. The company is Dutch (as am I) and we know the word 'doelgroep' to identify those businesses or individuals you are creating your services or products for. 'Target group' is a literal translation of this word. I'm inclined to use '(target) market' instead. What do you think?

6 Answers 6


Personally I think target group here makes more sense, as an organization or a government is certainly not a market but it is body (or a group).

Though it certainly does not go well with international (you're tempted to use the term target market here) you might want to rephrase it as:

"The markets we target internationally comprise of governments, semi-private organizations and businesses."

What say others?


I would use "target group" if the company is giving a service or making a product. It fits with the term "user group". If company is functioning in economics, trade or advertisement I would call "target market".

Another way to look at might be if you are referring to people, then group sounds better. If you are referring to all the other assets along with people (like companies...) then market sounds right.


Either target group or market would be fine. Target market is unidiomatic. Also, market may be your better bet in this context, as target group could be too general.


If you compare them in both the British National Corpus and the Corpus of Contemporary American you'll find that "target group" is slightly more common, because it has a wider meaning, but that it is used in the relevant sense. E.g. (from COCA):

"...That's especially true of advertising directed at a particular group, such as adolescents or young-adult males - it's called 'dog-whistle' advertising because it goes out at frequencies only dogs can hear." In this case, the "dogs" are the commercial's target group of young adults.


Good question, made me think. If in doubt, I'd use "target customer(s)" but the key for me is the word "target" - most business people will know what "target group" means, used in context like that.


I think target group means a group of people who should be focused on in terms of sell volume.

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